PURCHASING PROCEDURES INTRODUCTION PURCHASING PHILOSOPHY PURCHASING POLICY PROCEDURES Last amended 1. - Services (March 2010) 2. - Primary Budget Holder (March 2010) 3. - Authority to Order (March 2010) 4. - Selection of Potential Suppliers (March 2010) 5. - Invitations to Tender/Quote (March 2010) 6. - EC Procurement Legislation (March 2010) 7. - Use of Purchase Orders (March 2010) 8. - Dealing with Suppliers (March 2010) 9. - Use of Specifications (March 2010) 10. - Expediting (March 2010) 11. - Contracts (March 2010) 12. - Purchasing Consortium (March 2010) 13. - Equality Statement (April 2010) 14. - Buyers Guide (March 2010) 15. - Financial Health Checks (March 2010) 16. - Supplier Appraisal (March 2010) 17. - Approved Suppliers (March 2010) 18. - Purchasing Cards (March 2010) 19. - Negotiation Briefing Notes (March 2010) 20. - Purchasing Guidance Notes (March 2010) (when bidding for funds) 21. - Consultancy (March 2010) 22. - Environmental Statement (May 2010) 23. - Purchasing Flowchart (March 2010) 24. - IT Policy (January 2011) 25.- Community Benefits (March 2011) INTRODUCTION The purpose of these procedures is to advise and assist those staff within the University who undertake purchasing duties as part of their overall responsibilities. Purchasing Services is part of Financial Services and its primary purposes are to formulate Purchasing Policy, co-ordinate purchasing activities within the University and to provide professional purchasing advice and assistance to all parts of the University Group. A more detailed description of the role of Purchasing Services can be found under the Service Standards section of these procedures. All purchasing procedures are derived from the Purchasing Policy of the University and the Policy Statement now forms part of the Financial Regulations of the University Group. To assist with the location of Purchasing Policies within the regulations of the University Group the following details are supplied: Financial Regulations The Financial Regulations of the University establishes approved practices governing the purchasing process. The Purchasing Procedures cover the operational detail and standard documentation which implement the Financial Regulations. Purchasing Policy Section E (46) of the Financial Regulations sets out the University's approved Purchasing Policy. Tendering Procedure Section E (49) of the Financial Regulations sets out the University's procedures for purchases valued in excess of £50,000. PURCHASING PHILOSOPHY The University aims to establish an effective and efficient organisational structure for all its purchasing activities to ensure the promotion and achievement of value for money. The established organisational structure seeks to secure the management advantage of devolved budgets and decentralised purchasing with arrangements to secure best price, to promote good practice in purchasing and ensure co-ordination of all buying activity across departments. To achieve these aims, the University has a central Purchasing Office responsible for the development of a purchasing strategy, the implementation of good purchasing practice, and the provision of professional purchasing advice across the University. Within each faculty and service, the University has finance officers to focus on the purchasing activities and to develop a common approach to purchasing. These people are assisted by the central Purchasing Office in areas such as contract compliance, purchasing procedures, and the negotiation of standard item goods/services for use across all faculties and services. The purchasing philosophy underpins the purchasing policy of the University, and the implementation of the policy is detailed in the following procedure notes. PURCHASING POLICY The University's Views on Purchasing The University seeks to ensure that its operational activities are consistent with, and supportive of, the Mission Statement and its associated values and aims, and are consistent with the policy stances taken by the institution on equal opportunities, regional affairs and environmental issues. The University, therefore, wishes to ensure that the process of the purchasing of goods for the University is sensitive to environmental factors, that it shows commitment to the region by, wherever possible, procuring goods from local firms, and that it facilitates equality of opportunity through contract compliance measures. These principles of purchasing will only be adopted, however, where value for money can be achieved. Policy Statement on Purchasing The University's Purchasing Policy consists of a number values and aims. The Purchasing Policy will also operate within the wider framework of the Financial Regulations and legislative requirements. The Purchasing Policy is as follows: - 1. The University will seek to achieve value for money in all purchases. 2. Environmentally friendlier products will be purchased, wherever possible. 3. Wherever possible, the University will not deal with companies who are known to operate discriminatory practices. All University contracts will include a clause upon which contract compliance will be sought. 4. Subject to European directives, products will normally be purchased within the North West of England. 5. Goods and Services will be purchased from within approved contracts and ranges where available. 6. Purchasing will be on the basis of "just-in-time" to prevent unnecessarily large levels of stock being maintained. Principles of Implementation All contracts for standard items and environmentally friendlier products (as defined in the purchasing procedures) will be negotiated by the Head of Procurement. Major items and group purchases (as defined in the purchasing procedures) will be technically specified by the specialist staff, and the Head of Procurement will undertake all contract negotiations. PURCHASING PROCEDURES 1: SERVICES The role of Purchasing Services within the University is to formulate Purchasing Policy, co-ordinate purchasing activities within the University, provide professional purchasing and insurance advice and assistance to all parts of the University Group. In general, Purchasing Services shall be responsible for the following on behalf of the University Group: Central Role - Purchasing Services has a responsibility for all major purchases of non-pay expenditure, including Capital. Contract Development - Commodity Research; Contract Strategy; Supplier Appraisal; Contract Reviews; Supplier Management. Tender Process - Production and issue of documents; Supplier Appraisal; Commercial Evaluation; Contract Award. Operational Issues - Professional Purchasing advice and guidance relating to: acquisition of goods and services; assistance with compilation of Specifications; obtaining quotations; commercial negotiations; sourcing of Suppliers and commodities. 2: PRIMARY BUDGET HOLDER The Financial Regulations of the University Group (see Section E (42) detail budget policy and budgetary control. Primary Budget Holders are authorised to approve expenditure, ensuring: - the goods and/or services are necessary and the expenditure which will be incurred can be contained within that part of the budget for which they are responsible; - established contracts or supply arrangements as contained in the Buyers Guide are utilised wherever possible; - where alternatives are available, the purchase represents economy (using the whole life costing method) and operational efficiency, and the advice of Purchasing Services has been sought where necessary; - action is taken on incorrect or poor quality deliveries and/or services, and that Purchasing Services is advised of such instances; - the correct purchasing route has been taken in accordance with the specified purchasing limits, (see Section E ( 49.2) Financial Regulations). 3: AUTHORITY TO ORDER Purchase Orders to be issued for any goods or services necessary may be authorised by a Budget Holder with the following exceptions: - The Supplier attempts to impose terms and conditions which conflict with the University's Standard Conditions (especially payment terms); only the Head of Procurement, as nominee of the Director of Finance, may vary the Standard Conditions under which the University trades; - The single or cumulative value is in excess of £5,000 and three quotations have not been obtained; - The single or cumulative value is in excess of £50,000 and has not been subject to the Tendering procedure; If there are any doubts or concerns with regard to the authority necessary to make a particular purchase, please go to http://intranet.salford.ac.uk/finance/cms/pages/category?id=23 where the document Delegated Financial Authority is held. . Summary of Purchasing Limits Financial Regulations establish a Purchasing Limit of £20,000 - £50,000 where the requirement is for 3 written quotations (i.e. formal offers with fixed pricing). Purchasing Office involvement may be sought within this limit to assist in this process. Value of Order/Contract Purchasing requirements (Exclusive of VAT) Up to and including £1,500 Purchase Card to be used £1,001 - £5,000 The Budget holder to obtain value for money £5,001 - £19,999 Minimum of 3 written quotations £20,000 - £49,999 EG2 process £50,000 £156,000 University Tender procedure £156,000 and above EU Tender Procedure Low Value Orders The process of issuing Purchase Orders has a significant administrative resource cost (time spent in raising order, actioning copies, processing invoice, processing cheque, impact on finance system, etc.). Therefore, for low value purchases, the University purchasing card should normally be utilised. 4: SELECTION OF POTENTIAL SUPPLIERS In line with good purchasing practice, the University needs constantly to monitor and limit its established Supplier base in order to minimise administration resource costs and maximise bulk purchasing power. Details of existing supply agreements are listed on Purchasing Services website under the Buyers Guide. This is constantly updated as contracts are renewed and new contracts are established. All suppliers must be set up on Agresso before purchases can be made unless the University Purchasing Card is being used to place the order. During Quotation or Tender exercises, user Departments may recommend Suppliers to Purchasing Services for technical reasons. There is no guarantee that such Suppliers will be successful or acceptable once Purchasing Services has undertaken a commercial evaluation. Where strong technical recommendations prove commercially unsound, Purchasing Services will liaise with the User Department to reach an acceptable solution. The Head of Procurement will evaluate the level of input for the University necessary to balance the costs of obtaining further quotations against the likely benefits or value for money issues. The Head of Procurement will make recommendations, where necessary, to the Director of Finance. 5: INVITATIONS TO TENDER/QUOTE The University will seek to achieve value for money in all purchases. Tenders Any single or cumulative (over any 12 month period) purchase likely to be in excess of £50,000 (excluding VAT) may be subject to the University's formal Tendering Procedure. The Head of Procurement will make recommendations to the Director of Finance regarding any necessary Contract Strategy. A copy of the Tendering Procedure may be obtained from Purchasing Services from http://www.purchasing.salford.ac.uk/internal/documentation/tendering_procedures.php Quotations It is recognised that for most purchases of goods or services below £5,000 (excluding VAT), it is unlikely that the purchaser within the department will require specialist or professional purchasing input. Quotations for these purchases are still likely to generate savings for the purchaser. Standard Conditions have been developed (please refer to the website – http://www.purchasing.salford.ac.uk/terms_conditions) which will apply to all purchases made by the University, thereby reducing commercial risk in the procurement process. Where it is intended to make a purchase from a Supplier not set up on Agresso, the procedure outlined in Approved Suppliers must be followed before issuing a Purchase Order. For purchases, which are greater than £5,000 in value (over any 12 month period ) but below the Tendering threshold, an email, detailing requirements should be created if Purchasing Services is to be involved in obtaining quotations. Quotations may be obtained by departments but must then be forwarded to Purchasing Services for confirmation / clarification. 6: EU PROCUREMENT LEGISLATION INTRODUCTION The primary function of the European public procurement legislation is to open each Member States’s public sector purchasing to intra-community competition. The legislation is founded on two main principles of non-discrimination (i.e. that a potential, or actual, tenderer is not discriminated against because of their nationality) and transparency (i.e. that the contract awarded is openly advertised and awarded using objective procedures that will withstand scrutiny. These principles are fully compatible with the UK government’s policy which is that the public sector’s purchasing decisions should be based on value for money achieved through open competition. The legislation which impacts upon the purchasing practices of UK public sector bodies was originally enacted via three distinct Statutory Instruments in the early- to mid-1990s, but all three have now been superseded by a ‘consolidated’ European Directive which was introduced into UK law on 31 January 2006 (Public Contracts Regulations 2006, Statutory Instrument No.5). The 1990s Regulations placed a responsibility on public sector contracting authorities (which includes universities) to advertise certain types of contract above pre-determined values in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), and thereafter deal with the tendering and award of such contracts using a pre-determined set of procedures and practices. The 2006 legislation incorporates and refines most of the principles and practices described in the earlier Regulations, whilst broadening the scope of the legislation to cover novel or hitherto less-regulated areas of public procurement, in particular environmental issues, electronic tendering, electronic auctions and framework agreements. The Head of Procurement is responsible for guidance in ensuring that the University complies with its legal obligations concerning EU Procurement legislation. All departments and sections of the University are required to co-operate fully by notifying the Head of Procurement of any purchases likely to exceed the appropriate threshold under any of the above Directives. All purchases under the Works Directives must be notified to the Director of Facilities Management. 1 DEFINITIONS 1.1 Public Supply Contracts A public supply contract is one for the purchase, lease, rental or hire purchase, with or without option to buy, of products. It includes siting and installation of the products where these are part of the main purchase. 1.2 Public Services Contracts A public service contract is one where the purchaser engages a contractor (the service provider) to provide services. There are two categories of services - Part A (to which the Services Regulations apply in full) and Part B (where the tender is only subject to some of the requirements in the Regulations, namely rules regarding technical specifications and the publication of contract award notices). Parts A and B appear as lists in annexes to the Directive. If a contract includes both products and services, the element which has the highest value determines whether it is to be treated as a public supply contract or public service contract. 1.3 Design contests Design contests are procedures for obtaining plans or designs which are intended to lead to the award of a public service contract, often including the offer of a prize or payment to the participants. The value of the contest for the purposes of assessing whether it exceeds the threshold is the value of the resultant public services contract plus the value of the prize. 1.4 Public Works Contracts A public works contract is one for the execution, or design and execution, of civil engineering or building works. A list of these works appears as an annex to the legislation. The list is surprisingly wide-ranging; including such activities as demolition work, test drilling, plumbing, wiring, installation of fixtures and fittings, painting and wallpapering and renting of construction or demolition equipment with an operator. Where the contract involves supplies and/or services as well as works, it should be classified according to its predominant purpose. A public works concession is a contract where the consideration (payment) for the works is wholly or partly the granting of a right to exploit the works. Subsidised works contracts are works contracts to which public authorities (which includes universities) contribute more than 50% of the cost. Even though the contract might be awarded by a private sector body, the public authority must ensure that the Regulations are complied with. Note that the threshold value applies to the total contract value, not the value of the subsidy. 