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How and what we buy

Goods and services are paid for with public funds and so rules are in place to ensure a high level of transparency at all stages of the procurement process. Broadly speaking the rules fall into five groups:

  • European procurement directives
  • UK legislation
  • Financial regulations of the council
  • Contract and procurement rules of the council
  • Policy decisions of the council

Purchasing decisions are complex and are not always not based solely on price, for example, we would consider if goods and services are:

  • fit for purpose (quality, suitability for the task to be undertaken etc.)
  • delivery and availability against price
  • cost of ownership
  • whole life cycle costs, including, spare parts, maintenance costs and projected down time
  • on-costs (such as transport and storage)
  • the cost of procurement itself
  • sustainability, environmental and corporate social responsibility

We buy a wide variety of goods and services including:

  • agency staff
  • building consultancy and construction
  • business travel
  • civil engineers
  • community services
  • consultancy services
  • credit reference services
  • environmental health
  • estate management
  • food stuffs
  • gas, electricity and oil
  • housing services
  • information technology
  • janitorial products
  • library materials
  • office furniture
  • office products
  • quantity surveying
  • residential and nursery accommodation
  • residential child care
  • school and children's services
  • security services
  • social care
  • telecommunications
  • vehicle fuels
  • vehicle hire or leasing
  • waste management
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