We have established a broad range of procedures for offering work or buying products, depending on the type and value of the product in question.
What we buy
We offer four main categories of contract, as follows:
- Works contracts (for example, construction and highways)
- Supply of goods and materials (for example, office supplies)
- Provision of services (for example, care and waste)
- Professional services (for example, consultancy and professional advisors)
We use an online portal, Supplying the Southwest, for the majority of our procurement.
When we procure consultancy, professional advisors we often procure using an external framework. We also use these frameworks to procure some goods, works and services.
How we buy
Supplying the Southwest
Almost all of our contracts are listed and managed using an online procurement portal, Supplying the Southwest. We advertise new contract opportunities over £5,000 in value on the website. Most of our contracts are for a term of between three and five years.
We use a variety of external frameworks to help us procure the goods, works and services that we need as a local authority. An external framework is a type of agreement which is hosted by an external organisation. They provide an 'off the shelf' agreement, where the suppliers are pre-qualified and the terms and conditions are pre-agreed. This often makes the process easier and quicker.
Occasionally, we do need to make spot purchases for low value items, but almost all of our requirements are purchased through pre-agreed contracts.
These contracts are either let by the council, or in collaboration with other public bodies. Some of the contracts in place are framework agreements which are arranged as part of wider Public Service Consortia.