1.5 Framework Agreements A framework agreement can be made with one or more than two suppliers. Its purpose is to establish the terms governing multiple purchases to be made over a particular period. Special rules apply to the formation and operation of framework agreements; these are described in more detail below. 1.6 An electronic auction can be used after full evaluation of initial tenders, where final bids are ranked automatically, usually on the basis of price. The process is unsuitable for many services and works contracts. Specialised software is required to undertake electronic auctions, and there are special EU rules governing their conduct which are outside the scope of these procedures. 2 VALUATION OF A CONTRACT The proposed tender will fall within the Regulations if its estimated value is greater than the prescribed thresholds. These have been summarised in Table 1 below. The Regulations provide guidance on how to estimate the value of proposed tenders. If, after calculation, the value of the contract exceeds the appropriate thresholds, it will fall within the scope of the Regulations. The method of calculation used depends upon the type of purchase to be undertaken. Regulations Threshold European Threshold Equivalent UK* Supply Contracts 193,000 Euros £156,442 Service Contracts 193,000 Euros £156,442 Works Contracts inc. Subsidised Works 4,845,000 Euros £3,927,260 Contracts * Calculated 1 January 2010, revised every 2 years Table 1: Relevant Thresholds for Public Procurement Regulations (VAT and Insurance Premium Tax are excluded) 2.1 Public Supply and Public Service Contracts 2.1.1 If the contract is for a “one-off” purchase, estimate the total value including all component parts, transport costs, installation and commissioning. 2.1.2 The value of a series of contracts, or repeat orders, for the same or similar products, should be estimated over a reasonable period (e.g. expected length of requirement.) This can be either historically or in the future. Note, however, that requirements cannot be disaggregated in order to avoid the Regulations. 2.1.3 Fixed term contracts for services or for the lease, rental or hire purchase of products should be estimated for the duration of the contract. Where the contract is part of a series, the whole series should be estimated over a 12 month period or longer, if appropriate. If a contract is for a fixed period, say one year, but has an option to extend for up to two additional years, then regardless of whether or not there is uncertainty about exercising the extension option, the duration has to be taken as 3 years (the maximum duration in this example) when estimating its value. 2.1.4 If a contract, or series of contracts, for services is for an indefinite or uncertain period, or the total price is not known but the contract period exceeds 48 months, then its total value should be calculated by multiplying the estimated monthly value by 48. Note: Where the proposed contract includes more than one of the above elements, the value must be determined by calculating the highest possible value. 2.2 Specific types of Public Service Contract For the following types of services, the values to taken as a basis for calculating the estimated contract values are: - insurance services: the premium payable and other forms of remuneration; - banking and other financial services: the fees, commissions, interest and other forms of remuneration; - design contracts: fees, commission payable and other forms of remuneration. 2.3 Public Works Contracts 2.3.1 Estimate the value of the whole works contract. 2.3.2 Where the contract is part of a series necessary to carry out a project, it is the total value of the aggregated contracts, which will determine if the contract falls within the scope of the Regulations. 2.4 Waivers for ‘Small Lots’ For Public Supply, Service and Works purchases where the contracts are awarded at the same time in the form of separate lots, it is the aggregated value of the lots which will determine whether the Regulations apply. However, application of the threshold can be waived in respect of lots below the Small Lots thresholds identified in the above table, provided that the aggregate value of those lots does not exceed 20% of the value of the overall aggregate value of the lots as a whole. Example: Public supply contracts for a particular commodity will be let in five lots: three of an estimated £20,000 each and two of £130,000 each. Thus the aggregate value of the contracts is £320,000 which clearly exceeds the EU threshold. However, each of the three small contracts falls below the Small Lots threshold. In aggregate, they comprise slightly less than 20% of the overall value of the five lots (18.75% to be precise). Therefore the three small contracts are not subject to the EU tendering process. The two larger lots still collectively exceed the threshold, and must therefore be subjected to an EU tendering process. Note: Where the proposed contract includes more than one of the above elements, the value must be determined by calculating the highest possible value. 3 SPECIFIC EXCLUSIONS Contracts for the following types of purchase are excluded from the procedures: a) Land, existing buildings or other immovable property or rights thereon. However, financial services associated with the acquisition are subject to the procedures. b) Programme material for broadcast, and contracts for broadcasting time. c) Arbitration and conciliation services. d) Transactions relating to securities or other financial instruments (particularly where these are to raise capital), and central bank services. e) Employment contracts. f) Research and development services, providing the service is wholly paid for by University of Salford. However, where the benefits accrue exclusively to University of Salford for use in its own affairs, the EU procedures do apply. 4 TENDERING PROCEDURES Tenders may be sought by one of four procedures: Open, Restricted, Negotiated or Competitive Dialogue. Open and Restricted are by far the most commonly-used procedures. 4.1 Open Procedure A notice is published in the OJEU stating that tenders will be sought under the Open Procedure. All potential suppliers requesting tender documentation by the deadline stated in the notice must be sent the documentation within 6 days of their request. Alternatively the documentation can be made available to all interested suppliers on the internet. The advantage of the Open Procedure over the Restricted Procedure is that minimum timescales are shorter. However, if there are a large number of potential suppliers in the marketplace, use of the Open Procedure can result in a large number of tender submissions, which in turn increases the assessment workload. One way of attempting to control the number of tenders is to stipulate minimum levels of economic and financial standing or technical/professional ability in the contract notice. Care must be taken to ensure that the minimum levels are related to and proportionate to the subject matter of the contract, and that the levels used do not exclude smaller companies unreasonably. 4.2 Restricted Procedure A notice is published in the OJEU stating that tenders will be sought under the Restricted Procedure. Firms communicate, in response to the notice, their interest in tendering for the contract. The contracting authority, using criteria stated in the notice (e.g. legality to operate, financial and economic standing, and technical/professional ability) which must be drawn from a list provided in the legislation, selects firms who will be invited to submit a tender. It is permitted to state the number of firms the contracting authority intends to invite to tender, sometimes expressed as a range. This is the main advantage of the Restricted Procedure over the Open Procedure, since it restricts the number of tenders and consequently reduces the amount of effort required to evaluate them. The range must be stated in the contract notice and in any event the minimum number permissible is 5. If the number of eligible respondents falls below 5, the process may continue, providing there is still genuine competition. However no “new” candidates can be introduced at this stage and the selection criteria cannot be artificially relaxed to allow more firms to pass to the tender submission stage. The criteria stated in the notice cannot deviate from those set out in the legislation. Thus it can often be very difficult to differentiate suppliers so that enough of them can be eliminated at the first (often called the ‘prequalification’) stage even after minimum levels of economic and financial standing or technical/professional ability have been stipulated. Any exclusion of a supplier at this point must be fully justifiable in terms of its failure to match the selection criteria stated in the original contract notice. If there is likely to be a large number of applications from interested firms, great care must be taken to develop a prequalification questionnaire that has the desired effect of being able to be used effectively and fairly to differentiate the firms’ capabilities, so that only the required number of firms passes through to the tendering stage. 4.3 Negotiated Procedure Under the Negotiated Procedure the terms of the contract are negotiated directly with one or more suppliers. However, the procedure can only be used in the specific instances described below. Moreover, the Office of Government Commerce advises that use of the Negotiated procedure is likely to decline as the Competitive Dialogue procedure becomes more widely accepted. It is NOT mandatory to advertise the Negotiated tender in the OJEU unless specifically stated to the contrary below. It is permissible for the Negotiated Procedure to take place in successive stages to gradually reduce the number of tenders, providing the contract notice or specification states that this is the intention. 4.3.1 For public works, public supplies and public service contracts: a) Tenders received under a previous competitive exercise held under the Open, Restricted or Competitive Dialogue procedures have been irregular, or unacceptable. The proposed terms of the contract must be substantially unaltered from those originally used. The resultant tender must be advertised in the OJEU, giving the reasons for use of the Negotiated Procedure. Note: If all of the participants in the Open or Restricted exercise are invited to negotiate then there is no need to advertise the use of the Negotiated procedure. However, if one or more of the participants from the earlier tender exercise who submitted tenders is rejected, then the use of the Negotiated procedure must be advertised in the OJEU. In both instances, the terms of the Negotiated tender must be substantially unchanged from the original exercise undertaken under the Open or Restricted procedure. b) A competitive exercise held under the Open or Restricted procedure has resulted in no applications or tenders, or unsuitable tenders. c) There is only one supplier available for technical or artistic reasons or on account of exclusive rights. d) Extreme urgency exists for reasons that are unforeseeable and are not attributable to the contracting authority. e) In exceptional cases where the nature of the works, supplies or services or the risks do not permit overall pricing, the Negotiated tender must be advertised in the OJEU. 4.3.2 For public supply contracts: a) The goods covered by the contract are to be manufactured purely for the purpose of research, experiment, study and development; but not when the goods are to be purchased or hired to establish their commercial viability or to recover their research and development costs. b) The goods covered by the contract are partial replacements for, or additional to, existing goods or an installation, or when obtaining the goods from another source would cause problems of incompatibility or disproportionate technical difficulties. Such extensions may not, as a general rule, be for more than three years. c) The goods are purchased on a commodity market. d) The goods are being purchased on particularly advantageous terms because the supplier is being wound up, is bankrupt or in receivership. 4.3.3 For public service contracts: a) Where the contract follows a design contest and there is more than one successful candidate. (Note that the Negotiated procedure cannot be used for a Works contract in this manner.) b) For insurance, banking and investment contracts, and intellectual services such as the design of works, but only if the activities cannot be defined well enough for the Open or Restricted Procedures to be used. The tender must be advertised in the OJEU. 4.3.4 For public works contracts: Where the works are to be carried out solely for the purposes of research, testing or development and not with the aim of ensuring profitability or recovering research and development costs. The tender must be advertised in the OJEU. 4.3.5 For public works and public service contracts: a) Additional works or services not included in the original contract where the need has arisen through unforeseen circumstances, and where they cannot be technically or economically separated from the original contract without major inconvenience to the contracting authority, or where they are necessary for completion of the contract. However, the Negotiated procedure cannot be used where the aggregate value of the additional works or services exceeds 50% of the value of the original contract. b) Where new works and services which repeat the initial contract are being carried out by the same supplier, providing the original contract was awarded through the Open or Restricted Procedure, and the original advertisement mentioned the possibility of additional requirements. However this procedure may only be used during the three years following the end of the original contract. Note: A contract award notice must be published for every case where the Negotiated Procedure is used regardless of whether the tender exercise was advertised or not. It is advisable to hold a report on file should information be requested by HM Treasury on behalf of the European Commission. 4.4 Competitive Dialogue Procedure This procedure is suitable only for particularly complex contracts, for example Public Private Partnership (Private Finance Initiative) contracts where the contracting authority is unable to specify its requirements at the outset without entering into detailed discussions with potential suppliers. The aim of the discussions is to identify and compare possible solutions before requesting final tenders. A contract notice must be published in the OJEU setting out the needs and requirements of the contracting authority. A dialogue may then commence between the contracting authority and suitable candidates in which all aspects of the contract can be discussed. Care must be taken to ensure that all candidates are treated equally. From a practical point of view, this can best be demonstrated by keeping a detailed record written record of all discussions which is then signed off by both the Supplier and the University. When the contracting authority has identified a suitable solution or solutions, it declares that the dialogue is concluded and requests that tenders be submitted. It is important that the request and the resultant tenders are as comprehensive as possible because the scope for post-tender negotiation is even more limited than in the Open and Restricted procedures (such negotiations having already taken place in the dialogue phase). 4.5 Choice of Procedure Under the Regulations, universities have a free choice between the Open and Restricted procedures. Use of the Negotiated or Competitive Dialogue procedure is unusual, and is more likely to invite the scrutiny of the European Commission than the other procedures. Where it is agreed that the Negotiated or Competitive Dialogue procedure can be used, the contracting authority must justify its choice and take great care to ensure that the reasons are properly documented. 5 FRAMEWORK AGREEMENTS Framework agreements set out the terms and conditions under which specific purchases (‘call-offs’) are made over a pre-determined period of time. They are particularly useful for creating a panel of several approved suppliers who then compete with each other for each ‘call-off’. Framework agreements can be made either with one supplier or with a panel of at least three suppliers, and must not exceed four years’ duration unless there are exceptional circumstances. The suppliers are appointed through a tendering process, usually following the Open or Restricted procedure. Where there is one supplier, the contracting authority should ask the supplier to provide specific prices or terms for ‘call-off’ orders within the parameters set out in the original Framework agreement. It is more usual for Framework agreements to have a panel of three or more suppliers. In some cases it is a straightforward task to determine which of the suppliers should win the ‘call-off’; for example, where all of the suppliers on the panel have fixed price lists or there is pre-agreed mechanism for calculating prices for comparable items. Here, the contracting authority would simply compare the prices and select the lowest without re-opening competition. In cases where the task is not so clear-cut, a process of ‘mini-competition’ is undertaken whereby the contracting authority issues a statement of requirements to all of the suppliers on the panel capable of undertaking the task. These proposals are then evaluated in accordance with the criteria set out in the original Framework tender. 