Opportunities are advertised on this website, please keep checking as it changes on a daily basis.
The Procurement Pipeline is a forward look at the goods and services Central Bedfordshire Council intends to procure over the coming years. The Procurement Pipeline covers procurement over £10,000 in value.
The Pipeline is currently in working progress and is expected to be published soon.
Please note that the Pipeline is an evolving plan. Things will change. Some procurement will not be needed, or may be changed or reprioritised, and new procurement will be introduced. We therefore intend to update the Pipeline on a regular basis.
In order to carry out it's day-to-day business, the council procures goods, services and works from many different suppliers.
This can take the form of low value, one-off procurement to multi-million pound contracts lasting several years, all of which must be bought in a way that secures value for money for its stakeholders. The council also processes approximately 100,000 invoices each year.
The council publishes a list of all its tendered contracts with a total value of £20,000 or above in the form of a Register of Contracts. The Register is maintained and updated by Procurement on a regular basis. The version currently available was updated in December 2012.
In order for procurement and contracting activity to be made more transparent, the Local Government Secretary has requested that all local authorities publish details of expenditure over £500, contracts and invitations to tender (PDF 67KB).
In addition to this we are bound by European and UK law to be fair and transparent in our dealings with suppliers. This means we have clear tender and quotation policies and procedures that coincide with European and UK law.
Service areas are largely responsible for day-to-day, low value and low risk procurement activity following procedures set out by the council. This includes:
- requests for quotation and tender exercises
- managing contracts and suppliers
- raising Purchase Orders (POs)
- invoice queries
The Procurement Team helps to secure best value from the council's procurement activity and will also:
- advise on or conduct tender exercises for higher value and more complex contracts
- provide information on procurement spend and the contracts it holds
- analyse procurement activity and identify potential cost and efficiency savings
- develop procurement policy and processes
In general, schools procure their own goods and services. However, schools are able to use corporate contracts where appropriate.
The council tends to procure through contracts that it has set up for its own use but might buy through framework agreements that have been set up by other public authorities or public sector consortiums. We have links with other local councils, in particular those in Bedfordshire (Luton Borough Council and Bedfordshire Borough Council). Central Bedfordshire Council is part of the following Consortiums:
- Central Buying Consortium
- Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO)
Rules and strategies specific to the council’s procurement activity are set out below. All procurement activities have to be undertaken in line with the Council’s Procurement Procedure Rules which are part of its Constitution. These rules aim to ensure that:
- the council and its officers act legally, honestly and with integrity
- the procurement process is fair and provides value for money
The rules set out a number of procurement processes, each one aligned to a spend threshold. For spend in excess of £2,000 we are required to follow a competitive procurement process. (PDF 141KB) Schools are also required to comply with these procedures.
Corporate Procurement Strategy
The Corporate Procurement Strategy (PDF 154KB) sets out a framework for procurement activity within the council. This Procurement Strategy underpins the strategic objectives of the council and also the Government’s vision for local authority procurement.
For spend above EU threshold: The council does not use approved lists of suppliers for purchases for which the total spend exceeds the EU threshold but uses framework agreements instead. The procedures for setting up framework agreements are prescribed by the EU procurement directives.
Framework agreements run for a specified period and are closed for entry until they are renewed. This means that the only way to become an approved or preferred supplier is following a competitive procurement exercise. Once an approved list has been set up, it is likely that the list will be closed until it comes up for renewal.
For spend below EU threshold: The Procurement Team does not hold approved lists of suppliers for tendering purposes. Individual service areas may have their own lists but these will be maintained by the service area. However, the value of spend over a 12-month period must not exceed the EU threshold. In addition, the list must comply with the Procurement Procedure Rules (PDF 141KB) relating to tendering.
A website has been set up to enable suppliers to register the details of their business. This information will be used if you wish to formally express an interest in a specific tender opportunity at a later date.
For guidance please see In-Tend Supplier Guide - Central Beds (PDF 827KB) which gives an overall guide to the system and covers registration, tenders, correspondence and clarification.
Please note: Registration on the website does not mean that you will be automatically invited to tender nor does it guarantee that you will be offered a contract. If you wish to take part in a current tender exercise you will need to follow the instructions set out in the tender advertisement.
No PO, No Pay Policy
The council’s No PO No Pay policy (PDF 21KB) is our way of ensuring that the council pays for works, supplies and services received only when they have been properly authorised by the raising of an Official Purchase Order in accordance with the council’s financial governance framework.
The benefits for the supplier are that the Purchase Order represents a clear instruction of the goods/service required, together with a financial commitment to pay in accordance with agreed terms and conditions.
Central Bedfordshire Council’s standard payment terms are 30 days from the invoice date unless otherwise agreed
What to do to make sure your invoice gets paid: All invoices should be sent directly to:
Central Payments Team
Priory House, Monks Walk
Each invoice should clearly show the Purchase Order Number.
The Council makes payment by cheque, BACS or Purchasing Card (Pcards). The use of BACS ensures that the payment goes directly into the contractor's/supplier's bank account. BACS is the council's preferred method of payment Pcards are only available for certain purchases.
What to do if you have problems getting an invoice paid: Queries regarding the payment of an invoice are dealt with by the Central Payments Team who can be contacted on 0300 300 8095 or by email to email@example.com.