Riverside Inverclyde revised Procurement Processes from 2013
Last Review Date
Delegated to Geoff Gregory
Delegated to Geoff Gregory
Delegated to Fiona Maguire
Distribution of all Riverside Inverclyde policies is via the shared (S) drive, to which all staff has access.
Next Review Date
Appendix 1 added : Adoption of new EU Directives on public procurement and concession contracts by the European Parliament (Ref: Scottish Procurement Policy Note 01/2014).
EU Procurement thresholds updated
Non-substantive changes only
1.1 The purpose of this document is to seek approval for revised and updated guidelines for Riverside Inverclyde (ri) staff who are engaged in procurement activity, in order to ensure compliance with statutory requirements whilst allowing the organisation to meet its objectives in the most time efficient and cost effective manner possible, minimising the time required by ever diminishing and scarce ri staff resources so Project Managers can concentrate effectively on developing and delivering projects.
1.2 It has been six years since the initial ri procurement rules were devised, so these revised procedures take account of inflation, changes in EU threshold levels, the popular universal construction industry use of the Public Contracts Scotland tender opportunities open advertising facility, the everyday use by consultants, contractors and suppliers of emailed PDF tender submissions for smaller pieces of work and the requirement to have a robust and accountable system in place for audit requirements and Freedom of Information (FOI) requests by the public and unsuccessful contractors and suppliers.
2.0 FUNDING CHANGES AND TIME CONSTRAINTS
2.1 ri’s total annual funding allocation has diminished and long term forward funding is no longer guaranteed. Individual Scottish Government funding streams such as the Town Centre Regeneration Fund, Shovel Ready Projects and the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund require to be designed, competitively tendered and implemented in very short timescales. This means that a Project Manager must be highly efficient and reactive if he is to take advantage of and comply with the requirements of these short lived funding opportunities. Procurement processes must be modified accordingly otherwise ri is in danger of finding that external funding sources will be unobtainable because of commitment to lengthy, un-necessarily inflexible and bureaucratic procurement procedures.
2.2 The essential requirement for a 2 stage tendering exercise is the publishing of a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) on Public Contract Scotland (PCS) website. This procedure is onerous in terms of time spent carrying out the work in a manner that is technically robust, courteous to potential suppliers and allows records to be kept that are audit and FOI compatible. The time required for the exercise for a not particularly complex contract where PQQ questions can be easily answered is approximately 50 hours.
2.3 Initially at least two knowledgeable people are required to brainstorm the detail of procurement process and the relevant PQQ questions required, then write the PQQ as fully and accurately as possible and upload PQQ to the PCS website. The suppliers will seek clarification and ask on-line questions that require to be swiftly answered and an evaluation is required of the submissions. For scoring purposes, Targeted Training and Recruitment and Financial Stability require specialist ri input. A PQQ spread sheet illustrating allocated scores and their justification requires to be prepared and the final recommendation of those contractors or consultants who should be given an Invitation to Tender (ITT) should be produced in the form of a formal tender report with recommendations. Success and fail letters require to be issued to contractors and further response and feedback is needed to queries or complaints that may result.
2.4 The above exercise cannot be undertaken for a cost of less than £3,000.00 and cannot be completed in any less than four weeks in total - but is more likely to take at least six weeks. There is therefore a threshold below which open advertising is deemed too expensive, and introduces unnecessary delays. With annual Council funding allocations only being confirmed one third of the way through the financial year, the PQQ procedure impedes the ri Project Managers’ ability to initiate and progress projects swiftly and then to deliver them on time.
3.0 ELECTRONIC FILING
3.1 A key list of tendering data should be stored electronically under each individual project so they can be provided for audit or FOI requests when required. This would normally include the following:-
- The project approval paper;
- The PQQ details;
- The consultants brief;
- The contract drawings, Bill of Quantities and Specification;
- The ITT details;
- Exception to Tender competed and signed off form;
- The fully completed Tender Receipt Document; and
- A copy of the signed supplier appointment letter.
4.0 REVISED PROCUREMENT POLICIES
4.1 ri, as a local regeneration company, requires to foster and encourage local suppliers where it can. Therefore, in the interests of energy efficiency, sustainability and spreading the benefits locally, preference will be shown where possible, where competitive considerations so justify, to local contractors, suppliers, community groups and social enterprise for work up to specified maximum value and will be subject to constant review and cross checking as to the price and quality of service being provided. ri also wishes to ensure that in larger contracts (ie from £1M plus 3 months’ duration upwards), Targeted Recruitment and Training obligations are inserted within tender documents.
