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A Guide To The Principles Of Public Sector Procurement

A Guide To The Principles Of Public Sector Procurement

Public sector procurement plays an important role when it comes to the functioning of government bodies. However, understanding the ins and outs of the key principles can be tough, but we’re here to help.

Read on to learn all about public sector procurement, the key principles of public sector procurement, how it ties into the Public Contract Regulation 2015 (PCR15), and how Procure Partnerships Framework can help you with your public sector projects.


Understanding The Basics of Public Sector Procurement

Before we explore the key principles, let’s uncover the basics of public sector procurement. Ultimately, public sector procurement is the process of public sector bodies, including local authorities, the education sector, and government bodies, purchasing goods, services, and works from an external supplier.

There are several key steps to public sector procurement to be aware of. Government agencies should decipher their needs while making it clear what they need to purchase to fulfil their missions or to provide wider public services. Throughout the process, the budget remains key.

Government entities should allocate funds for purchases while keeping their budget in mind, as well as keeping factors such as forecasting costs at the forefront of their minds. It’s important to set a budget at the initial stage before inviting potential suppliers to submit bids through the tender process.

Tendering is the use of competitive processes used by agencies to ensure fairness throughout the process. Typically, these bids will be evaluated based on numerous criteria. In most cases, bids are evaluated based on overall quality, price, and compliance with set regulations.

The contracts are likely awarded to the winning supplier, which is often the one to offer the best value for money. Once contracts have been awarded, agencies begin to manage them while ensuring that suppliers can deliver as agreed.

Essentially, public sector procurement obtains goods and services both economically and fairly. While aiming to obtain these services efficiently, they promote competition in the spending of public funds.

Public procurement has its own set of rules, regulations, and procedures. Although similar to private sector procurement, the two differ.

Procurement in the public sector must remain in compliance with specific public procurement regulations, all of which are designed to ensure fairness and transparency throughout the bidding process.


The 5 Key Principles of Public Sector Procurement

It’s important to understand the key principles of public sector procurement. Luckily, we’re here to break down the top five principles in greater detail for you. Let’s take a look at the five key principles of public sector procurement to be aware of:


1: Transparency and Fairness

One of the most important principles of public sector procurement is transparency and fairness. Throughout the complete cycle of procurement, providing the utmost transparency is key.

To promote fair and equitable treatment to potential suppliers, a high level of transparency must be maintained. Providing clear information to both suppliers and potential contractors ensures that they’re able to understand the public procurement process fully.

Taking precautionary measures and maximising transparency in competitive tendering is vital, helping to enhance integrity. This aligns with the Procurement Act 2023, which encourages a full open and transparent system. This means that everyone will have access to public procurement data. This act is anticipated to take effect in October 2024.


2: Value for Money

Throughout the duration of projects, it’s essential to prioritise a combination of sustainability, cost-effectiveness, quality, and effectiveness. Procurement processes should be planned strategically and executed to achieve the most advantageous combination of these factors.

Procure Partnerships Framework is designed to provide this assurance through competitively tendered fixed overheads and profit percentages, as well as a value-for-money offering that combines social value, KPI reporting and project delivery support.


3: Competition

Competition is a key part of the procurement process to help ensure value for money. Competition helps those operating within the public sector to secure goods and services at a reasonable price and quality.

An underlying principle of public sector procurement, competition offers an effective way to demonstrate honesty in the award of public contracts.

At Procure Partnerships Framework, we have 87 contractors within our framework, split into nine sub-regional lots, covering five value brands starting at 50K to 50M plus.

We’ve expanded our portfolio to ensure we can see to the industry’s needs, while also ensuring that our clients have access to the right group of experienced contractors. Our contractor partners specialise in construction, decarbonisation and retrofit, demolition and infrastructure, to name a few.


4: Non-Discrimination

Public procurement is subject to the EU Treaty principles, including non-discrimination. This vital principle ensures equal treatment for all suppliers. There’s no place for discrimination in public procurement, and each individual should be treated equally, regardless of their race, age, religion, or gender.


5: Accountability & Integrity

Accountability and integrity are important principles in public procurement. These principals ensure trustworthiness throughout the process.

Be sure to handle complaints or queries from potential suppliers in good timing, remaining fair and respectful at all times. Possible suppliers should be given timely access to review systems regarding procurement decisions while ensuring complaints are solved promptly.

Ultimately, accountability and integrity can create a trustworthy procurement system. They can increase stakeholder confidence – whether it be taxpayers or vendors, stakeholders will feel confident that public funds are being used wisely and fairly.


Public Contract Regulation 2015 (PCR15)

Public Contracts Regulations 2015, commonly referred to as PCR15, are a set of rules that govern how public sector organisations based in the UK buy goods, services, and works. These regulations are set in place to ensure that public money is being spent fairly.

The regulations also make sure public money is being spent efficiently and transparently; PCR15 also ties in with the key principles of public sector procurement.

PCR15 instructs procurement processes to be transparent. Ensuring transparency means any important information regarding contracts, bidding processes, and decisions must be available. Remaining transparent contributes to fairness and accountability.

These regulations help to promote fair competition. The regulations require all public sector organisations to widely advertise their contracts while ensuring all bidders are treated equally at all times. These set regulations are most beneficial, helping to prevent favouritism.

Within PCR15, there’s an emphasis on obtaining value for money. Essentially, this means that public sector organisations should be making important purchasing decisions factoring in cost and quality considerations. By doing so, they can ensure that taxpayers money is being spent wisely.

Regulations enforce compliance with various laws and policies. This includes laws and policies related to environmental sustainability, and labour standards, too. Ensuring compliance promotes reliable practices.

PCR15 ensures procurement processes are streamlined. Simplifying these processes helps public sector organisations by saving time and resources. While saving time and money, public sector organisations are still able to meet their procurement needs.

From transparency to efficiency, PCR15 aligns with the main principles of public sector procurement. Ultimately, the regulations in place serve the best interests of both taxpayers and communities.

Procure Partnerships Framework: Your Procurement Solution

At Procure Partnerships Framework, we have a team of reliable and dedicated professionals who provide expert support and guidance throughout the procurement process.

From procurement planning to contract award and management, we remain on hand to deal with all aspects of procurement. With Procure Partnerships Framework, you can expect specialist support on a wide range of project types.

Our team prioritises local engagement while ensuring contractor partners are fully committed to making a positive impact on the range of communities that they serve. If you’re looking for support on a specific project that aligns with our procurement framework, we encourage you to reach out to us today to speak with an expert within our team.