To seek approval for the Authority’s Procurement Plan 2022/2023 to proceed with the relevant procurement exercises throughout the financial year and award contracts in accordance with UK public procurement legislation to the most advantageous tenders.
Cabinet considered a report seeking approval to the Authority’s Procurement Plan 2022-2023 to proceed with the relevant procurement exercises throughout the financial year and award contracts in accordance with UK public procurement legislation to the most advantageous tenders.
The Authority continued to spend a considerable sum on third party goods and services. The Authority’s constitution required that prior to any procurement commencing which exceeded £500,000 Cabinet approval must be obtained. Following the return of the Procurement Service to the management of the Authority the opportunity had been taken to review and improve reporting practices. To date individual reports were previously presented for Cabinet approval; once the budget was approved by Council the third-party requirements were known. The procurement exercises which would commence in the financial year 2022/2023 had been identified and were set out at in an amended Appendix 1 to report, the contract start date may be in the subsequent year due to the procurement lead in time. This approach would ensure timely procurements whilst continuing to maintain value for money. The Local Government Association issued the National Procurement Strategy in 2021, this guidance advised that local authorities should develop a pipeline of procurements, this would help the market place prepare to tender for opportunities as they arise.
The Authority adopted its Procurement Strategy in 2017. Utilising the social value principles within the Procurement Strategy, the Authority would gain commitments of local employment and apprenticeships whenever applicable. This would contribute to the economic recovery of North Tyneside in the wake of the Covid crisis. The Authority’s tendering process would be streamlined, and better information would be provided to the market. Where appropriate, lower value tenders would be issued. The Authority has seen an increase in the number of Small and Medium Enterprise’s (SME’s) and local suppliers it was procuring with. In 2020/21 the Authority spent with 1932 SME’s and 752 suppliers within North Tyneside, whereas in 2021/22 the Authority spent with 2021 SME’s and 801 suppliers within North Tyneside. The procurement exercises due to commence in 2022/23 would continue to give SME’s and local suppliers the chance to work with the Authority, again enabling and encouraging smaller businesses. Working with the Business Forum and North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO), bespoke workshops would be developed to support SME’s. The principles set out in the Authority’s Responsible Procurement Charter would be embedded in the tender requirements. If approved, the Procurement Strategy 2022-2025 would underpin the principles of the procurement process.
The relevant service area would develop tender packages and robust specifications to ensure that the Authority was protected in terms of financial and commercial risk. The majority of procurements would be carried on an open basis as defined within the Public Contract Regulations 2015. Any pre-existing regional frameworks would be utilised as appropriate. The duration of the contract would be considered to help shape new and emerging markets; lessons learned from any previous contracts would be considered when developing the tender package. Relevant existing frameworks would be explored if appropriate to the contract. Collaborative regional working would be explored if appropriate to the contract. The contract award criteria would be developed considering social value as appropriate. Packages would be developed to support the economy in the recovery of Covid-19.
Consultation prior to commencing a procurement
exercise with the relevant Cabinet Members was key as this would
ensure that the Authority Priorities were achieved through its
contracting arrangements. The Authority’s finance team would
be engaged to identify any budgetary risks associated with the delivery of
the service and any potential mitigations. The Authority’s
legal team would review the procurement process and the terms and
conditions for each procurement to ensure the procurement complied
with all UK procurement legislation and the Authority mitigated any
commercial risk. Consultation and engagement with the market and
any relevant associations would take place to ensure that the offer
to the market was attractive and that a market existed to deliver
the goods and services.
An evaluation team consisting of subject matter experts and the procurement team would evaluate each bid received against the published award criteria and in accordance with UK public procurement legislation. Prior to award of any contract the evaluation result would be provided to the relevant Director to approve the award together with financial assurance that the contract value would remain within existing budgets.
The rationale behind the appropriate Director awarding contracts at the end of each procurement exercise would be duly recorded in compliance with the Openness of Public Bodies Regulations 2014.
Cabinet was asked to note the amendment made to Appendix 1 in the report (published to the Authority’s website prior to the meeting), adding the contract for dark fibre to the Procurement Plan, this late addition was due to the transfer of services within ICT to the Authority.
Cabinet considered the following decision options: to accept the recommendations set out in paragraph 1.2 of the report, or alternatively, to not approve the recommendations and to consider individual reports for each package of works and/or services. This may delay implementationof essential services and works being carried out.
Resolved that(1) the procurement of the goods and services as detailed in Appendix 1 (as amended to include the contract for dark fibre) to the Procurement Plan 2022-2023, be approved; and
(2) the relevant Director in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member, Director
of Resources and Director of Law and Governance, be authorised to commence the procurements identified and award contracts to those bidders who submitted the most advantageous tenders in accordance with UK public procurement legislation.
(Reason for decision: The Authority has a duty to obtain value for money. Tendering the opportunities identified in the report will meet the priorities contained within the Procurement Strategy and Our North Tyneside Plan.)