4.2 ri has a robust and appropriate governance framework in place for the running of its operations and the handling of public sector funding. This procurement policy reflects ri’s commitment to a policy of ensuring that value for money is achieved in the purchase of goods, services and building works by adopting straightforward, fair, secure, auditable, transparent and effective competitive tendering procedures as detailed in subsequent sections of this document.
4.3 The majority of project expenditure by ri shall normally be incurred following a competitive tendering exercise, excluding only the areas indicated below under “Exceptions to the Requirement to Tender”. The overall purpose of having agreed revised competitive tendering procedures in place is to ensure that ri:
- Complies with EU and UK public procurement laws;
- Ensures value for money and safeguard the public purse;
- Provides protection against fraud and corruption;
- Encourages competition and ensures fairness and openness in the award of contracts;
- Encourages new entrants and local suppliers to emerge;
- Encourages training and skills development in conjunction with Inverclyde Council;
- Provokes new or innovative approaches or solutions to work;
- Ensures that funds circulate locally wherever possible;
- Ensures that the best quality of work possible is procured for the best possible price.; and
- Maximise community benefits
4.4 The procedures have been adjusted so that they maintain the above ethos but are not so onerous that they unduly burden or delay the functioning of a small efficient unit established to ensure delivery of projects with minimal bureaucracy. A number of factors will be taken into consideration in all procurement activity:
- The estimated cost of the goods or services to be purchased and their required quality;
- Available budget and other resources;
- The number of known suppliers of the goods or services;
- The ability to use recently tendered rates to negotiate further phases of work;
- Capacity of suppliers to provide goods or services in a timely manner;
- The frequency of use, urgency and the convenience of the goods or services required; and
- Compliance with statutory obligations
5.0 REQUIREMENTS FOR OPEN ADVERISING OF TENDER OPPORTUNITIES
5.1 A written tender must be prepared, and openly advertised on Public Contracts Scotland for all contracts, goods or services having an estimated total value (excluding recoverable VAT) estimated to be in excess of £50,000 for contract works and the supply of goods and specialist consultancy services.
5.2 Supplies or services having a value of less £50,000 (excluding VAT) need not be openly advertised where a suitable supplier list can be assembled by the Project Manager based on his (or his professional advisors’) experience of known quality or expertise available in the market.
6.0 REQUIREMENT TO COMPETITIVELY TENDER
6.1 It is a requirement to competitively tender all work, whether goods, contract work or consultancy services if the anticipated value is in excess of £10,000. The procedures, however, to be adopted will vary whether the anticipated value of works is between
a) £10,000 and £25,000 or
b) £25,000 and £50,000
And whether it is contract works or consultancy services that are being procured
7.0 EXCEPTIONS TO THE REQUIREMENT TO COMPETITIVELY TENDER
7.1 All expenditure incurred by ri in excess of £10,000.00 shall be procured on the basis of competitive tendering procedures having been followed. This is subject to the following exceptions where it may not be necessary or relevant to seek tenders:
- Additional requirements in relation to an existing contract where it is not practical or contractually possible to involve another contractor and where the additional work is at rates and conditions consistent with the original contract. The contract extension should not exceed the value of the initial contract works;
- Where there is a single unique supplier of the goods or a unique expertise available for the service required;
- Emergency situations requiring immediate action i.e. health and safety situations, potential further damage or loss of income or an ri reputational risk;
- Expenditure incurred by way of grant, contribution or loan i.e. where ri is not entering into a contract for consideration and is only contributing a up to a maximum of 50% of the total cost;
- Serial tender procurement lists whereby competitive hourly rates are obtained every three years from selected suitable specialist contractors to be called off as and when required by the project manager and as per the availability and proven suitability of the contractor; or
- Supplies or services having a value of less than £25,000 (excluding recoverable VAT, where selection can be made on the basis of known quality or expertise.
7.2 In each instance where competitive tendering is not sought, the reason for this must be documented i.e. formal approval within the Exceptions to Tender Form (if greater than £10,000) and held electronically on the project file. For contracts with a value exceeding the EU Thresholds set out below, it is advisable to seek legal advice before using any of the above exceptions.
