Agenda item

Procurement Strategy 2021-2025

The purpose of this report is to update the Committee on the progress made against the 2016-2021 Procurement Strategy and the establishment of a 2021-2025 Procurement Strategy.




The report provided an update on progress made against the 2016-2021 Procurement Strategy and the establishment of a 2021-2025 Procurement Strategy. The comments of the Committee were as follows:


Impact of the end of the Brexit Transition period for current Council procurement activity – it was noted that the EU legal framework for procurement had been transposed into UK law (with an abridged version) effective from 1 January 2021. The main change related to the requirement for providing notices of contracts from use of the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) into a Finder Tender service which will be a UK bulletin board. The Head of Category Management advised that there had never been interest in any Medway contracts from countries in the EU, EEA or Switzerland.


Improved working with the voluntary sector – the Committee was advised of the material contribution made by the voluntary sector in supporting the Council’s response to the COVID pandemic some of which had involved varying contracts to create that capacity.


Capacity to achieve the aspirations in the Procurement Strategy – the Head of Category Management provided an assurance that while the targets in the Strategy were ambitious he was confident that a score of 3 could be attained against all objectives as detailed within Appendix 3 of the report


Building on the understanding of the Procurement process by elected Members – the Committee expressed support for a recommendation that training for all elected Members on procurement should take place and for further discussion to take place on the format and delivery of the training to encourage interest and take-up.


Social value in procurement – Members expressed interest in how the Council could maximise the achievement of social value through procurement activity including training of young people, encouraging diversity, the creation of good quality jobs and safeguarding the environment. The Head of Category Management explained that there was a framework of over 100 social value themes, outcomes and measures (TOMS) to assist the Council to determine social value priorities and then to evaluate impact.


Developing talent – the Committee was advised Category Management were a team of six, three of whom had achieved membership of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply and three of whom were studying towards full membership.


Council engagement with Medway SMEs – the Head of Category Management provided an assurance to the Committee that activity to regularly engage with SMEs in Medway was ongoing and that project -specific dialogue with local bidders had been found to be more effective than the previous annual Meet the Buyer event run by the Council. Barriers to successful bidding by SMEs had been addressed. For example, procurement documentation had been streamlined and upfront information was provided about generic standards and certification required for each project with careful scrutiny to ensure that project-specific requirements from bidders were appropriate.


In conclusion the Committee noted the achievements of the 2016-2021 Procurement Strategy as outlined in the objectives in Appendix 1 to the report.


The Committee also discussed and noted the proposed utilisation of the National Procurement Strategy for the 2021-2025 Procurement Strategy’s objectives and the proposal that year one of the new strategy should be used to attain a score of 3 against all objectives as detailed within Appendix 3 of the report.




The Committee agreed to recommend the Cabinet to agree that training on the Council’s Procurement Strategy and the associated processes for local authority procurement should be provided for all Members of the Council and that the Chief Legal Officer and the Head of Category Management should develop a proposal for the format and delivery of the training in consultation with the Chairman and Opposition Spokesperson for the Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


(In accordance with Council Rule 12.6, Councillors Johnson, Maple and Murray asked that their votes in favour be recorded.)

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