6 TIMESCALES In each of the procedures, there are timescales laid down regarding publication of notices, invitations to tender, receipt of tender submissions etc. These timescales vary with the procedure used and are summarised in Table 2 below. The publication of a Prior Information Notice (PIN) enables the time periods for the Open and Restricted procedures to be shortened. The PIN is intended to give potential suppliers a brief overview of the forthcoming tender requirement. The PIN is only permissible as a means of shortening timescales if it is sent for publication between 52 days and 12 months before the date the actual contract notice is sent. In cases of extreme urgency it is possible to use accelerated Restricted or Negotiated procedures. The circumstances under which the shortened time periods can be used are strictly defined and must be justifiable. The cause of the ‘extreme urgency’ must be outside the contracting authority’s control. For example, having to spend funds before a specific date would not be considered an appropriate reason. Where a contract is voluntarily advertised, i.e. where it is not expressly covered by the requirements of the Directives or Regulations, then the timescale requirements are not binding in relation to the tender procedures. Thus, it may be beneficial for a contracting authority to give wider exposure to its requirements by choosing to use the European forum even where not absolutely necessary. Table 2: Summary of prescribed time periods Procedure Phase Days Open Minimum time for receipt of tenders from 45 date contract notice sent Reduced when PIN published to, generally 36 But never less than 22 Restricted Minimum time for receipt of requests to 30 participate from date contract notice sent Minimum time for receipt of tenders from the 35 date invitation sent Reduced when PIN published to, generally 36 But never less than 22 Restricted Minimum time for requests to participate 15 Accelerated from date contract notice sent Minimum time for receipt of tenders from the 10 date invitation sent Competitive Minimum time for receipt of requests to 37 Dialogue and participate from date contract notice sent Negotiated Negotiated Minimum time for receipt of requests to 15 Accelerated participate from date contract notice sent Notes: a) The time period starts on the day the notice is despatched to the OJEU, not the date when it is actually published. If the last day is a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday then the receipt or closing date will be the first ordinary working day thereafter. b) PIN = Prior Information Notice. c) Timescales for requests to participate may be reduced by 7 days (5 days for accelerated procedure) when the OJEU notice has been submitted electronically in an approved manner. d) Timescales for receipt of tenders can be further reduced by 5 days where the contracting authority provides full and unrestricted electronic access to the contract documentation from the date of publication of the contract notice, providing the notice contains the internet address where the documents are made available. 7 CONTRACT DOCUMENTATION Once the contracting authority has established that the proposed contract falls within the remit of one of the Regulations, and has selected which procedure to use, the contract must be advertised and documentation prepared, paying special attention to the technical specification and selection criteria. 7.1 Advertising Requirements The Open, Restricted and, where applicable, Negotiated procedures require that the contracting authority places a notice in the OJEU, stating its intention to seek offers in respect of the perceived need. The notice must take into account the timescales detailed in Table 2 above. It is important that the maximum anticipated duration of the contract is stated in the notice. For example, if the expected duration is 3 years but there is a possibility that it could be extended to 5 years, then state “up to 5 years” in the notice. The circumstances under which a contract extension might be granted can then be described with more precision in the invitation to tender document. The contracting authority cannot advertise the contract in its local or national press before the notice has been dispatched to the OJEU. The advertisement must not contain any more information than is contained in the OJEU notice. 7.2 Technical Specifications When preparing the documentation it is necessary to ensure that the specifications for the product are non-discriminatory. In particular, the specification must not be based upon the specification of an existing product from one supplier. This would be in breach of the regulations and is likely to invite challenges from other suppliers. If the requirement can only be expressed by reference to a brand or proprietary name, then the name must be accompanied by the words “or equivalent”. The technical specification should be defined by reference to European specifications where they exist, in the following order of preference: - National standards incorporating European standards - European technical approvals - Common technical specifications, e.g. Electromagnetic Compatibility - International standards - Other technical reference systems established by the European standardization bodies Only where none of the above standards exist is it appropriate to refer to national standards. All references must be accompanied by the words “or equivalent”. There are, however, instances where it is permissible to derogate from the prescribed hierarchy of specifications. Again, like other exceptions, these are clearly defined in the Regulations, for example, where there exists a statutory duty in relation to health and safety; technical reasons of conformance; incompatibility or disproportionate technical differences or disproportionate costs; or innovative reasons. Technical specifications may define environmental characteristics, e.g. production method and/or environmental impact. Methods of defining environmental impact must be drawn up using scientific criteria that are accessible and understandable to all parties. For works and services, information about the supplier’s technical ability with regard to environmental management measures may be requested, but only if is appropriate. The standards indicated in the tender documentation must always be EU standards or equivalent. 8 SUPPLIER SELECTION CRITERIA Potential tenderers may be excluded from tendering if they do not meet prescribed criteria, which should be designed to determine their economic and financial standing and their capability of fulfilling the requirements of the contract. These criteria must be stated in the notice published in the OJEU and/or in the contract documentation. A firm may be ineligible if, for example, it is found to be in financial difficulty, or guilty of misconduct. It may be asked to provide details of its financial standing, and its technical capacity. The contracting authority may select which criteria it considers appropriate in relation to economic and financial standing or technical capacity. If a company marginally fails to meet one or more of the criteria, then a second opinion may be sought from a third party credit-referencing agency. If the rating given by the agency defines the company as low to medium risk, then a decision can be made to let the company proceed to the next phase of the tender process. If however the rating is high risk then the company should not proceed any further. Any selection/shortlisting exercises must be even-handed, consistent with stated criteria and must not discriminate on grounds of nationality or geographical location. 9 CONTRACT AWARD 9.1 Award Criteria Having ascertained the suitability of the tenderers, the contracting authority must award the contract to the submission which: offers the lowest price, or is most economically advantageous to the contracting authority – in addition to price, this includes factors like quality, technical merit, aesthetic and functional characteristics, environmental characteristics, running costs, cost-effectiveness, after-sales service and technical assistance, delivery date and delivery period or period of completion. In most cases it would be extremely unwise to award the contract on the basis of price alone without giving any consideration to other factors. The award criteria must be listed in the contract notice and/or in the invitation to tender document. The relative weighting given to each criterion must also be stated. This can be expressed in terms of a range with an appropriate maximum spread. These criteria and weightings must be used in the tender evaluation; they cannot be altered after publication. 9.2 Abnormally Low Tenders Tenders may be rejected if they are abnormally low but only after the tenderer has been given an opportunity to justify/confirm or withdraw the offer submitted. 10 NOTIFICATION OF CONTRACT AWARD 10.1 Contract Award Notice The contracting authority must publish a contract award notice in the OJEU within 48 days of the contract award or establishment of a framework agreement. This requirement also applies to categories of public service contracts covered by Part B (see section 1.2 above). It is important to observe the mandatory standstill period (see section 10.3 below). 10.2 De-briefing Unsuccessful Tenderers There is now ne need to provide a verbal de-brief as under the regulations the standstill letter already provides detailed reasons fro not being successful and the recipient should be able to determine whether they wish to start legal proceedings. If, however a verbal de-brief is granted the following should be observed. Be careful of discrepancies between the written standstill letter and any verbal debriefing Ensure that the debrief is carefully planned and do not volunteer information Ensure that clear records are kept of who said what, if necessary the meeting could be recorded if you feel the risk could be high If issues arise following the verbal debrief the standstill period can be restarted and a more detailed standstill letter written to the supplier All answers to questions asked in a debrief must be given to all the suppliers involved in the tender process, even if they did not request a debrief and the standstill period has to then be restarted 10.3 Mandatory standstill period The reasons for rejecting a supplier must be provided at the start of the standstill period in the format of a personalised letter and must include the following: Information on when the standstill period will end, this will depend on how the standstill period was communicated: Electronic method, via In-Tend, email or fax – not sooner than 24:00 on day 10 Non-electronic – not sooner than 24:00 on day 15 from date of sending or day 10 after the last communication has been received by all the recipients Notes: - The last day cannot be a Saturday, Sunday, Good Friday, Christmas Day or English Bank Holiday - The date the last standstill notification is sent is Day 0 A full reason for the decision which has to include and cover: The Award Criteria Characteristics and relative advantages, although difficult to write, it is important to be objective and avoid subjectiveness. The suppliers score which should be justified as to how they were scored and why i.e. the “characteristics and relative advantages of the winning tender(s) The successful supplier’s score Reasons why the supplier did not meet the technical specification Name of the successful supplier The standstill letter has to be sent to all suppliers who have not been previously advised, for instance, if advised at PQQ stage that they were not successful with reasons why, the standstill letter does not apply. It is best practice, if not using In-Tend, to request proof of receipt from all suppliers at the time of notification. General Advice The standstill letter has to be sent as soon as possible after the award decision, therefore it is critical that enough time is allowed in the tender plan to write the standstill letters as the information now required is detailed The award criteria is critical to a successful tender and must be well thought through before the tender is issued as you will have to explain in detail as to why the supplier did not meet that criteria and how they were evaluated It is important to record the decisions in detail during the evaluation process (as this will form the basis of the detailed content of the standstill letter) The award criteria should be objective and easy to understand Obtain evidence of claims that the supplier can meet requirements If using Environmental as a criterion, full details are required, of the reasons for its use (e.g. energy efficiency, reduced carbon footprint etc.), its relevance to the procurement, and the economic advantage it brings to the university Scoring presentations should be avoided, presentations should be used only as a mechanism for clarifying the tender response to ensure the correct scores have been allocated. If presentations are scored, suppliers could express concern that not all suppliers had been treated equally during the presentation process. When scoring PQQ’s or tender documents set out a number of ‘keywords’ which you would expect to see in an answer and score accordingly 10.4 Reporting Requirements Contracting authorities are required to report, for each public supply and services contract, details of the value, procedure, type of goods and the nationality of the successful tenderer to H.M. Treasury. Purchasing Office will collect this information annually and issue a report on behalf of the University. 11 DISPUTES AND REMEDIES If a legal challenge is made, the University must automatically suspend the award until the challenge is resolved. 11.1 Exceptions to the need for a standstill period Below EU threshold procurements, although it is considered best practice. Where no obligation to advertise in OJEU, eg below threshold, Part B Services or Negotiated without call for competition Only 1 tenderer 11.2 New Remedies Pre Contract Award: Order a temporary injunction Set aside decisions taken unlawfully Order documents are amended Award damages Automatic suspension of contract award Post Contract Award damages Order prospective ineffectiveness where serious breaches and apply a fine Provide for alternative remedies, eg contract shortening, fines or both is situations where ineffectiveness is inappropriate 11.3 Ineffectiveness 11.3.1 What is Ineffectiveness Prospective ineffectiveness are any obligations: Which are not yet performed will be cancelled Which are already performed will not necessarily be cancelled (except by specific court order) A civil financial penalty (fine) can be served on the University which: is decided on a case-by-case basis by the court will take account of all the relevant factors will be “effective, proportionate and dissuasive” The court may rule on consequential matters, eg restitution of money already paid, compensation for the supplier who originally won the contract in good faith. However, the court may decide not to apply ineffectiveness where there are important reasons that the contract should continue, although alternative penalties will be applied. Advanced contractual provisions can be agreed during the tender process to deal with how parties would exit the contract in the event of an ineffectiveness ruling, eg pay for all work done to date, however, legal advise may need to be sought to ensure the arrangement is legally binding. Ineffectiveness is applicable after contract award. Damages are applied before contract award, see Section 5.2 New Remedies 11.3.2 Grounds for Ineffectiveness 220.127.116.11 Ground 1 - Failure to advertise in OJEU The contract will be declared ineffective: if the University fails to comply with the requirement to advertise in the OJEU if the University misinterprets the law or misapplies the facts, eg, use of negotiated procedures without competition or believes the contract is outside the scope such as not thinking that the value would exceed the threshold some sort of competition held but not through OJEU awarded contract is outside of the scope of the original contract notice existing contract is subject to variation To help minimise the risk: ensure compliance with advertising requirements, seek advice from the Procurement Manager have high confidence in the reasons for not advertising in OJEU and obtain evidence as to why non advertising was permitted by the Regulations if a contract notice has not been placed in OJEU but is above the thresholds, publish a Voluntary Ex Ante Transparency (VEAT) notice in OJEU and ensure that at least 10 days are allowed between publication of VEAT and the signing of the contract. If there are no legal challenges to the VEAT after this period the contract can be concluded and its effectiveness can no longer be challenged 18.104.22.168 Ground 2 – Combined breaches of rules Breaching of the main procurement rules, eg: Mixing up the selection and award criteria Not publicising the relevant importance of the award criteria Not complying with minimum timescales Inappropriate specification standards Breach of new review procedures: Breach of standstill period Breach of automatic suspension obligation To help minimise the risk: Ensure compliance with Procurement rules Ensure compliance with Standstill period rules Note: A procurement procedural breach may still result in damages being awarded. 