What does a University budgetholder or product/service user do?
The role of the budget holder or service user is important in defining the goods or services that are being purchased on behalf of the University.
Alongside the professional procurement advice provided by a procurement specialist, budget holders and service users have a significant input into the procurement process.
Who is a budget holder or service user?
The term "end user" is used to describe the individual with responsibility for formulating the requirement i.e. the goods, services or works required OR the delegatedd authority for budget from which the requirement will be purchased.
In the University that could be a budgetholder, unit manager, research principal investigator or staff acting on sub-delegated authority from Head of College/Support Group.
Before starting the activities below or talking to suppliers, University budget-holders must consider if their requirement is likely to have an aggregated cost over the law threshold (currently £50,000).
If it has, budgetholders must seek approval for their procurement plan, or take a procurement advisor to help, as advised by the Director of Procurement.
The key elements of the end user's role in the procurement standards are to:
- Adequately define user's needs, identifying minimum standards and desirable elements and ensuring that there is adequate consultation with users and their representative bodies (where necessary).
- Ensure that the requirement takes account of the University policy requirements, including its social responsibility/sustainability policies, and is aligned with strategic plan objectives.
- Ensure compliance with relevant legal obligations relating to the goods, services or works to be purchased. For example, environmental/health and safety legislation procurement law.
- Ensure any contract of interest is declared and managed.
- Where appropriate, prepare a business case for approval by delegated authority.
- Ensure that funding is in place and adequate for the whole life cost.
- Contribute to drafting the tender specification.
- Contribute to development of the procurement strategy and risk assessment.
- Be involved throughout the life cycle of the procurement plan, selection, award, implementation, review, ongoing intelligence manaagement user groups.
- Provide technical expertise and input to support the bid assessment fairly and transparently.
- Prepare the technical recommendation in any bid assessment report providing evidence.
- Approve key review stages throughout the procurement as delegated.
End users should not deal directly with bidders or potential bidders during the procurement process without the full involvement of and/or approval by the procurement specialist.