Purchasing and Supply Management Professionals Competence

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					     Purchasing and Supply Management
     Professionals' Competence with the Law
      CIPS believes that in view of the broad spectrum of disciplines and activities
      embraced by purchasing and supply management, purchasing and supply
      management professionals cannot be expected to have the time to devote to
      acquiring an in -depth knowledge of the Law.

      There is also the fact that because the Law in the UK and indeed elsewhere is in a
      constant state of development to reflect social, economic and political changes; to
      try to keep up to date would simply be too time-consuming.

CIPS Positions on Practice                                                  - Powers to trade with other organisations and set up
                                                                            partnerships
                                                                            - Powers and duties of auditors, inspectors, ombuds-
• CIPS views, opinions and beliefs are stated throughout the
                                                                            men and monitoring officers
 document; however the broad practice statements which
 underpin the text are as follows:
                                                                 Qualified purchasing and supply management professionals
                                                                 have all studied Law as part of their course; this is regarded as
• CIPS considers it is essential that purchasing and supply man- the minimum knowledge of the Law required by practising
  agement professionals assume responsibility for protecting     professionals.
  their organisations from entering into contractual arrange-
  ments which may be prejudicial to the corporate interest       Furthermore, the CIPS position is that purchasing and supply
                                                                 management professionals take refresher courses, as part of
• CIPS believes that purchasing and supply management pro-       their CPD programmes.
  fessionals should possess (or acquire) a working knowledge of
  the legislative framework in which they are employed           Different industries do, of necessity, have very contrasting
                                                                 characteristics in the interface that they have, or need with their
• CIPS encourages purchasing and supply management profes- external supply base. This requires different approaches to
  sionals to make an honest assessment of the extent/            purchasing and supply management and so purchasing and
  limitations of their own knowledge, thereby identifying those supply management professionals need to adapt and deploy
  areas where legal advice needs to be sought Purchasing and     their expertise accordingly. This leads to different "labels" for
  Supply Management Professionals’ Competence with the Law the purchasing and supply management function including for
                                                                 instance "Procurement", "Sourcing", "Supply Chain Manage-
• A key responsibility of purchasing and supply management       ment" or "Commerce".
  professionals is to protect their organisations from imposing
  or being on the receiving end of inequitable contracts and       The key point is that purchasing and supply management pro-
  commercial practices occurring from within or outside their      fessionals can, and should, offer a broader range of higher level
  organisations.                                                   commercial skills to organisations.

                                                                   CIPS encourages purchasing and supply management profes-
• This is why CIPS believes it is essential for purchasing and     sionals to assess their own knowledge and be honest with them-
  supply management professionals to have a working knowl-         selves about the extent of their legal knowledge. This should
  edge of the legislative framework in which they are em-          then identify those matters for which expert legal advice should
  ployed. For instance UK purchasers should have an overall        be sought.
  appreciation of:
                                                                   As a minimum, purchasing and supply management profession-
        - English Law (or Scottish Law or Northern                 als should be able to read and understand legal documentation
        - Ireland Law as appropriate)                              so that they can competently negotiate changes to terms and
        - EC Law relevant to purchasing                            conditions of contract.
        - International Law relevant to purchasing such as
                 - Mercantile Law                                  Ideally, purchasing and supply management professionals
                 -Competition Law                                  should be able to appreciate the implications on the contract of
                 -E Commerce Law                                   changing any individual clause. CIPS appreciates that some
                                                                   standard contract documentation used in certain industries is
• Further, they should have an understanding of any other          very complex.
  Law, or general obligation, that specifically or indirectly,
  relates to, or impinges on procurement in their particular    CIPS encourages purchasing and supply management profes-
  sector. For example, a purchasing and supply management       sionals to ensure they understand the contract documentation
  professional employed in a local authority should also have a that they use. Further, on those occasions where purchasing
  working knowledge of:                                         and supply management professionals cannot avoid contracting
                                                                on the supplier's terms and conditions; they must understand
        - EC procurement rules (in addition to other aspects of these, in particular their implications, obligations and the par-
        EC Law as stated above)                                 ticular legal system to which they relate.
        - Transfer of Undertakings and Protection of Employ-
        ment (TUPE) regulations in relation to outsourcing
                                                                This is particularly important as, in these days of global pur-
        - Best Value legislation                                chasing, purchasing and supply management professionals are
        - Environmental legislation                             increasingly required to contract on suppliers' terms and condi-
        - Health and Safety legislation                         tions of sale and thereby the Law of the supplier's country.




               Tel +44(0)1780 756777 • Fax +44(0)1780 751610 • Email ckw@cips.org • Web www.cips.org
Purchasing and Supply Management
Professionals' Competence with the Law
CIPS would encourage purchasing and supply management
professionals to insist on using their own terms and condi-
tions of purchase so that they understand their responsibili-
ties and liabilities in respect of the contract. Where this is
not possible and the risk involved is deemed to be high
CIPS recommends that purchasing and supply management
professionals consult their legal advisers before proceeding
with letting the contract.

There are several ways in which purchasing and supply
management professionals can maintain such awareness,
including for example:

• subscribing to publications such as Croner's for informa-
   tion on Contract Law.

• contacting specialist sources such as the Improvement
   and Development Agency (IdeA), Local Government
   Association (LGA) or the 4Ps for instance for informa-
   tion about Best Value legislation etc.

• contacting the Professional Practice Team at CIPS which
   can provide guidance on sources of information on
   legislation.



Conclusion

CIPS firmly believes that whether CIPS-qualified or not,
purchasing and supply management professionals should as
the very minimum, possess a basic familiarity with the Law
as it relates to purchasing and, as a result, have sufficient
awareness of the extent of this knowledge within the legal
arena as a whole to be able to determine when and under
what circumstances expert legal advice becomes necessary.

CIPS has developed a range of supporting documents on
purchasing and supply management issues but the reader
may find two of these of particular use as they are related to
the above subject. One is The Use of Legal Advisers in
Purchasing and Supply Management and the other is Good
Practice in Contracting. All are available on the CIPS web
site at www.cips.org




        Tel +44(0)1780 756777 • Fax +44(0)1780 751610 • Email ckw@cips.org • Web www.cips.org

				
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posted:10/18/2011
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