22.214.171.124 Ground 3 – The Call-off procedural breach Only affects: Above threshold call-off contracts from multi supplier frameworks that require a mini competition A Dynamic Purchasing System Does not affect: Single supplier frameworks Multi supplier frameworks or DPS for Part B services Multi supplier frameworks where no mini competition is required Below threshold call offs Ground 3 only applies if 3 aspects are present: Call off is above EU threshold and The University voluntarily choose not to apply the standstill period, in which case the risk of ineffectiveness will apply, and An infringement of either mini competition rules under a framework or procedures rules in a DPS If all three apply, then the Court could declare the call-off contract ineffective. To help minimise the risk: Apply the Standstill period voluntarily, this will cause some delay in awarding the contract but does minimise the risk of ineffectiveness Consider how confident the University is that call-off procedure followed is robust, if minimising the risk is the priority rather than awarding the contract, apply the standstill period, however best practice is to apply the standstill period Send the standstill letter to all suppliers named in the framework or to all tenderers if a DPS Any single purchase call-off using framework suppliers over £156k has to be led by the Procurement Department. 12. Time Limits Three months remains the starting point for legal challenges (apart from ineffectiveness which is 6 months). The challenges from participants in the procurement are to be brought promptly and, in any case, within 3 months from the date when the grounds for bringing the proceedings first arose. This has been further clarified by case law, and the 3 months will start when the complainant understands the reasons for its exclusion not simply that it was unsuccessful. Thus, if the Restricted Procedure has been used and suppliers have been informed at PQQ stage that they have not been successful, then 3 months will start when they understand the reasons why and decide to start a legal challenge. The time limits for ineffectiveness has a default of six months from contract award (or the date was reasonable for them to know of the award). The 6 months, may be shortened to 30 days by correctly applying a standstill notice and then confirming the contract award using a second notification. It is important, therefore, to issue the following documents at the conclusion of a tender: Standstill Letter containing the required information (see 5.1.2 above) Final Confirmation letter to all suppliers whom the standstill letter was originally sent advising them that the contract has now been awarded, (providing no legal challenges have been instigated) Publish a Contract Award Notice through OJEU 13 Penalties Where a Court makes a declaration of ineffectiveness the contract will be cancelled and it must also order an additional civil financial penalty which is “effective, proportional and dissuasive”. The University will then need to re tender the requirement if still required, pay the civil financial penalty and, probably, damages to the appointed contractor that has lost the contract and the complainant. Remember, the complainant only has to prove it was unfairly treated and not that it would or could have won the contract. Where the Court saves the contract from ineffectiveness due to, e.g., overriding reasons relating to a general interest or there has only been an infringement on the standstill procedures the Court must order the shortening of the contract and/or a civil financial penalty (fine) to which there has been no upper financial limit set by the EU and, again, damages would probably be awarded to the appointed contractor and the complainant 7: USE OF PURCHASE ORDERS Purchase Orders are formal University documents which, when issued to an external party, commit the University to expenditure and form a legally binding Contract with the external party. An order must be raised prior to the ordering of any goods or services (unless the University Purchasing card is being used.) Failure to do so will result in a breach of Financial Regulations. Purchase Orders are individually numbered and are obtained through Agresso. In order to reduce the commercial risk in the use of such documentation, Purchase Orders must always be approved by the Budget Holder and any over £20,000 are approved by Purchasing Services. The University’s Terms and Conditions are available as stated on the Order Form. Only the Head of Procurement, as nominee of the Director of Finance, may vary the Standard Conditions under which the University trades. Where Suppliers issue an 'order acknowledgement', then User Departments should check quantity, price and delivery details against the original Order and discrepancies taken up with the Supplier immediately. Of particular importance is the need to check whether the acknowledgement attempts to enforce the Suppliers Conditions of Sale. If so, this must be challenged by fax or letter before receipt of goods or services: please contact Purchasing Services for assistance, if necessary. 8: DEALING WITH SUPPLIERS All dealings with Suppliers must preserve the highest standards of honesty, integrity, impartiality and objectivity, while remaining fair, efficient, firm and courteous. Most transactions between the University and external Suppliers - although forming a legally- binding contract - usually operate and conclude with relatively few incidents or disputes. The following guidance points will help to ensure consistency of commercial activity, raise awareness of contractual issues, and thereby lessen the risk of potential disputes. 1. Please ensure familiarity and compliance with the following: - Selection of Potential Suppliers ( Section 5) - Buyers Guide (Section 14) -Terms & Conditions http://www.purchasing.salford.ac.uk/terms_conditions 2. It is not a policy of the University to pay for goods/services in advance: contact Purchasing Services for advice. 3. When requesting quotations careful consideration should be given to the following areas: - Specification or Operational Requirements - Usage figures - Quality standards - Specified terms/conditions - Delivery requirements 4. All Supplier agreements requiring the signature of a University representative (e.g. service/rental/maintenance contracts) must be authorised by the Head of Procurement. 5. In the event of any legal, contract, or general supply dispute arising or likely to arise, advice from Purchasing Services should be sought at the earliest opportunity. At all times, a careful record must be kept of communication with Suppliers, particularly those by telephone. 9: USE OF SPECIFICATIONS In general, a Specification is a description of the product or service required. An effective Specification should enable Suppliers to tender or quote to the University on an equal basis and must not show bias towards any one product, brand or Supplier. Specifications are more likely to be used where the purchase is of significant value (e.g. during the tender process), but can be utilised in the procurement of complex or specialised low value commodities. Guidance for the preparation of Specifications is detailed below: Drafting checklist use simple language, avoid using jargon; define terms, symbols and acronyms; do not expect the specification to be read by experts; write it so that a layman will understand; use a logical structure; be as concise as possible, but keep the meaning clear; plan and analyse your needs; arrange the components of the requirement into a logical form matching the evaluation model; a good way of doing this is to set out a skeleton structure with the main headings and then add in sub-headings as necessary; do not embed requirements in background information - suppliers may miss them - keep requirements in their own sections; list the most important elements of the requirement first and work through to the least important; and discuss the requirement with colleagues, other users and procurement staff. During this process you may also identify other topics you need to include. endeavour to reduce costs (economy), and increase effectiveness and efficiency to contribute to VFM endeavour to improve our carbon footprint by considering more environmentally friendly methods of production/servicing etc. Review checklist A good specification should: state the requirement specification completely, clearly, concisely, logically and unambiguously; focus on outputs not how they are to be met; contain enough information for potential suppliers to decide and cost the goods or services they will offer, or in the case of negotiated route arrive at realistic budgetary costs; permit offered goods or services to be evaluated against defined criteria by examination, trial, test or documentation; state the criteria for acceptance by examination, trial, test or documentation; contain only the essential features or characteristics of the requirement; provide equal opportunity for all potential suppliers to offer a product or service which satisfies the needs of the user and which may incorporate alternative technical solutions; and comply with any legal obligations e.g. under UK law, the EEC Treaty, an EC Directive or the GATT Agreement on Government procurement. A good specification should not: over-specify requirements; contain features that directly or indirectly discriminate in favour of, or against, any supplier, product, process or source. Discrimination on grounds of nationality is illegal in the EC, contrary to the GATT Agreement, where applicable, and may not achieve value for money. Leading Edge Technology Where equipment is specified at or near the leading edge of technology, it is common for the specification to be developed in conjunction with one or more suppliers. It is important that this process does not result in a specification which is so detailed as to eliminate any effective competition. The focus should be on what the department or research project needs rather than specifying what the supplier can supply. The approach should be to specify performance rather than technical details. In the latter case, there is the risk that the final product will be technically superb but does not do what is required. In discussing specifications with suppliers it is essential that no commitment is entered into prior to seeking tenders and quotations. Include “Extras” Consider specifying what is wanted on the basis that everything is negotiable. The specification could include: provision for on-site tests, and pre-negotiation trials if these are desirable; a price which is fixed and firm, irrespective of inflation or exchange rate fluctuations; free delivery, installation and commissioning; maintenance cover for however long the department needs it; the price of consumables; details of spare parts availability for the life of the equipment, together with contractual notification before the supplier ceases manufacture of spare parts; handbooks with full maintenance instructions, including circuit diagrams; training. 10: EXPEDITING Expediting is 'progress chasing'. Once a Purchase Order has been issued, a check to determine progress on the delivery of the products or services may be required (either before or after the specified date). The responsibility for progress chasing rests with the Budget Holder/User Department issuing the Purchase Order. Any unreasonable delays or erroneous deliveries from a Supplier who is listed in the Buyers Guide must be made known to Purchasing Services so that appropriate action can be taken. Required delivery dates must be stated when raising Purchase Orders so that progress can be checked against such dates. The use of 'Urgent' or 'ASAP' are not acceptable terms for delivery dates. 11: CONTRACTS . Contracts will often take the form of 'standing offers', i.e. a firm price quotation which remains open for a specified period (usually 12 months), so that Purchase Orders can be placed against the standing offer as need arises. The Suppliers' prices are usually based on the University's 'best estimate' of usage. Once a contract or standing offer is in place, User Departments must ensure that those goods or services are not purchased elsewhere, since the University will normally have entered into a legal agreement for exclusive business with the contracted Supplier. Minor or temporary price advantages are occasionally offered to User Departments from other Suppliers. These should be advised to Purchasing Services but not taken advantage of, since they would normally jeopardise greater advantages from the established Supplier. Contracts or standing offers should be placed for a period appropriate to the value and effort involved in their award process. The Purchasing Office can give advice regarding this issue. Contracts/supply arrangements should be subject to regular review and a note of the review retained on the contract file held in Purchasing Services. 12: PURCHASING CONSORTIUM The University of Salford is a member of the North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium (NWUPC). The Consortium consists of a number of commodity/service based user groups, representing most University or Higher Education institutions in the North West of England and North Wales. The Commodity Groups are: Admin & Professional Services Laboratory Supplies Estates Computer Supplies/Equipment Catering Domestic Supplies & Services Stationery & Office Equipment Furniture & Soft Furnishings Audio-Visual Equipment Telecommunications Advantages of membership of the Consortium are: - increased value for money because of bulk purchasing power; - consistency of supply arrangements within the sector; - 'networking' of best practices within user Departments; - administration resource savings due to unnecessary tender or quotation exercises. Details of Consortium contracts or supply arrangements are included in the Purchasing Buyers Guide. Further information relating to the Consortium appears on the website at North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium 13. Equality Statement The University of Salford is committed to pursuing a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities in employment, the provision of education to students and in its dealings with other stakeholders, internal and external customers, as well as members of the public. So far as is reasonably practicable and within the law, no-one shall receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, nationality or ethnic origins, religion or belief or be disadvantaged by conditions or requirements that cannot be shown to be justifiable. The University strives to ensure services are equally accessible to everyone and appropriate to the differing needs of all sections of the community it serves. Equality in service delivery makes sure the services the University provides meet the diverse needs of different groups. It does this by: ensuring the service is accessible, adequate and appropriate to the needs of all users. The University aims to achieve a consistent approach to equality in the delivery of all its services to both staff and students. The University also expects people working on its behalf to practice equal opportunities. They must be clear about the University’s position on equality and be aware of the requirements placed upon them to adhere to its policies. The University takes a proactive approach to its obligations arising from Equal Opportunities legislation. All organisations wishing to provide services on its behalf must be able to demonstrate that all reasonably practicable steps are taken to allow equal access and equal treatment in employment and service delivery for all. If they fail to do this they could make the University, and in some cases individuals, liable to legal action. 14: BUYERS GUIDE Purchasing Services has a Buyers Guide on the Purchasing Web site with a listing of all current contracts or supply arrangements (http://www.purchasing.salford.ac.uk/internal/buyers_guide/) The Guide covers a large proportion of goods and services purchased by the University. Where any necessary or regular items are purchased but not contained within the Guide, please advise Purchasing Services. Standard Items and Contracts As defined in the Buyers Guide these are items normally used and purchased by all user Departments although some items are ordered via Estates. Purchasing Services will update the web page (additions, new contract details, etc.) to ensure that the Guide remains current. 