Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) Contract & Procurement Procedure Rules, (CPPRs) Financial Regulations & Procedures and Contract Regulations require that Best Value is achieved in all procured services. It is vital that Best Value is demonstrated through evidencing positive outcomes for Children & Young People and their families in receipt of the services procured. Effective procurement and contract management practice therefore needs to take place in order to demonstrate value for money and to assure Children’s Services that required outcomes are being achieved.
Best Value can be demonstrated by ensuring that the correct procurement practice is followed when commissioning services. LCC regulations ensure the Local Authority (LA) meets the requirements of UK and EU procurement law. Carrying out procurement in line with these rules ensures LCC is obtaining the best out of the marketplace and to achieve this, LCC needs to apply the right professional skills and techniques. Procurement is a broader term than “purchasing” as it includes alternative methods of acquisition and concerns the entire process of acquiring supplies, services and works. At a strategic level it plays an important role in challenging the way existing services are delivered, and in the selection and delivery of the right method of service provision which forms part of Children’s Services procurement strategy.
All officers involved in taking procurement decisions must ensure they are familiar with their obligations under the CPPRs. The rules are mandatory and must be applied by officers wherever they are engaged in any form of procurement activity.
At the core of the CPPRs is the duty to undertake a level of competition in proportion to the proposed contract’s total value. Before commencing a new competition in their own right, officers must first determine whether a suitable existing corporate contract or framework agreement is available. This would allow prompt and efficient purchasing whilst still achieving value for money. Where no suitable existing contract is available and a new procurement is required, the CPPRs set out minimum standards in regard to how such procurement should be undertaken.
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