5. Procurement policy
The Treaty principles are built in to our tendering processes and our policies and strategies on procurement. The Treaty principles are:
- equal treatment: meaning that we must treat all comparable situations in the same way
- transparency: meaning that we must advertise our contract opportunities, suppliers must be able to understand how we will evaluate tenders before they are returned and we must limit the amount of discretion that we have when awarding contracts
- proportionality: meaning that we must use suitable ways of achieving an outcome that do not go beyond what is necessary
We are under a general Duty of Best Value to consider a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness when awarding contracts to suppliers. Where contracts are for providing services to service users we will make sure that they meet the needs of those customers.
We have a responsible procurement strategy, which explains our approach to social value, ethical sourcing, health and safety, equality and diversity, safeguarding and sustainability. We also have a responsible procurement guidance document for suppliers , which explains how our suppliers can take account of each of the policy areas in their tendering activities. Finally, we have explained how we will consider each of the policy areas in our tenders and contracts in the following policies:
Social value is about making the most of the money that we have to get the best possible outcomes including improving the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area. Social value policy
We would like to make sure that the suppliers that we work with have ethical working practices to include the fair treatment of employees. Ethical sourcing policy
Health and safety
We include the requirement for suppliers to comply with relevant health and safety legislation in our contract terms and conditions and all suppliers’ compliance to health and safety requirements is checked through the procurement process as is their ongoing compliance through contract management, particularly in construction contracts. Health and safety in commissioning policy
Equality and diversity
We make sure that we consider equality and diversity in our tender processes, we use electronic tendering to reduce the administrative burden that tendering can bring for smaller suppliers, we participate in ‘Meet the Buyer’ events to allow local and smaller suppliers to introduce their goods and services to us and we work to improve the accessibility of our tender documents by providing alternative formats and languages if appropriate. Equality and diversity in commissioning policy
We include the requirement for suppliers to take account of the protection and wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults in the course of their duties. Safeguarding in commissioning policy
We consider the environmental and ethical impact of our contracts whilst preparing our specifications and we try to minimise risks in the supply chain. Sustainability in commissioning policy.
Technical terms explained
Treaty - refers to the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union, which explains how the EU works.