8.0 WORK AND SERVICES WITH A VALUE OF LESS THAN £10,000
8.1 Competitive tendering procedures are not required for purchases less than £10,000.00 in value, whether goods, contract or consultancy work but the project manager should use his own experience and professional judgement as to whether he is receiving value for money before proceeding with the order. If, however, several suitable suppliers for the service required are known, then, to avoid accusations of favouritism or unfairness, an email to each as a price check would be considered to be good practice. A specific deadline need not be set and failure of a supplier to provide a price would not invalidate the process.
8.2 For items, having a total value of between £5,000 and £10,000 (excluding recoverable VAT) potential suppliers should be asked to quote in writing or by telephone. In the case of telephone quotations, relevant details should be noted and retained on file and written confirmation should be sent to the prospective supplier. ri staff should compare the market to ensure that the company is maximising its purchasing power.
9.0 WORKS AND SERVICES WITH A VALUE BETWEEN £10,000 & £25,000
9.1 For items having a total value between £10,000 and £25,000 (excluding recoverable VAT), where practical, three suitably qualified suppliers should be asked to provide an email quote. Verbal or email description can be provided by the Project Manager outlining the scope of the service required however any verbal quotations by prospective suppliers and the extent of their proposed services should be confirmed by them by email. Hourly rates for staff members should also be provided. The project manager should provide email confirmation with the relevant Purchase Order number to the successful supplier. Emails identifying the various quotes (or attempts to get them) should be stored for at least two years. If a unique supplier is chosen then an Exception to Tender form should be completed and stored electronically on the project file.
10.0 SERVICES WITH A VALUE BETWEEN £25,000 & £50,000
10.1 Where consultancy services or goods are required which are estimated to cost between £25,000 and £50,000, a more formal competitive tendering process is to be used, with a detailed written brief prepared by the Project Manager. To avoid open advertising and where practical, four suitably qualified suppliers shall be invited to submit written quotations by a specific deadline. All prices are to be submitted in writing and awarded on the merit of the submissions. If a price / quality assessment method is to be employed, then the consultant should be made aware of the ratio to be used and the quality criteria by which his submission will be judged. A tender report with an evaluation matrix should be prepared as part of the approval paper. The project manager should provide a letter of confirmation with the relevant Purchase Order number to the successful supplier and the unsuccessful tenderers should be advised in writing. Emails identifying the various quotes (or attempts to get them) should be stored for at least two years.
11.0 CONTRACT WORKS WITH A VALUE BETWEEN £25,000 AND £50,000
11.1 An Architect, Engineer or Quantity Surveyor description of works or prepared Bill of Quantities and specification and appropriate drawings must be prepared for all contract works commissioned in excess of £25,000. To avoid open advertising, and where practical, four suitably qualified contractors / suppliers shall be invited to submit written quotations by a specific deadline. All prices are to be submitted in writing and awarded on the merit of the submission. If a price / quality assessment method is to be employed, then the contractor should be made aware of the ratio to be used and the quality criteria by which his tender will be judged. The Architect, Engineer or QS involved should provide an independent tender report with an evaluation matrix recommending the successful contractor. The project manager should provide a letter of confirmation with the relevant Purchase Order number to the successful contractor and the unsuccessful tenderers should be advised in writing. Emails received identifying the various quotes (or attempts to get them) should be stored for at least two years.
12.0 SERVICES EXCEEDING £50,000 BUT BELOW EU THRESHOLDS
12.1 Where contract works, goods or consultancy services are required which are estimated to cost more than £50,000 (excluding recoverable VAT) in total (i.e. over the whole duration of the contract), the purchase must be subject to formal tendering processes including open advertising and fair and transparent procedures i.e. a written competitive tendering opportunity must be prepared, and openly advertised via the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) or Quick Quote procedure on Public Contracts Scotland unless one of the Exceptions to the Requirement to Tender applies. PQQs must be independently scored and a PQQ spread sheet illustrating allocated scores and their justification should be prepared. PQQ scoring assessments should be either on lowest price only or on the basis of pre-disclosed criteria.
12.2 The final recommendation of those contractors or consultants to be given an Invitation to Tender should be issued to the Project Manager in the form of a tender report with an evaluation matrix. Fail letters require to be issued to contractors and further response and feedback is needed to queries or complaints that may result. The contractors or consultants with the best scores should be advised that they will be provided with invitations to tender for the work in due course.
