Suppliers' Charter

Joint statement between the Public Sector Procurement and Businesses to facilitate access to public sector procurement opportunities.

Both public sector procurement and business accept that effective procurement practices are an important factor in ensuring a varied and competitive marketplace and creating opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as ensuring Best Value/Value for Money for the public sector.

We recognise the need, where practical, to simplify and standardise processes and to ensure consistency in order to provide a fair and open approach to tendering. With these aims in mind:-

Public Sector procurement organisations will:

Consult with the business community to identify and reduce barriers to business Facilitate understanding of public sector procurement policy and legislation by relevant stakeholders. Ensure that the approach to individual contracts, including large contracts and framework agreements, is supported by a sound business case. Keep the tender process as simple as possible, but consistent with achieving best value/value for money, to help minimise costs to suppliers.

Unless there are compelling business reasons to the contrary, ensure that adequate and appropriate publicity is given to contract opportunities that fall below the OJEU threshold limits or are otherwise exempt from the public procurement directives. (Compelling reasons may, for example, include the factor that the proposed firm is by recent experience (within 3 months) the best value for money supplier and would be likely to remain so in another competition).

Commit to using the core questionnaire for routine procurements with addition of bespoke additions on a case by case basis.

Authorities will be expected to follow this format and, as closely as possible, wording for routine open procedure procurements. Offer meaningful feedback to suppliers on the evaluation of their proposal at the end of the tendering process. Publish guidance for the business community on tendering for opportunities. Support training for procurement staff to develop consistency in the use of best practice procurement activity.

Businesses and their representative organisations will:

Provide feedback from suppliers and their respective associations, on tender processes and perceived barriers to business. Representative organisations will act as a guide to their members in cases of complaint and help them to distinguish the appropriate course of action. Recognise duties under EU and UK law surrounding public procurement activity.

Encourage members of business organisations to adhere to this Charter. Support public sector websites as a means of accessing contract opportunities. Make effective use of their skills and resources in bidding for and providing public sector goods and services. Support the use of the core questionnaire in the tendering process and the scope for debriefing.

Encourage understanding of the principles of good business practice by appropriate means e.g. dissemination of information and awareness raising seminars. Work with your customers to deliver value for money throughout the life of the contract.