15: FINANCIAL HEALTH CHECKS Purchasing Services has the responsibility of carrying our financial appraisals on new and existing suppliers. Financial appraisals will take the form of a credit report via N2Check. Although credit reports and audited accounts provide a good indication of Suppliers financial status or ‘health’, care must always be taken as the information can be up to 12 months out of date. Due to the diversity and volume of University business it is not appropriate to carry out financial appraisals on all Suppliers – this will depend on the contract value but is mandatory for all new purchases / contracts that have been through the tender process. 16: SUPPLIER APPRAISAL It is an objective of the University to continually improve the quality of goods and services delivered into the University by external suppliers. Any problems arising with the supply of goods and services should always be notified to Purchasing Services immediately to ensure they are dealt with promptly and are not allowed to escalate. Staff in Purchasing Services are skilled in dealing with suppliers and should always be involved in any discussions that take place. Supplier performance on University contracts are regularly reviewed through the Contract Monitoring process. Where appropriate, contracted suppliers will attend regular review meetings throughout the life of the contract. The timings of the meetings will depend on the type of contract, frequency of issues etc and will be decided between Purchasing Services, the user department and the Supplier. Meetings may include discussions regarding the supplier’s performance and adherence to the service Level Agreement / contract terms. 17: APPROVED SUPPLIERS 1. Approved Suppliers An approved supplier is one who has been authorised by the Head of Procurement to supply goods and/or services in accordance with Purchasing Procedures; Selection of Potential Suppliers (section 5) and Dealing with Suppliers (section 9). University personnel are required to utilise the existing Supplier base for the supply of goods and services. In considering a variation of supply a user must indicate their intention before placing an order by completion of a New Supplier Form ( LINK) Purchasing Services will then consider the requirements of the user, evaluate the supplier and will confirm their decision within TWO working days. Purchasing Services will then inform the Creditors Office within Financial Services of their decision by authorising the Application. Purchase Orders must not be placed with Suppliers until approved by Purchasing Services. If the user has already placed an order they must be considered in breach of Financial Regulations. User concerns/problems should be directed in the first instance to Purchasing Services. The payment of Approved Suppliers shall be in accordance with the Creditor Payment Business Rules. Purchasing Services can negotiate special terms subject to the cash flow requirements of the University to ensure the availability of funds. Special payment terms must then be communicated to the Creditors office before the invoice is received. 18: PURCHASING CARDS 1. Chapter 1 - The Purchasing Card 2. Chapter 2 - Purchasing 3. Chapter 3 - Safeguarding the Use of the Card 4. Chapter 4 - Contacts and Useful Telephone Numbers 5. Chapter 5 - Processing Purchasing Card Transactions 6. Chapter 6 - Procedure for the Introduction of Suppliers to the Purchasing Card System 7. Appendix 1 - University Instructions for On-Line Auctions Chapter 1 - The Purchasing Card 1.1 Why the Purchasing Card? The Purchasing Card offers the University of Salford the opportunity to involve both the focus and the flexibility of its purchasing procedures. Card users will benefit by enhancing their ability to make decisions which will directly affect and impact on their departments, whilst there will also be a reduction in the volume of invoices and associated paperwork All of this will be done without compromising our control of the University’s money and, at the same time, we will benefit from higher quality management information as supplied by the service provider. 1.2 The Purchasing Card The card looks like any normal credit card, embossed on the card is the following:- The University name The Card user Name and Cost Centre and Budget Code Expiry Date Card Number A card user will not be allowed to breach the rules regarding the use of the card contained within this document. Each card user will be notified of the credit limits applicable to the card under their responsibility. Chapter 2 - Purchasing 2.1 When a purchasing requirement has been identified, the card user should:- 2.1.1 Check to see if the total value of the purchase is within the transaction limit. If the item is outside the limit, then the normal purchasing procedures are followed. 2.1.2 Check if it can be sourced by an existing supplier, who is able to accept Visa. You should visit the Purchasing Services web pages first at www.purchasing.salford.ac.uk to check if you can use University approved suppliers. 2.1.3 If the intended purchase meets the above criteria, the purchasing card should be used to purchase the product or service. 2.2. Exceptions The following cannot be purchased using the card:- Cash Petrol Flowers Online Auctions IT Hardware/Software The card should not be used with: Paypal Worldpay Secpay Staples PC World Comet Argos Ikea Misco Viking Direct Hobsons Overseas travel - due to VAT implications, the card should be only be used for: Hotels Accommodation Travel Conferences 2.3 On Line Statements All purchasing card transactions are available to view on line by card holders and it is recommended that spend is monitored at least weekly to check for any irregularities. All card holders must register with Barclaycards web service - an e-mail with instructions will be issued by the administrator to web enable this service when the cards are issued. 2.4 Who can use the card ONLY the card user may use the card and is responsible for the card details. Any breach of this may result in disciplinary action and your card being removed. You should not allow colleagues to use your card under any circumstances. 2.5 How to use the Card The card can be used for:- Telephone/verbal ordering Point of sale (remittance slip / face to face) Booking forms On-line purchasing 2.6 Purchasing with the Card You should ensure that: The card user identifies purchasing requirement. Contact the supplier to ensure that they can accept the Visa payment. Proceed to order goods / services quoting all relevant numbers and confirming with the supplier the amount of the transaction. The Visa voucher is sent with the goods advice note which is dispatched with the goods or by post in the case of a services related purchase. The VAT receipt must be under separate cover to the card user's address. Both items to be addressed to the card user and marked "Paid by Visa" Update card user log with all purchase details upon placement of order. Goods/service received - including VAT receipt. Please ensure that you include the actual receipt and not the credit card cardholder copy. Goods/service checked and reconciled to requirements. Receive and verify monthly credit card statement (see 2.7 below) 2.7 Problems with the Supply of Goods / Services Responsibility of the Card user If you find that the supplier cannot honour your order immediately contact the supplier requesting a refund voucher is put through the purchasing card and aVAT credit note is issued. Does the supplier agree to issue a credit? Yes No Details on transaction log and await receipt of credit, update Pursue with supplier until transaction log. agreement is reached. On receipt of statement check credit has been included. If credit has not been received, contact supplier to find out when the refund voucher was processed. NOTE: If all else fails and a credit cannot be obtained contact the Head of Procurement. 2.8. Dealing with the Purchasing Card Statement Responsibility of the Card user On receipt of the statement ensure that you have all the VAT invoices IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE IF YOU DO HAVE THE VAT INVOICES VAT INVOICES Check that the details on the statement are the same as Contact the supplier and request a invoice details and log sheet copy invoice Await copy invoice Does the transaction log correspond to the statement? YES Are the statement details correct? YES Get your authorising person to sign and date the transaction log Send the transaction log to creditor payments within 21 working days Keep all invoices, receipts and statements within department. Purchasing Services check the monthly statements for all purchases via the purchasing Card. If you receive a query from Purchasing Services you should respond as a matter of urgency to satisfy audit requirements. 2.9 Dealing with the Transaction Log Responsibility of the Card user On the face of your log sheet, enter the following: Name, Department and Extension Number Enter each individual transaction detail onto the log Make sure you get a receipt/invoice for each transaction. Review weekly and chase suppliers for invoices not received Check invoice details against log details Keep receipt / invoice and await receipt of monthly statement Update transaction log with outstanding details, and keep a record of any invoices that do not appear and await the next statement 2.10 Checking the VAT Invoice Responsibility of the Card user On receipt of the invoice - is the following correct? (Check against entry on the log sheet): Items Quantity Price On receipt of the invoice is the following correct? Yes No Attach invoice to, and Immediately contact supplier requesting a refund voucher is put On receipt of the invoice is the following correct? Yes No update, the log sheet through Purchasing Card and a VAT credit note. Chapter 3 - Safeguarding the Use of the Card 3.1 The Card user The card user ONLY may use the card and is responsible for the card details. Your purchasing card must be stored in a locked fixed (not mobile) safe at all times. If you do not have access to a fixed safe your card must be retained by the Finance Division. It is essential that your card remains on University property at all times and is not stored in your purse or wallet. 3.2 Credit Limits The card user will be advised of their overall credit limit. The maximum spend on a single transaction value including VAT is £1500.00. You must not split transactions to avoid the single transaction limit. Disaggregation of spend will be reported to internal audit. The monthly limit for your card is £7,500 The reporting period for this is 29th of each calendar month. Occasionally you may need to increase your limit which can be done almost instantly if the request is approved. Should the need arise please contact Purchasing Services directly to arrange. 3.3 Procedures The procedures shown in this manual must be followed at all times. If the card user has any concerns regarding the use of the card, advice can be sought from any of the contact people in 4.0 below. 3.4. Administration Centre (Finance Division) Finance Division will maintain a register of all card users, card numbers and locations. Any change of location or bucket code must be notified in writing immediately. All statements will be checked for misappropriation of University funds. Detailed analysis data is available and will be used for control purposes by the Finance Division. For procedure regarding misuse of the card, please refer to 3.7. For internal regulations regarding use of the card, please refer to 3.8. 3.5. Leavers It is the card user's responsibility to ensure that notice of their leaving is given to Purchasing Services at the earliest opportunity. It is the responsibility of the immediate manager of the leaver to ensure that the above information is passed to Finance Division in writing. 3.6. Unauthorised use of the Card Details. In the event of unauthorised personnel obtaining card details The authorised card user must inform Purchasing Services immediately. The card will be stopped immediately. A replacement card number will be arranged and provided as soon as possible. 3.7. Misuse of the Card The card MUST ONLY BE USED to procure goods / services on behalf of the University of Salford by the cardholder. Any misappropriation of University funds will be treated as GROSS MISCONDUCT and dealt with in accordance with the University's disciplinary procedures. 3.8. Financial Regulations and Purchasing Policy 1. The purchasing card facility must be used in conjunction with the University's Financial Regulations and Purchasing Policy. 2. It is mandatory that card users will continue to place their business with University approved suppliers wherever possible. Internal audit will check regularly for non- compliance and checks will also be made against reports provided by the purchasing card company. Should failure to comply be detected, card users will be asked to officially explain their actions. 3. The minimum penalty for continued non-compliance with either 3.8a or 3.8b will be a suspension of card privileges. Other sanctions may also be imposed. Chapter 4 - Contact People And Useful Telephone Numbers Useful Contacts Name Title Tel Mon-Yee General Finance Assistant - Purchasing 57239 Ling Enquiries Liz Owen Accounts Manager - Purchasing 55017 David Horton Head of Procurement 57983 Hilary Wright Creditor Payments - Finance 55159 Kelly Management Accounts - Finance 54219 Other Contacts Millward Hazel Walne Creditor Payments - Finance 55043 Company Barclaycard* Help Desk 0345 (Middlesborough) 001001 * Quote card number, name and transaction query, date and amount. Chapter 5 - Processing Purchasing Card Transactions 5.1 Making a Purchase Purchases can be made using a "purchasing card" following the guidelines for this purpose. Please note that the provisions of the University's purchasing policy still apply. 5.2 Transaction log Details of all purchases should be entered onto the transaction log at the time the purchase is made. A transaction log must be submitted to Creditor Payments within 21 from the date of the statement. The transaction log must be signed by the duly authorised signatory. If transaction logs are not submitted within the required timescales the card will be suspended. 5.3 Input on to AGRESSO Transactions should be posted onto the Agresso system using one batch at month end. The batch must be checked against the total on the statement to ensure it accurately reflects the actual spend for the month. Once the batch has been entered the batch number must be noted on the transaction log before it is sent to the Creditor Payment department. The 2228 purchasing card control account must be checked to ensure it has a zero balance after the batch has been entered. Any balance remaining in the 2228 account after the batch posting must be investigated and cleared within 21 days of the statement date. 5.4 Receipt of Goods/Services When the goods or services have been received the "goods received" column of the transaction log should be initialled. Similarly, when the invoice arrives (by separate cover) the "invoice received" column should be initialled. The invoice details should be checked against those entered on the transaction log. If the invoice is incorrect a query should be raised immediately with the supplier. If the transaction log is wrong it should be corrected. Copies of invoices received in respect of purchasing card transactions should be attached to the copy of the transaction log on which they are recorded. NB Care should be taken to ensure that these invoices are not processed onto AGRESSO. 5.5 Statement check The statement date is the end of the month. When the statement arrives it should be checked against the transaction log. The statement date should be entered on the log for every transaction listed on the statement. Any items appearing on the statement which are not on this month's transaction log (or brought forward from an earlier month) must be investigated immediately. If they are genuine purchases they should be entered on the log and input to Agresso. If not they must be queried with the supplier and a credit requested. Any items on the transaction log which do not appear on the statement should have the statement date left blank - they should appear on a later statement. When the check is complete the statement should be initialed, the transaction log should be signed by the card user and the designated authorised signatory. The transaction log should be sent to Creditor payments, not the statements or receipts. 