13.0 EU THRESHOLDS
13.1 EU Procurement Directives cover higher value commissions for goods, services, and works (construction) contracts. As a public sector organisation, ri has a legal obligation to comply with these rules. The rules currently cover most contracts over the following values (excluding VAT): -
- Supplies and Services £172,514 (valid to 31st Dec 2015)
- Works (Construction) £4,322,012 (valid to 31st Dec 2015)
- Where these rules apply, tender opportunities will be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union, as well as on the company’s website. ri may also advertise these opportunities in national newspapers and trade journals.
13.2 ri will adhere to the processes and procedures laid down in EU Directives and in the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2006. Further details of these rules can be found on the Scottish Procurement Directorate’s website. http://www.ojec.com/threshholds.aspx
13.3 Attached to this paper (Appendix No 1) is a brief summary on the new EU Procurement directives.
Public procurement is governed by a legal framework which includes principles deriving from the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
European Procurement Directives (as implemented in national legislation), Court of Justice of the European Union and national case law. The legal framework establishes procedures which must be followed by public bodies whenever they purchase goods, services or works from suppliers.
The European Commission has undertaken a comprehensive review of the EU Procurement Directives, with the intention of radically simplifying and updating the rules to make the award of contracts more flexible and to enable public contracts to be put to better use in support of other policies.
The implementation of EU Procurement law falls within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament - currently implemented by the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2012.
Transposition of the new Directives will require a comprehensive review of the Scottish Procurement Regulations in 2014.
Whilst the process of transposition should not have an impact on the timetable for the Procurement Reform Bill which is currently progressing through the Scottish Parliament (Appendix No1 attached), the Scottish Government state that it will be important to ensure that the content of the Bill will be consistent with the outcome of the negotiations that have taken place in Brussels.
The Directives allow for a period of two years for transposition into national law.
14.0 FRAMEWORK AGREEMENTS
14.1 For certain requirements ri will be able to select suppliers through Framework Agreements. This is best suited to the regular commissioning of legal services required by ri for commercial leases, land and building purchases etc.
14.2 A Framework Agreement is an arrangement between ri (or a broader collection of public sector purchasers) and selected suppliers, which allows ri to approach those suppliers directly for the delivery of specific goods or services over a set period of time.
14.3 These Agreements allow the company to gain better value for money through aggregation of demand, simplifying the tendering process for goods and services where we have repetitive/frequent requirements, and ensure that ri engage with a manageable number of suppliers for the purpose of monitoring supplier performance.
14.4 The Framework Agreement can be set up, using a competitive tendering process, with the list of suitable suppliers having being chosen by the Project Manager. Additional suppliers may not join a Framework during its validity. Hourly Rates are provided for staff at various grades that might require to be involved in any particular transaction.
14.5 As a principle ri will always seek to ensure that, as far as is possible, the Frameworks set up does not discriminate against Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). This not only assists these organisations to successfully win contracts with ri, but also ensures that the widest marketplace possible is approached to get the best value for money solutions.
14.6 ri’s current Framework for Consultants will be valid until March 2018. In addition, ri will examine options such as Buying Solutions and the Hub.
15.0 SERIAL TENDERS
15.1 In this type of tender the contractor is required to submit costs for carrying out work usually not against a particular project, but against sample Bills of Quantity, Works Schedule, or price for a sample project in the knowledge that others of a similar nature will be undertaken. The work rates or hourly rates given in such documents will form the basis of costing for future work undertaken, which will be measured and valued by both parties to the contract.
15.2 This approach is particularly useful for ad-hoc maintenance type work where a selected list of local electricians, joiners, plumbers and decorators provide competitive prices in advance. The contract is usually also for a fixed period of time (say 3 years) after which the tendering procedure will be repeated. The Project Manager has a list of specialist contractors whom he can approach and rotate as the work load dictates. Work may be awarded on price but also on availability or deemed expertise in a particular field.
15.3 Local contractors like this form of contract in the knowledge that once on the list, there is a chance that they will be offered regular work and will have continuity of work for their employees. The value of work given to any individual contractor will not exceed £50,000 in any one year.
