Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Chief Officer – Legal and Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy presented a report, the purpose of which, was to:
• seek approval from Cabinet to amend the lower financial threshold for obtaining three quotations for works, goods and services from £5,000 to £10,000 within the Contract Procedure Rules to take effect from 1st January 2023;
• to recommend to Council an amendment to the Constitution to incorporate the revisions to the Contract Procedure Rules.
By way of background information, she confirmed that the Council is required to ensure the Contract Procedure Rules, which form part of the Council’s Constitution, are reflective of current market pressures and are fit for purpose.
The Contract Procedure Rules also contains the rules and guidelines for procuring goods, services and works. They are designed to ensure compliance with UK law, ensure best practice is followed and best value is achieved in the use of public funds.
Turning to the present situation, the Chief Officer – Legal and Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy stated that in order to procure goods, services and works above £5,000 a service must obtain three quotes. This has proved to be unmanageable due to the volume of quotations across the Council, leading to delays on service delivery. There were several reasons for this which were outlined in the report, upon which she expanded.
The Chief Officer – Legal and Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate policy explained that a benchmarking exercise had shown that an increase to £10,000 for obtaining three quotations is in line with neighbouring councils and it was proposed that BCBC follow suit with this.
She referred Cabinet to a copy of the proposed amendments to the Contract Procedure Rules to this effect, shown via tracked changes at Appendix 1 to the report.
The Cabinet Member – Resources commended the report which would bring BCBC in line with other neighbouring authorities in terms of the increase in threshold and allow us to better face inflationary pressures.
The Leader sought reassurance that there would still be an audit trail in respect to procurement decisions that would be made, despite the proposed change to the Contract Procedure Rules.
The Chief Officer – Legal and Regulatory Services, HR and Corporate Policy reassured Members that there was still a process to follow, ie obtaining three quotes which will be arranged by the Business Support Team and approved by Management.
In response to a further question, she advised that a progress report on the Contract procedure Rules would be brought back to Cabinet in 6 months time.
She finally also confirmed that there were a few neighbouring authorities that obtained three quotations for works estimated at £15,000 and even upward of that.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:
(i) Approved the change to the lower financial threshold from £5,000 to £10,000 for obtaining three quotations within the Contract Procedure Rules as shown at Appendix 1 to the report, to take effect from 1st January 2023;
(ii) Recommended to Council an amendment to the Constitution to incorporate the revisions to the Contract Procedure Rules.
Publication date: 23/05/2023
Date of decision: 13/12/2022
Decided at meeting: 13/12/2022 - Cabinet