Effective procurement as a strategic toolLocal government budgets are caught between rising community expectations on the one hand, and capped revenue streams on the other. Valuable or worthwhile projects are sometimes cancelled, simply for lack of funds.
Contemporary public sector procurement is based on a set of key principles including:
• obtaining value in the expenditure of public money
• providing for ethical and fair treatment of participants
• ensuring probity, accountability and transparency in procurement operations.
In practice, this means:
• adopting a fair process. Give suppliers adequate time to prepare an accurate quotation. Ensure that any relevant information is accurate and is provided equally to all interested tenderers. Nominate selection criteria which will be used to evaluate tenders
• defining the appropriate quality of items being bought. While ‘top of the line’ specs are comforting, often a lower-spec item will safely and reliably do the job. Making a rational assessment of ‘the right quality’ will save large sums
• buying at best-prices. Competitive and impartial tendering ensures that Councils pay a fair price which is still profitable for the supplier. This creates the best chance for the supplier to stay in business to provide the all-important after-sales or warranty service
• reviewing the technical aspects of each supplier’s proposal, to ensure any supplier who proceeds beyond this first round evaluation can actually do the job that you require. Next, consider the ‘value for money’ criteria either on a unit price, or on a ‘whole of life’ basis for the item being purchased.
UNE Partnerships Pty Ltd offers short courses and full qualifications in procurement and tendering. Call (08) 8272 9099 or (02) 6773 0017 to see how our services might help your Council.
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