5.6 Payments Payments of amounts spent using purchase card will be made monthly by direct debit. The payment will be made 7 days after the statement date. Payments will be processed in Creditor Payments Office. The total spent by each card user will be charged to the department's purchasing card bucket code. 5.7 Agresso input of Purchasing Card Transactions From the main menu select as follows: Agresso Financials Accounts payable Payments Manual payments You will now see the input screen First Stage For the first line of the transaction, use the following procedure: Tab through the period and transaction date these are automatically generated Transaction number - tab through (generated at the end) The account code is 2228 (purchasing card account code) Cost centre - tab through Project code - (F9 to search if not known) - the project code of Visa payments usually contains Z03 - enter your 'bucket' code Tab to current amount - input negative amount eg. If total on the statement is £100 (inc. VAT), type in -100 The figure will appear in red Next The text - it is very important that this filled in include your department, for example CPO or Languages. Also include 'Visa Statement m/e _ _ / _ _ / _ _ _ _ Type in PCP (for Purchasing Card Process) and the name of the company the goods were bought from. Tab through to the bottom of the table and the information appears at the bottom of the screen Second Stage Tab through to the start, (account code) follow the procedure as before only changing the account code and the project code with the relevant codes to be charged The tax code is left at zero (even if there is VAT on the goods) The amount should be a positive black figure now, including VAT The text, again this field must be filled in. Please input the details of the supplier, PCP, invoice number, invoice date and the goods purchased. There is space for 50 characters so put in as much information as possible. Tab down to the bottom, and the table total changes to zero. When the lines are balanced to zero the transaction can be saved Press the save button and note the transaction number on the log sheet Agresso will not allow you to save the transaction if the last line does not balance Chapter 6 - Procedure for the Introduction of Suppliers to the Purchasing Card System 6.1 First Contact Card users should first check that their primary suppliers are VISA capable. 6.2 Register of VISA capable suppliers Purchasing Services intends to keep an up-to-date register of all regularly used, VISA capable, University suppliers who will be placed on the University web pages. Card users are advised to check this list prior to contact with a supplier. 19: NEGOTIATION BRIEFING NOTES Why negotiate As we are spending taxpayers money, we are publicly accountable and must ensure that value for money is obtained. Negotiation is one method of achieving this. Also savings made enable budget holders to gain more from typically decreasing budgets. When conducted with integrity and professionalism negotiation is a perfectly logical step in the procurement process. It must be carefully planned and managed so that confidence and trust in the purchaser (which in the longer term translates into better value for money) are always retained. Suppliers who realise that their customer always wishes to negotiate will invariably add a little on to their price to compensate. Conducting a basic negotiation A negotiation strategy should be developed prior to the negotiations taking place. Analysing information, identifying objectives, formulating a strategy and ensuring that you are authorised to conduct the proposed negotiations will help you to negotiate from a position of strength and achieve an effective result. Ensure you differentiate from facts and assumptions. 1. Pre-Meeting Strategy Development When creating your strategy consider all potential items for negotiation and ways in which the University’s needs may be met. Consider also the current market trends and the suppliers current and future business situation e.g. seasonal variations, current financial standing and market strategies. Analyse the faults of suppliers products, even if they are unimportant to the purchaser, getting the supplier to identify / confirm weaknesses can put the balance of power on your side. Considering many options will allow you to change tack during negotiations if necessary. 1a. What to negotiate Price (except in EU contracts) supply and cost of spare parts earlier delivery/completion dates warranties/guarantees/maintenance/repair/after sales service compensation for failure to meet specified requirements. quantity/educational discounts. This list is not exhaustive, it is a concept of purchasing that “everything is negotiable”. 2. Meeting - Introduction Home ‘turf’ is always useful, familiarity with environment and information to hand offers a position of strength from which to conduct proceedings. The meeting should commence with an introduction, giving background information and gently leading up to points to discuss. Allow suppliers time to talk, you can pick up useful information prior to negotiating. 3. Meeting - Discussion Commencing the process of discussion, start with items you will find easy to agree on to build a relationship. Suggest a break if things become difficult or deadlocked. 4. Tactics Ask suppliers what you could do to improve your dealings with them, there may be something important to them which involves little effort on your part. Such concessions can dramatically improve a supplier’s impression of the University as a customer. Salespeople are highly trained and motivated to fend off their competitors and win your custom so be on your guard. Avoid situations where a supplier knows they will get an order. This can occur when they have the best product to meet our needs, deadline date or because an end user has advised them! When undertaking team negotiations ensure that all members are aware of their role in the negotiations and the tactics to be deployed. Ask for cost breakdowns to include the profit margin, labour and various product components. This enables comparison between suppliers, which you can then use to query any anomalies. Recognise suppliers strengths and weaknesses in relation to your requirements. Ensure that your weaknesses are played down, put in a positive light, or not disclosed at all. Make more of the suppliers weaknesses and less of their strengths. Make more of your strengths. Think not of how little your concessions mean to you but of how much they may mean to the supplier. Reserve your position until you see the full scope of the proposed deal. Never agree point by point. Using conditional language e.g. if... then perhaps ... can assist you in this. Try not to concede without gaining a concession from the supplier, always SOMETHING FOR SOMETHING! Observe how the supplier negotiates and adjust your tactics accordingly, or choose to take the lead. 5. Meeting - Close Once agreement has been made summarise the points and method of implementation. Make an effort to leave the supplier with some satisfaction at the completion of a negotiation. Such satisfaction may be nothing more than understanding why it has been necessary for him to make concessions. Aim for a ‘win win’ situation. 6. Ethics Contracts for the supply of goods and services do not have to be in writing to be legally enforceable and so great care must be taken during any negotiations to avoid entering contracts orally. Negotiation should not be conducted in ways, which put suppliers at a disadvantage, distort competition or adversely affect trust in the procurement process. Avoid Dutch auctions and empty threats and ensure suppliers are treated in an honest, fair and ethical manner whilst retaining confidentiality of their bids. Exercise of control on all types of information, only partially revealing or choosing only that which is suitable for your purpose, is a perfectly legitimate tactic. Care should be taken however to avoid leaving bidders with a misleading impression, otherwise the failure to supply the information may be held to be a misrepresentation by omission. If discussions regarding bid clarification result in an exchange of further information to one or more of the suppliers it is imperative that the same information is given to all bidders. Negotiations must be fully documented so that a clear audit trail is left. Those suppliers who have been unsuccessful should be given constructive feedback to assist them in becoming more competitive for future requirements in the interest of market forces. For negotiation to be effective both parties must foster a relationship that is based on trust, fair dealing and respect for each others viewpoint. 7. Post Tender Negotiation Post Tender Negotiation must only be undertaken with a member of Purchasing Services. 20: PURCHASING GUIDANCE NOTES WHEN BIDDING FOR FUNDS Below are a number of ‘key’ points that will have to be considered and acted upon when University staff are bidding for funds to purchase equipment and services. It is important for ‘bidders’ to recognise any mandatory requirements as they could affect the timeframe and procurement process if the bid were to be successful. University Financial Regulations All purchases for equipment and services are subject to the University’s Financial Regulations. Headline Regulations are, Purchases up to £5k – estimated price Purchases £5k to £50k – a minimum of three written quotations Purchases £50k to £100k Purchases £100k to £156k Purchases greater than £156k, subject to EU Procurement (tender) Regulations (see below). – allow a minimum of six months for this process Statutory Requirements All purchases for equipment and services over the value of £156k that could be aggregated or purchased from a single supplier will be subject to EU Procurement Regulations. What does this mean? Each procurement is subject to statutory regulations and timetables. For an ‘open’ tender all applicants must receive a tender pack. The tender timeframe is a minimum of 52 days. The specification must be generic and must not include any artificial ‘lock out’ barriers to competition within the specification i.e. quoting any ‘brand names’. Every supplier must be treated equally and fairly. If the EU Tender Regulations are NOT followed precisely then the University may be challenged in a court of law and if found guilty could be fined up to the value of the potential contract. External Requirement and Good Practice Purchasing Most external funding agencies now impose procedures on bidding institution. These will be a combination of strict procedures or good practices. Organisations such as HEFCE, the Research Councils and the Wellcome Trust all insist the proper tender regulations are observed and ‘whole life costings’ are included within the bid and procurement process. Most agencies now insist the institution Purchasing Office is included within the process and sign off the bid/procurement documentation. Failure to do so may result in the bid not being accepted or funds being denied. What is ‘whole life costing’? Whole life costing asks that the purchase of equipment or a service be costed through to the end of the expected life of the equipment or project. This will include but not limited to, Initial purchase cost Delivery and implementation costs Consultancy, manuals and Training Annual maintenance and licensing costs, Consumables and spares Upgrades Insurance Resale or trade in value It is important that Purchasing Services is included early on in the bid process as they can advise in more depth, the various requirements involved in a ‘high value’ purchase. 21. CONSULTANCY CONTENTS 1. FOREWORD 2. PRINCIPLES 3. FINANCIAL REGULATIONS 4. THE PROCESS 5. GUIDELINES 6. METHODS OF PAYMENT ADVICE ON DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN EMPLOYEE AND SELF- EMPLOYED STATUS 1. Foreword THE PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT IS TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE TO THOSE MEMBERS OF STAFF INVOLVED IN THE DIFFICULT TASK OF HIRING EXTERNAL CONSULTANTS TO UNDERTAKE WORK ON BEHALF OF THE UNIVERSITY. THE FOLLOWING CHECK LISTS, PROCEDURES AND PRINCIPLES WILL PROVIDE COMPLETE ASSURANCE IN THE SAFETY OF THE PLACEMENT OF A CONSULTANCY. PLEASE REMEMBER THE PURCHASING OFFICE ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO ASSIST AND CONTACT SHOULD BE MADE WITH THE HEAD OF PROCUREMENT ON EXT. 57983 IN THE FIRST INSTANCE IF ANY MEMBER OF STAFF WISHES TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR EXPERTISE IN THIS MATTER. The aim of this document is to improve the quality of consultants’ reports as a management tool by laying out the University’s expectations, highlighting best practice and documenting the risks associated with consultant reports and presentations. In general terms, as part of a broader management framework, consultant reports, like all other elements of such a framework, must be subject to and demonstrate value for money, risk awareness, audit ability and a connectedness to corporate planning and strategic priorities. In specific terms the outputs of such consultant contributions should demonstrate objectivity, rigour, validity, reliability, coherence and focus. These general and specific considerations are directly related. A consultant’s report which lacks validity will lack value for money. Similarly a review which lacks objectivity is unlikely to contribute satisfactorily to risk assessment or mitigation processes. The cost of ineffective or flawed consultancy is potentially not just the fee paid for the consultancy work but the business cost of poor decisions made on the basis of such consultancy. All consultants’ reports are different and the commissioning conditions and briefs can vary significantly. There is no single correct way to carry out effective consultancy. However, the University is committed to maximising the quality of decision making generally and is focused therefore on establishing best practice in relation to those reports it commissions. The following set of principles indicates a set of expectations to which all consultants and commissioning mangers should adhere. Promotion of these principles and raising awareness of the issues they address, both internally and to potential consultants, is designed to raise standards of consultancy reports and improve decision making. POLICY 2.0 Principles 2.1 All consultancies will be expected to adhere to a professional Code of Practice This will be either the MCA (Management Consultancies Association) Code of Professional Conduct or equivalent1. Additionally all consultancies shall adhere to the University’s policies on diversity and equal opportunities in all work and not just such work which has diversity as an explicit element of the brief. 2.2 All consultancies will be appropriately commissioned. This means that all commissions will be consistent with the University’s Financial Regulations and will normally incorporate the model contract for consultants issued by Financial Services. 2.3 All consultancies will have a clear brief This means that all consultancies will have as a minimum a written statement of The scope of the work with relevant terms appropriately defined The methodologies and instruments to be used (e.g. survey, interview, focus group etc) In the case of survey work the population from which the sample will be drawn and the sampling frame. A stated link to University Strategy (e.g. Corporate Plan, Risk Register, VFM schedule or equivalent), and previous relevant documents and research work where known. Who is commissioning the consultancy and to whom the outputs should be delivered in the first instance The nature of the outputs (reports, presentations etc) The time frame for final report and any intermediate drafts to be delivered Utilising the Standard Contract for the Purchase of Consultancy will cover all of the above requirements. 2.4 All quantitative surveys will be reliable, valid and appropriately executed and reported. This means that Survey questions will adhere to social science good practice and questions or items should be both reliable and valid. Appropriate confidentiality and informed consent must be exercised. Statistical analysis should be decided prior to data collection. Samples used in surveys should be representative of the population defined in the brief. Large samples can still be unrepresentative. The sampling method should be clearly defined and will normally be randomly determined (involving stratification where appropriate). Where there is weighting of samples by key population variables to yield better population estimates, this should be clearly documented and justified. Where appropriate and feasible, new or bespoke question sets should be piloted prior to full survey. 2.5 All statistical results reported in surveys should be accurate, comprehensible to the intelligent lay reader and should not be misleading or overstated. This means that statistical findings should be presented clearly and rooted in the actual data. Comparative statistical judgments should reflect normal standards associated with inferential statistics. Survey response rates and any significant issues in validity arising from unsatisfactorily low response rates or potentially skewed response rates must be fore grounded. Specifically this means that: Where comparisons are the focus of a sample survey, differences should normally only be highlighted where they are statistically significant (normally at 5% level of significance but there will be exceptions). Tables which report means across groups (with or without claims of statistically significant differences) should also report measures of dispersion such as standard deviation. Nonparametric statistics should be used where more appropriate than parametric statistics. Parametric statistics should not be used where normal parametric assumptions are violated, with particular care and attention to Likert study data. Sub sample analyses should be reported with caution particularly where sub sample sizes are small. Statements which are only true of a sub sample should not be presented as being true of the sample as a whole. Equally, statements which are true of the sample as a whole should not be presented as true only of a sub sample. 