Constitution – Contract Procedure Rules
Meeting: 14/10/2021 - Council (Item 122)
Report of Executive Member for Planning, Leisure and Contracts, Councillor Sarah Suggitt.
Councillor Sarah Suggitt, the Executive Member for Planning, Leisure & Contracts presented the report.
Members were informed that from time to time it was necessary and good practice to review the Council’s processes. A recent review of procurement and contract management had identified the need to update the contract procedure rules, the full detail of these proposed changes could be found on pages 59 to 89 of the agenda pack. In summary, the main cause for these changes had been as a direct result of the UK’s departure from the EU and as a consequence of those changes, the delegations to Officers also needed to be changed to essentially reflect the numbering of some of the rules that had been altered.
This report had been considered at the previous Governance & Audit Committee meeting and at the Cabinet meeting on 20 September where recommendations (1) and (2) were approved.
It was noted that a Member had already spotted an error on page 71 of the agenda pack, at paragraph 2 under section 2.1.2 where the word ‘by’ had been crossed out in error and this word would be re-instated.
The third recommendation was proposed and seconded.
Councillor Oliver had noticed that within the report there was a section that dealt with waivers and exemptions under the procurement rules, and he asked if it could be checked as to whether there were any constraints on dates where officers had to place any exemptions and whether that exemption had to be placed ahead of any contracts being granted to a third party. He asked this question as he was aware of another council in this County that had experienced problems with backdating contracts and their exemptions and was obviously not classed as good practice.
Anton Bull, the Procurement & Contracts Manager advised that those exemptions would be agreed in advance of the contract being awarded.
Following a unanimous vote in favour of the recommendation, it was
RESOLVED that the Constitution be amended in accordance with Appendix B of the report so that the Contract Procedure Rules are inserted after the Financial Management Standards.
Meeting: 20/09/2021 - Cabinet (Item 86)
Report of Councillor Sarah Suggitt, Executive Member for Planning, Leisure and Contracts.
The Executive Member for Planning, Leisure and Contracts, Councillor Sarah Suggitt presented the report that asked Members to consider the proposed amendments to the Contracts Procedure Rules and the associated delegations to Officers.
To approve or decline any of the proposed amendments to the delegations detailed in Appendix A of the report and any of the proposed amendments to the Contract Procedure Rules set out in Appendix B of the report.
Reasons for Recommendation:
The proposed amendments to in Appendix B of the report will comply with audit requirements.
1) the proposed amendments to the Log of Delegations to officers relating to contracts, detailed in Appendix A within the report, be approved; and
2) the proposed amendments to the Contracts Procedure Rules, detailed in Appendix B of the report, be approved; and
RECOMMEND to FULL COUNCIL:
3) the Constitution be amended in accordance with Appendix B within the report, and so that the Contract Procedure Rules are inserted after the Financial Management Standards.
Report of Maxine O’Mahony, Executive Director Strategy & Resources and Anton Bull, Procurement & Contracts Manager.
Anton Bull, the Procurement & Contract Manager presented the report.
Members were being asked to consider proposed amendments to the Contracts Procedure Rules and the associated log of delegations to Officers.
The Contract Procedure Rules formed part of the Constitution and were about providing a framework to reduce risk in the Council’s procurement process and to provide an open, fair and transparent way to procure goods services. The rules were there for a number of reasons, they protected the Council and Officers making those decisions and made it a fair process for suppliers – in compliance with Government processes.
This was a relatively routine update to the Contract Procedure Rules and there were no radicle changes except for a couple of key points, one being the Audit report that came out in March as a result from the partnership split from South Holland and the UK’s departure from the EU.
Councils were governed by the Public Contracts Regulations which in turn had previously been governed by the European Public Procurement Directive and these changes came about as a result from the departure from the EU (see section 3.0 and Appendix B of the report).
As a consequence to the changes to the Contract Procedure Rules, there were a number of subsequent changes required to the Officer delegations. Procurement matters were an Executive function and formed part of the Cabinet’s responsibilities and to allow the affective working of procurement Cabinet had delegated a number of matters to Officers and those delegations needed to be updated as a result.
The Contract Procedure Rules were a subset of the Finance Procedure Rules but in the current version the numbering had gone slightly askew and therefore a tidying up exercise was required (see section 3.2 of the report).
Mr Plaskett, the Independent Lay Advisor, had noticed on page 40 of the agenda pack, although very logical and clear, that one of the EU procurement thresholds was still showing on the table - £75,000 up to EU Procurement Threshold - and asked if this should be removed.
Councillor Monument queried the wording on page 39 of the agenda pack under the heading Competition Requirements and felt that under section 9.1.3 some wording had been crossed out by mistake. Also on page 38, she queried the term ‘call-off’ under section 8.2.3.
Members were informed that a ‘call-off’ was a term that was used in relation to the Framework Agreement. The Procurement & Contracts Managers explained that he had removed the term ‘standing lists’ as they had now become Framework Agreements, an explanation was then provided.
Councillor Birt referred to page 32 of the agenda pack under 1.1.1 and felt that the word ‘are’ in that sentence should be changed to ’have’. He appreciated that the ‘economically advantageous contribution’ had stemmed from the Public Contracts Regulations but when it mentioned ‘economically’ did that mean the UK economy or Breckland’s economy and asked how this was going to be measured and should it be termed as ‘financially’ rather than ‘economically’. ... view the full minutes text for item 41