16.0 TENDER LISTS
16.1 ri will procure many of the goods, services and works required through the OJEU & PCS process, which requires equal treatment of tenderers and non-discrimination on grounds of nationality. However, for contracts, which are not of interest to providers in other EU Member States, companies based in Inverclyde may be included on the tender lists in accordance with ri’s community benefits policy and the Government’s Corporate Social Responsibility agenda. Where a tender list is compiled it will be based on organisations with proven experience and/or recognised ability to under particular work. For contracts of a higher value, it is acceptable to alert local companies i.e. via the Inverclyde Construction Forum, to the fact that an opportunity has been advertised on OJEU and/or ri’s website.
16.2 The selection of final suppliers should be done after considering:
- Financial standing to ensure that they are able to complete the contract;
- Professional and technical ability to complete the work;
- Quality of past performance through reference where available; and
- The value of the contract in relation to the turnover of the supplier.
17.0 TENDER DOCUMENTS AND INVITATIONS TO TENDER
17.1 A tender document should be created and sent to all suppliers selected by either the Project Manager (£25 to £50K) or the PQQ generated list (over £50K) or, in the case of a tender advertised through OJEU or otherwise, to all suppliers who have expressed an interest or – where applicable – have been pre-qualified.
17.2 The invitation to tender should include the following minimum information:
- Full details of the work, services or goods required;
- Precise type of goods, services or areas of work the supplier is being asked to quote for;
- Time scale for the supply of goods, provision of services or completion of the work;
- The basis of quotation to be provided, e.g. expenses separately identified;
- The basis and criteria on which tender submissions will be scored; and
- The date and time by which tenders must be submitted.
17.3 Invitations to tender should make it clear that tenders should be returned direct to the Project Manager by the submission deadline and should also make it clear that any tenders received after the submission deadline will not be accepted under any circumstances.
17.4 Before an invitation to tender is sent out, the Project Manager responsible must ensure that a TENDER RECEIPT DOCUMENT(s/ri admin/FORMS) is completed and the full details of the tenders are kept electronically in the appropriate job file. The TENDER RECEIPT DOCUMENT should be signed by two members of ri on delivery. Once the tenders are received, opened and the tenders recorded in the Tender Register & TENDER RECEIPT DOCUMENT completed and signed/initialled off, the sheet should be scanned and electronically saved to the project file with the following information:-
- Project name;
- Tender deadline (date and time);
- Project Manager’s name;
- Estimated contract value;
- Tender receipt date and time;
- Names of two ri witnesses of tender package received;
- Names of all suppliers;
- Prices submitted by each tenderer;
- Tenders opening date and time; and
- Any appropriate comments
17.5 The contractors, consultants or suppliers should be advised that their completed tender documents should be returned in a plain manila envelope with the name of the project being tendered and the time and date of the tender submission deadline clearly marked. The supplier’s name should not be identified on the returning envelope.
18.0 RECEIVING AND OPENING TENDERS
18.1 A TENDER RECEIPT DOCUMENT (s/ri Admin/Forms) should be prepared by the Project Manager before the return date with the Project name, the Tender submission date, the Latest submission time, the Estimated contract value and the Project Manager’s name along with the names of the anticipated tenderers, including any who have advised the Project Manager that they will not submit a tender.
18.2 Tenders received by post, by courier or a suppliers’ member of staff must be given to or immediately passed to the Admin Assistant who will record a time and date received receipt for all hand delivered tenders and the same information will be written on the tender envelope. For those tenders that arrive by post, the time and date received information will be written on the tender envelope and will be witnessed and signed by two members of ri.
18.3 The unopened envelopes will be stored in secure location until the tender deadline has passed.
18.4 Only tenders received prior to the deadline for submission will be accepted. Tenders received late by courier should not be accepted. Tenders received by post will be opened and returned to the supplier with a covering letter signed by the Project Manager explaining that the submission was late.
18.5 The Project Manager should arrange for another member of staff unconnected with the project to witness the tender opening.
18.6 For all respondents within the deadline, the date of opening together with the contract value should be noted in the Tender Register. For any tenders not being considered, the reason should be noted also.
18.7 Once the opening process has been completed, the TENDER RECEIPT DOCUMENT should be signed and dated by those present and then scanned and electronically saved to the project file.
18.8 For electronic Tender Returns, companies should be asked to insert the Project Title into the Outlook Subject Heading. The Project Manager should not open these emails until the Tender Deadline has passed. A member of staff unconnected with the project should witness the opening of the emails.