2.6 All surveys should be auditable and reproducible This means that raw data, appropriately anonymized, should be available for any other party nominated by the commissioning manager to check statistical assumptions, calculations and inferential assessments as appropriate. The University will normally carry out an ‘evidence trail’ for a small number of selected specific conclusions in each final report (see below). 2.7 All qualitative surveys and associated reports will be clearly identified as such and conclusions presented appropriately. Focus groups, interviews and desk (document) reviews can make a significant contribution to policy or organizational development and review. They are able to identify emerging themes, patterns, perceptions and narratives. Appropriately designed and executed they can provide thought-provoking suggestions and possibilities which other methods fail to identify. However, such methods by their very nature are open to the dangers of subjective interpretations, incomplete summation and ‘spin’. There is no reason in principle why these difficulties cannot be overcome. Research suggests that such methods are least useful when the consultant is unfamiliar with the vocabulary, cultures and practices of the target population. This presents a particular challenge to consultants who can in principle add value through externality and disinterest. In practical terms such methods present further difficulties since (i) confidentiality and an ethical treatment of the participant’s contribution are paramount (ii) participants are not anonymous to the consultant, (iii) the elicitation of the participant’s views is conversational, (iv) in the case of focus groups, the participants’ contribution can reflect peer pressure and (v) in some settings more vocal and more confident participants can generate more content and be more influential. In some settings this can lead to some views from minority or less powerful respondents being excluded and undervalued. Consultants should demonstrate awareness of these limitations and put conclusions and recommendations in an appropriate context. Presentation of results of qualitative research is an area of particular difficulty due to the role of subjectivity, individuality, and particular circumstances in which the views of participants are solicited. Normally, the University will expect such methods at the early stages of a review to identify the areas meriting further structured assessment through surveys or other methods. Qualitative methods can support a wide range of activities and can add value on topics during periods of change or which are subject to multiple stakeholder perspectives. This means that Data from interviews and focus groups should not be presented as though they had been collected via a quantitative survey. Summaries, conclusions and recommendations based wholly or principally on qualitative methods should normally indicate areas or issues for further systematic structured work or robust analysis rather than be offered as definitive statements of stakeholders’ views in general. Consultant research involving qualitative methods should indicate how they have sought to ensure that issues around anonymity, ‘conversationalism’, peer pressure and inclusion have been addressed. It is acknowledged that these issues can never be entirely eliminated but conclusions should reflect that fact. Conclusions in qualitative research should be derived from the data as systematically as with quantitative research. Clear contemporaneous notes should be made at the point of elicitation of participants’ views such that they can normally be distinguished from any subsequent interpretative work done on such notes. It is good practice particularly in interview methods to allow the participant to check that the interviewer has correctly recorded the views expressed. This can be done by presenting a brief summary of main points. Consultants should be able to demonstrate how conclusions and recommendations follow from the data. The University will normally carry out an ‘evidence trail’ for a small number of selected specific conclusions in each final report while respecting the confidentiality of the data. Vague or casual statements such as ‘The view was expressed that X” or “Some respondents did not wish to comment on topic Y” add little value and should be avoided. Ideally the percentage of respondents in interviews indicating a specific view should be highlighted where a precise question is asked and answer given. However, this should not be used to give the impression of quantitative rigour where this is not valid. Clear statements of “small minority”, “large minority” [i.e. less than half], “majority”, “large majority”, “almost all” or “all” should be used. If other conventions are used they should be clearly flagged up. Whatever conventions are used they should be used consistently. Reporting specific quotes from participants can be a good way a highlighting a key issue in a manner which captures attention and help the reader relate to a perspective other than their own. However there is a danger that these can skew perceptions inappropriately. ‘Illustrative’ quotes should be used sparingly and should be representative. Report writers should avoid the temptation to foreground dramatic, extreme, witty or pithy comments when they are not representative of majority opinion2. Statements which are only true of a sub sample should not be presented as being true of the sample as a whole. Equally, statements which are true of the sample as a whole should not be presented as true only of a sub sample. 2.8 All consultancies will be evaluated and subject to audit As part of a commitment to continuous improvement, the University will assess the extent to which a consultancy brief has been met through a report from the commissioning manager normally to the commissioning managers own manger. 3.0 FINANCIAL REGULATIONS 3.1 the financial regulations of the university apply to all consultancy contracts let by the university. particularly important are those regulations pertaining to competition and proof of value for money specifically: (a) contracts over £5000 are let following at least three quotations being obtained. (b) contracts over £50,000 are subject to a formal tendering process involving a minimum of five suppliers. (c) contracts over £156,000 are subject to an eu tendering process and the university’s approved authorisation levels. where such conditions apply that compliance with a) or b) is not possible or impracticable then the approval of the director of finance, via the head of procurement must be obtained prior to the placing of any purchase order or contract (see 3.5). EU tenders are a legal requirement and as such the requirement cannot be waived. 3.2 CONTRACT SIGNATURES please refer to the delegated financial authority 3.3 TEACHING SERVICES, AND CONTRACTS INVOLVING MEMBERS OF STAFF if it is proposed that existing staff members undertake additional duties outside their job description, then advice should be sought, in the first instance, via human resources, given that it is not university policy to engage existing staff on consultancy contracts. 3.4 STANDARD CONTRACT the document “service level agreement” must be used for all consultancy contracts over £1,000 in total value (repeat contracts where the sum of the parts is over £1000 also require use of the contract). requests for assistance with variations or prospective alternative contracts should be addressed initially through the head of procurement 3.5 SINGLE SOURCE TENDERS OR QUOTATIONS the financial regulations require that all contracts let between £5,000 and £50,000 are subject to the three-quotation rule. in the unlikely event of only one quotation being obtained, a full written explanation stating the reasons for this should be sent to the head of procurement prior to any contract or order placement. the head of procurement will approve such contracts upon receipt of valid explanations. 3.6 RELATIONSHIP WITH PROSPECTIVE SUPPLIERS all members of staff are reminded of the university requirement for full disclosure of any personal relationships with prospective suppliers at the earliest possible juncture. 4.0 The Process: Hiring of Consultants Prepare Specification Check if internal resources are available OVER £50,000? Yes No Contact Purchasing Office to Send specification to prospective arrange formal tender consultants requesting quotation (minimum of 3 written quotes required) Receive and Assess Responses Meet with successful candidate to discuss Prepare contract and send to Head of Procurement Send signed contract to consultant to sign Once returned raise PURCHASE ORDER Monitor contract As part of a commitment to continuous improvement, the university will assess the extent to which a consultancy brief has been met through a report from the commissioning manager, normally to the commissioning managers own manager. GUIDELINES 5.1 INTRODUCTION the process of hiring external consultants can be difficult and resultant success of the consultancy can hinge on the strength, accuracy and arrangement of detail in the contract and contracting process. 5.2 SPECIFICATION the specification is a crucial part of any consultancy contract. this should contain: 1. a full brief for the prospective consultants outlining the university’s problem/needs/requirements. 2. detail of the scope and type of advice required from the prospective consultants. 3. detail of any constraints which the university wishes to place on the preferred solutions. 4. lists of tasks which must be performed by both university and prospective consultants. 5. timescales for the consultancy contract including expected start and completion dates. 6. a list of expected tangible deliverables from the prospective consultancy (see points 4.7.1 and 4.9.1 for further details) 7. references where appropriate. 5.3 INTERNAL RESOURCES once the specification document is complete, it is very important to consider the possibility of internal university resources providing solutions to the consultancy requirement. 5.4 PREPARATION FOR INVITATION TO QUOTE/TENDER 5.4.1. the financial regulations of the university dictate the route that should be followed as the next step. requirements where expected expenditure will be less than £50,000 can be covered by an invitation to quote. requirements above this figure are subject to a formal tendering requirement. 5.4.2. invitation to quote will normally be instigated by letter. a copy of the specification and a copy of the standard sla should always be sent with the letter. ( THE LETTER SHOULD ALSO CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: “any contract for consultancy resulting from this invitation will be covered only by the terms and conditions attached. other terms and conditions will not be accepted.” this has the effect of imposing the university contract at the earliest possible stage and responses can then only be sent subject to our terms and conditions. 5.4.3. the letter should also formally request that the prospective consultant sets out in full all charges for undertaking the work including: 1. a basis for the quoted fees. 2. a statement of total fees 3. expenses: wherever possible all expenses should be an inclusive item of the total fees. wherever this is not possible, see note 4.11.1 for further advice. 5.4.4 When engaging with an external consultant it is important to establish whether he/she is VAT registered. If the consultant is VAT registered, VAT at 15% will be incurred on the services supplied to the University, in most circumstances. In most cases the VAT will be a cost to the University (as the University cannot recover all of the VAT it incurs), and therefore this needs to be considered when determining the cost of a project. It is important to check the service contract with the consultant to determine whether the fees charged are VAT inclusive or exclusive. Where the consultant is not VAT registered, no VAT will be charged on their services to the University. 5.4.5. formal tenders are dealt with exclusively by the purchasing office and the head of procurement will have responsibility for ensuring the contract is sound and complete i.e. minimising risk whilst ensuring expected benefits are delivered. contact should be made at the earliest possible opportunity (extension 57983) to commence the tendering process, which can take up to 6 months. 5.5 THE TENDERING PROCESS there are several advantages and some misconceptions regarding the tendering process where some clarification is beneficial: 1. the actual tendering process need not be a long process, and indeed can be faster in some cases than a quotation exercise. 2. after the production of the specification, the purchasing office will undertake all the work up to the point of assessing tender responses. 3. the formal tendering process can be used for any value of contract over £50,000 and can in certain instances be used for values below this amount. 4. there is greater security and safety in the tendering process in that it forces suppliers to be very exact in their response. please consult with the head of procurement who can advise upon the tendering procedures (which can be found on the purchasing services web site) for further information and assistance. 5.6 ASSESSMENT OF RESPONSES 5.6.1. assessment of responses to either a tender or quotation exercise should be carried out against standard value for money criteria or technical merit as detailed within the specification. 5.6.2. it may be necessary and in some cases advisable to request the potential supplier to undertake a verbal presentation regarding their submission, in order for both parties to clarify points and aspects of the intended contract. this is however entirely up to the individual or working party overseeing the assessment part of the process. 5.7 MAKING A CONTRACT prior to award of contract, it will be necessary to undertake some final negotiation with the prospective consultant. points which require address could include: 1. method of authorisation for any additional work above the billing (invoicing) agreed for the original contract (if necessary). 2. method of payment and billing. 3. agree firm deliverables with the prospective consultant against which the success of the consultancy can be measured (see schedule a of the consultancy agreement). 4. confirm timescales (see schedule a of the consultancy agreement) 5. do you require the consultant to be exclusive to the university or to prevent them from supplying similar services elsewhere? if so contact the purchasing office who will obtain legal advice on your behalf. 5.8 CONTRACT AND SIGNATURE 5.8.1. once both parties have agreed to all aspects of the consultancy and prior to raising a purchase order, a consultancy agreement should be completed and sent to the head of procurement (see standard sla) who will arrange director of finance signature (refer to ‘authorisation levels’). 5.8.2. once signed the contract should then be sent to the supplier for signature and following return a purchase order can be raised and issued. 5.9 MONITORING OF CONSULTANCY it is important at stages of consultancies (particularly those of length in time) to assess progress against deliverables, timescales and costs. it must be remembered that the consultant has contracted to provide a timely and full service and any payment for service rests and should be linked to your satisfaction with the results. a timely warning if it is felt that targets are not being achieved may well rescue a situation, turning a poor result into something more acceptable. critical but constructive honesty should be welcomed by most consultants. therefore, monitoring or contract review meetings should always form part of the contract. 5.10 CONTRACT EXTENSION any contract extension will necessarily change the terms and/or circumstances of the original contract. the change could be in respect of payment, fees, agreed delivery time, agreed deliverables, reporting mechanisms etc. the safest way of dealing with this on a contractual basis is to agree and raise a new contract stating the new arrangement. any contract extensions shall be in compliance with the university’s financial regulations and eu tender regulations. 5.11 TRAVEL EXPENSES travel expenses should always be negotiated into the contract sum agreed to be paid to the consultant. on rare occasions this is not possible and it will be necessary to agree to pay daily travel and subsistence expenses on top of the contract sum. staff are advised to use the current university travel expense allowances for staff as a guideline to what can be considered a reasonable basis for negotiations, noting that expenses are revised annually. it is also important to constantly monitor all consultant expense claims insisting that receipts are rendered with each invoiced claim 5.12 ASSISTANCE every form of assistance with any and all aspects of this contracting process is always available from purchasing services. 