Procurement simply means purchasing things - goods and services for example. Here we are being rather more specific, however, as we are talking about large contracts.
There are strict rules about how public bodies award large contracts to stop them favouring local suppliers from their own countries. Nobody ever felt that this applied to housing co-operatives or associations until 2009 when London and Quadrant Housing lost an argument in court and were ruled to be a public body under human rights legislation. The ruling does not mean that all housing associations are public bodies, but if your association:
- receives or has received public subsidy
- is regulated by the government (ie you are a registered social landlord/registered provider)
- houses people mainly from local authority housing lists
Many registered social landlords are of the view that this means they must follow rules for public bodies when putting large contracts to tender. As there are repercussions for both the organisation putting large contracts (a threshold of about £100,000 applies, but vary depending on the contract) and those who win the contract, it is possible that some will be reluctant to bid if the process is not used.
The easy explanation is that tenders must be advertised through the Official Journal of the European Union (www.ojec.com) and the timescales and procedures followed.
If you wish to tender for management services we can assist you with this and place the tender for you, but during Autumn 2010 we intend producing a 'speculative framework'. That is, we will invite providers of management services to bid to join an approved list, by using the OJEU process, so that you can meet the requirements at a much reduced cost and in a shorter timescale.
Please contact us if you are likely to wish to follow this process.