19.0 ASSESSING THE TENDERS
19.1 Access to the tender documents should be limited during the assessment process to those persons responsible for assessing the tender submissions. Tenders can be assessed on a number of factors in addition to the lowest price. For guidance, these may include:
- Proposed approach to the work;
- Timescales involved in the work;
- Technical merit of the proposed solution or goods;
- Health and Safety and Site Management;
- Financial standing;
- Community Benefits;
- Quality of proposed materials;
- Aesthetic merit; and
- other factors, as long as they are directly linked to the subject matter of the contract
It is the responsibility of the Project Manager involved to undertake or organise the appropriate professional assessment of the tender submissions with internal or external support, where appropriate.
19.2 Where it is necessary to seek clarification or explanation from suppliers, this should be formally notified to them by the Project Manager or the agents responsible and the fact recorded. In tender procedures above the EU thresholds, care must be taken that this does not give tenderers the opportunity to improve the commercial or qualitative aspects of their tenders. Where needed, legal advice should be sought in the cases of Framework tenders.
19.3 The Project Manager or the Consultant/Employer’s Agent/QS should prepare a Tender Report that records the quality/price scores, (if appropriate) and rationale for the selection, and makes a clear recommendation on the award of the tender.
19.4 In particular if the tender accepted is not the lowest priced, the rationale should make specific reference to the reason. This must be approved and counter-signed by the Chief Executive Officer.
20.0 TENDER ACCEPTANCE
20.1 The acceptance of a tender can only be made by a member of staff having the necessary delegated authority. This can be passed onto a Consultant or a Lawyer acting on behalf of ri.
20.2 In procedures above the EU thresholds, once the successful tenderer has been selected, unsuccessful tenderers should be notified and given a detailed debrief in writing. Thereafter, a minimum 10-day standstill period for appeal should be adhered to prior to the formal appointment process being initiated.
21.0 CONTRACTING PROCEDURES
21.1 Where ri commissions work from a supplier, some form of contract between ri and supplier should be put in place. Depending on the type and value of the work this may take the form of a commissioning letter (or email if less than £10,000) or a formal contract.
21.2 The contract or commissioning letter with the successful supplier should clearly state:
- The organisation commissioning the work;
- The maximum value of the order and the nature of the work to be performed by the supplier;
- The terms and conditions associated with the work;
- References to tender invitation and submission dates and any subsequent and relevant correspondence;
- A Purchase Order Number and the terms of payment;
- Any CDM and/or Health and Safety compliance requirements;
- Default provisions; and
- ri Project Manager contact details.
22.0 PURCHASE ORDERS
22.1 A Purchase Order (PO) must be raised for ALL expenditure incurred on a project on goods and services from a single supplier. The PO should be raised at the same time as the contract/commissioning letter.
22.2 The PO is created by the Project Manager and must be counter-signed as per ri’s delegated authority and authorised signatory policies. . This must be done prior to any supply or receipt of goods or services.
23.1 Riverside Inverclyde will pay all agreed accounts within 30 days of the invoice date (subject to our standard terms and conditions of trading). Contract expenditure may be subject to 14 or 21 day payment terms.
24.0 PROCESSING OF INVOICES
24.1 Purchase invoices should be addressed to Riverside Inverclyde (or to Inverclyde Council c/o Riverside Inverclyde in the cases where works are being carried out by ri on Council owned land and the VAT can be recovered by the Council).
24.2 On receipt of an invoice, the details should be recorded on the finance system. This system will be used to track each stage the invoice has reached in terms of approval, payment etc. The Project Manager will also track the expenditure on their own spreadsheets.
24.3 All invoices must quote a Purchase Order number. It is imperative that a Purchase Order in respect of the invoice has been set up in advance of the receipt of the invoice to allow the invoice to be processed.
25.0 AUTHORISATION AND RETURN OF INVOICES
25.1 On receipt of an invoice, the staff member who has responsibility for the project or contract must ensure that the goods or services have been received, or grant requested is in accordance with the provisions of the relevant contract. The costs charged should also be checked against the figure agreed at the time of ordering. Once satisfied that the expenditure on the purchase invoice or other claim is valid and correct, the invoice should be validated.