6.0 METHODS OF PAYMENT there are only two methods which should be used to facilitate payment to suppliers, these being an agresso purchase order / invoice or procurement card. when contracting with consultants the preferred method of processing a payment will be through the agresso purchasing/finance system, by the receipt of an invoice from the consultant. Advice on Differentiation Between Employee and Self-Employed Status Firstly, it must be emphasised that the distinction between a contract of employment and a contract for services is very important. It affects whether a person is liable to pay income tax under PAYE, the level of National insurance contributions paid, whether a person is entitled to Statutory sick pay and whether the person has the employment protection and other rights of an employee. The difficulty for employers in making this distinction is that even when both parties explicitly agree that the contractual relationship between them is to have the status of a contract for services rather than be governed by a contract of employment, this agreement could be challenged by HMRC. Such a challenge could involve HMRC imposing expensive financial penalties. In some purported self-employment cases the HMRC has claimed arrears of PAYE from the employer on the grounds that the reality of the relationship was that of employer and employee under a contract of employment. The University wishes to minimise the risk of this situation arising and, accordingly, wishes to ensure that the contractual arrangements entered into correctly reflect the status of that relationship as either one of employment or self-employment. This issue is not merely of hypothetical interest. In a recent case a University had to defend itself at an Industrial Tribunal case brought by a person formerly engaged by that University on a self-employed basis who claimed that in reality he was an employee of the University and should, therefore, enjoy specific employment rights and protections. Correspondence was also issued to the same University from the HMRC querying the self-employed status of another individual paid by the University on a consultancy basis. Unfortunately, there is no simple checklist of factors which allow the distinction between the two categories of contractual relationships to be safely made. The courts have made judgements on individual cases based on an overall assessment of all the relevant factors in a particular case, accepting that not all the relevant factors are of equal weight or importance in any given situation. Being employed or self employed in one job does not mean that a person will have the same status in another job. A consultant could be employed and self employed at the same time. It is the responsibility of those engaging consultants to ascertain the correct status. The HMRC do have a useful online tool to try; https://esi2calculator.hmrc.gov.uk/esi/external-cod.html which provides a series of questions for you to answer, and then provides a guide to the consultants status. Employed or self-employed? A consultant answering ‘Yes’ to all of the following questions may indicate employee status. 1. Do you have to do the work yourself? 2. Can someone tell you at any time what to do, where to carry out the work or when and how to do it? 3. Do you work a set amount of hours? 4. Can someone move you from task to task? 5. Are you paid by the hour, week or month? 6. Can you get overtime pay or bonus payment? A consultant answering ‘Yes’ to all of the following questions may indicate self-employed status. 1. Can you hire someone to do the work for you or engage helpers at your own expense? 2. Do you risk your own money? 3. Do you provide the main items of equipment you need to do your job, not just the small tools many employees provide for themselves? 4. Do you agree to do a job for a fixed price regardless of how long the job may take? 5. Can you decide what work to do, how and when to do the work and where to provide the services? 6. Do you regularly work for a number of different people? 7. Do you have to correct unsatisfactory work in your own time and at your own expense? The general advice is that wherever there is an element of ambiguity about the status of a proposed contractual relationship the University should commission the work under a contract of employment so as to eliminate vulnerability to subsequent challenge by either the HMRC or the DSS in respect of PAYE contributions or National Insurance contributions respectively. Please do not hesitate to contact Sara Lee, (Payroll Manager) (x 54193 / firstname.lastname@example.org) whenever you are in need of advice as to the appropriate nature of any proposed contractual relationship. Finally, All formal offers of employment and contracts of employment may only be issued by Human Resources (with the authority of the Head of Service). and When you propose to enter into a contract for services you must first send a new supplier account request to the Purchasing Office. 22. Environmental Statement The University of Salford is constantly striving towards reducing the University’s impact on climate change as well as tackle issues such as resources efficiency, waste minimisation and environmental awareness. Sustainability should be considered as part of its value for money process and environmental issues should be considered in the procurement of supplies, services or works. Environmental responsibility should be a factor in procurement decisions. The University is committed to: Preventing pollution and promoting the protection of the environment and minimising the impact of all activities on the environment; Contributing to a sustainable and healthy future by conserving natural resources and minimising avoidable waste and pollution; Implementing effective waste management through reuse and recycling procedures and the purchase of recycled and recyclable material where possible; Consider goods and services which may be manufactured, used and disposed of in an environmentally responsible way; Give preference, where items are of a similar cost, to those that are manufactured with a high recycled content or are environmentally preferable; Consider whole life costs and impacts when assessing equipment for purchase, such as: Manufacture, transport and installation; Operating costs including energy, water use and maintenance; End of life costs including decommissioning and disposal. Work proactively with the local authority, the North Western University Purchasing Consortium, other universities and the community at large to progress sustainable procurement initiatives and exchange best practice; Minimise any adverse environmental impact of any new University development and major renovation, and ensure sustainability is included in the design of new buildings; Work with suppliers to make them aware of the University’s Environmental Procurement Policy and ensure the environmental credentials of suppliers; Training and the raising of awareness of staff to ensure they consider environmental issues in procurement decisions; Ensuring that wherever possible sustainability issues are integrated into the specification; Where legitimately permitted consideration of other sustainability issues such as the procurement of ethical and Fairtrade goods and services. 23: PURCHASING FLOWCHART Does a contract exist for the goods/services you wish to purchase? Don’t know No Yes Place your order by Check on Purchasing Services website How much are you Purchasing Card or on buyers guide spending singly or Agresso cumulatively excluding VAT? Purchasing Card Agresso Up to £100 £100 - £5,000 £5,001 - £50,000 £50,001 Typically used for Ensure supplier set up on Agresso before ordering. To set a supplier upwards stationery, mobile up complete form1 and email to purchasing. Petty cash Obtain an Obtain 3 written Tender phones and any “low or the estimated price quotations and procedure value, one-off” Your order should contain: Purchasing from the supplier EG2 process contact purchases. Generally Price Card Purchasing limited to £1500 per Delivery date should be Office transaction and £7000 Delivery charge if any used. as soon as per month Delivery address possible for Detail your name and tel no for queries advice Anything the supplier wishes you to quote on your order eg ref no’s. Ensure that you only trade on the University’s terms and conditions. If a supplier wishes you to accept their conditions contact Purchasing. 24. Information Technology Procurement Policy Purpose The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for the procurement of all IT hardware, software, and any externally hosted systems or software for the University. Introduction The University has agreed standards in place for desktop software, operating systems, computer networks and computer hardware and peripherals. This standardisation is essential as it allows the University’s IT Department to provide a quality service. The main benefit areas are: ITS Support Staff are familiar with hardware and peripherals, thus speeding up fault finding; The ITS Department is able to stock standard spares in order to reduce down time; Network, software and hardware installations are planned and coordinated centrally by experienced network engineers; IT staff with relevant skills are recruited. This policy outlines the procedures that must be in place to achieve these benefits and to ensure the purchase, delivery and installation of IT equipment is coordinated successfully. This policy has been developed in conjunction with the University’s Purchasing Department. Software and Hardware Purchasing Guidelines: The ITS Department is the sole authority for placing orders for IT software and hardware on behalf of the University regardless of the source of funding. All IT related purchases will need to have full approval and authorisation prior to requisitioning. All IT related hardware and software will be specified by the ITS SMT. Hardware and software cannot be purchased without approval by ITS All requests for purchasing of equipment or software, whether as individual items or as part of a larger project, must be sent to the ITS Service Desk who will process the request as per the ITS process. • ITS will make a decision whether to approve, decline or amend the requirements for the purchase of the equipment; • If equipment or software is declined or changed, ITS will provide a brief explanation to the requesting manager for the decision; IT Services will keep the customer informed of the decision and the outcomes if ordered. • If the equipment is approved or changed then ITS will order the equipment directly with supplies; Where equipment is authorised and ordered, an installation window will be proposed, however this may change according to IT priorities; The ITS Department has a standard set-up procedure for new hardware, software and systems. This procedure ensures the equipment is configured correctly and that all IT security measures are addressed. This includes the set up of passwords, anti-virus software and security marking the equipment and adding the UoS asset management database; The ITS Department will not install software or hardware unless it has been involved in the specification of both. Hardware and software cannot be installed by non-ITS staff. The ITS Department will ensure that all of the University’s IM&T policies, procedures and SOPs are followed when setting up software and hardware. Installation of replacement equipment will be given priority over new equipment in order to maintain continuity in the existing service. External IT Services Purchasing Guidelines: External IT Services include: Hosting of software, accessing third party software (except via the internet), maintenance / support services and any other third party supplied IT related service including consultancy. All requests for External IT Services must be sent via the ITS Service Desk ITS is the sole authority for placing orders for External IT Services ITS will make a decision whether to approve, decline or amend the requirements for purchasing of these services. If external IT Services are declined or changed, ITS will provide a brief explanation to the requesting manager for the decision; IT Services will keep the customer informed of the decision and the outcomes if ordered. Substantial IT Investment (>£100k) Purchases involving substantial IT investment (>£100k) must be authorised by the IT Governance Group (ITGG). • Applications for this size of project should follow the normal route via the ITS Service Desk who will pass the request initially to the ITS Programme Management Office (ITS PMO) • ITS PMO MUST be consulted as part of the Business Case preparation as they will advise on the best solution and ensure that it meets user requirements, represents best value for money, is compatible with current UoS infrastructure requirements and fits with the overall UoS Strategy. ITS PMO will help in the production of the relevant Business Case for submission to ITGG as appropriate. • Funding for projects of this size must have been budgeted and authorised by Capital Investment Group prior to submission to ITGG for approval. • Once ITGG has approved the proposal and prioritised the work accordingly, ITS PMO will manage the IT implementation of both hardware and software utilising standard project management methodology. • In all cases ITS must be represented on any project or project / programme Board for investments of this nature. Desktop / Laptop Provision (Managed Service) The UoS has a replacement policy for Desktop and Laptop provision via a third party managed service. This provision is designed to ensure that the equipment is both up-to-date and fully supportable whilst ensuring that the University obtains maximum value for money by utilising our volume purchasing power. A standard range of equipment is available, however, specialist needs are catered for and special requests for non-standard or additional equipment should be made via the ITS Service Desk. Requests will be considered on an individual needs basis provided that no equivalent specification is available from the standard list. Staff members are limited to a single desktop PC except where individuals need to be out of the office for periods of time then a laptop can be provided instead of the normal desktop PC / Terminal. Where a laptop is provided a desktop docking station and monitor can also be supplied for use in the office. This equipment is replaced on a 3 year cycle across the University. This may be reviewed at any point dependant upon current strategy and the policy updated Further information on this policy can be obtained via the ITS Service Desk 25. Community Benefits Statement The University of Salford aspires to maximise Community Benefits wherever possible through its procurement practices and this will be reflected in the tender documentation, as appropriate under OJEU, on a contract by contract basis. It is anticipated that Community Benefits will apply for contracts of £300,000 and over. The University of Salford recognises its part in maximising added value through Community Benefits and will work with contractors on supply-side activity to promote opportunities and support the establishment of effective Community Benefit delivery partnerships. The following provides some examples of what Community Benefits through procurement might include: University of Salford Student placements, paid or unpaid Graduate recruitment Job shadowing – for students, staff, local residents, schools and colleges Apprenticeships Support for schools and FE through the provision of educational packs, donations for prizes, running competitions Talks to students, school children and their families and community groups Jobs created Promotion of job opportunities so they are generally accessible including to local workers Workforce training Community liaison – consultation, talks, information, site visits Community facilities – playgrounds, habitat enhancements, environmental improvements Community Funds – supporting initiatives, for example, which reduce energy consumption and costs Promotion of sub-contracting opportunities so they are accessible including to local contractors. The University will: Work proactively with the local authority, the North Western University Purchasing Consortium, other universities and the community at large to progress Community Benefit procurement initiatives and exchange best practice; Minimise any adverse community impacts of any new University developments and major renovation; Work with suppliers to make them aware of the University’s aspirations for Community Benefits and ensure the credentials of suppliers in this respect; Provide training and the raising of awareness of staff to ensure they consider community benefits in procurement decisions; Ensuring that, wherever possible, the University’s aspiration to secure community benefits is integrated into the specification. Wherever possible Community Benefits will be included as a contract condition where they are clearly linked to the subject matter of the contract.
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