25.2 It is the staff member’s responsibility to ensure that a supplier invoice contains sufficient explanation or supporting information to allow them to approve the invoice. To achieve this, it is likely that, on occasion, the supplier will be requested to provide additional information or explanation to support the invoice amount.
25.3 Where appropriate, the project Architect, QS or Engineer should provide independent professional certification of the value and nature of the work referred to in the supplier’s invoice has in fact been completed to their satisfaction.
25.4 Where there is a query on an invoice, this should be raised directly with the supplier by the staff member responsible for approving the payment, ideally within 5 days of receipt of the invoice by Riverside Inverclyde. If it is anticipated that the invoice will not be paid in full, the staff member should seek to advise the supplier within 10 days of receipt of the invoice.
25.6 The Invoice should be signed by the approver as evidence that they are satisfied that the invoice is valid and accurate and that the supplier may be paid. If the staff member does not have sufficient delegated authorities for the amount of payment required they should verify the invoice and ensure that it is approved and countersigned by the member of staff who has the appropriate delegated authority.
APPENDIX NO 1
Adoption of new EU Directives on public procurement and concession contracts by the European Parliament
(Ref: Scottish Procurement Policy Note 01/2014)
The purpose of SPPN 01/2014 is to inform that on 15 January 2014 the European Parliament approved three new Directives; one on public sector procurement, one on utilities sector procurement and one on the award of concession contracts.
The adoption by the European Parliament of the Directives has no direct impact on the procurement activities of Inverclyde Council at this stage, however, the Council is asked to note the adoption of the Directives.
- Public procurement is a key part of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and the revision of the European Union public procurement rules was one of the twelve levers for growth set out in the Single Market Act.
- In January 2011 the European Commission published a Green Paper consultation on modernisation of EU public procurement policy. The Scottish Government submitted a formal response to the Green Paper in March 2011 highlighting the issues of particular relevance to public procurement activity and the market in Scotland. In December 2011, the Commission proposed the revision of the existing Directives
- A final version of the text of the Directives will be available in due course
The Directives allow for a period of two years for transposition into national law and Scottish Procurement will be considering the implications for implementing the Directives into Scottish Procurement Regulations and will issue further guidance in due course.
Some of the key changes expected in the new Directives:
- Simplification of the public procurement rules:
- Possibilities for negotiation broadened through the use of the competitive procedure with negotiation if justified by specified circumstances;
- Documentation required reduced mainly through the compulsory acceptance of self declarations from bidders with only the winning bidder having to submit formal evidence through certificates and attestations;
- The minimum deadlines to submit tenders are shortened;
- The mandatory use of means of electronic communication in public procurement increasing accessibility to procurement allowing EU companies, especially SMEs, to exploit the full benefits of the Digital Single Market and bringing efficiency gains;
- Local and regional authorities will be able to advertise their contracts via less burdensome prior information notices instead of contract notices and will be able to agree with the pre-selected bidders on the deadlines in their procurement procedures;
- New and simplified regime put in place for social, health, cultural and assimilated services.
2. Cooperation between public entities:
- The Directives clarify the conditions under which cooperation between public entities is exempt from the application of the Directives.
3. SME specific measures:
- Division of contracts into lots encouraged through an “apply or explain” principle;
- Regarding the proof of financial capacity of the bidder, turnover requirements will be limited to a maximum of twice the estimated value of the contract except in duly justified cases.
4. Contribution to the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy for a greener, more social, innovative and in inclusive economy:
- The concept of “life-cycle costing” is introduced;
- In award decisions, Authorities may take into account criteria linked to the production process of the works, services or supplies to be purchased;
- Authorities may require works, supplies or services bear specific labels certifying environmental, social or other characteristics;
- Current contracts’ reservation in favour of sheltered workshops extended;
- Innovation will be fostered by the new partnership procedure where the contracting authority can cooperate with a company, selected in a regular competitive tender procedure, to develop an innovative product, work or service which does not exist on the market.
5. “A” and “B” Services:
- The distinction between “A” and “B” abolished and a new simplified regime is put in place for social, health, cultural and assimilated services.
6. Measures to further guarantee sound public procurement procedures:
- The notion of “conflict of interests” clarified;
- Exclusion grounds are strengthened and extended;
- Compulsory exclusion in the case of abnormally low tenders when it is due to non-compliance of EU law in the field of social, labour and environmental law;
- Rules governing the modifications of contracts are simplified.