There is an environment which ensures, as far as is reasonably practicable, that all purchasing and supply activity is managed to meet the needs of the organisation through the consistent delivery of best value and the appropriate management of risk and complies with relevant statutory requirements.


In 2002, the Executive of the N.I Assembly following a review of public procurement policy and purchasing arrangements in Departments approved a revised public procurement policy for the public sector.   (The policy can be viewed at http://www.cpdni.gov.uk/pdf-public_procurement_policy.pdf)

The Executive agreed that the new policy should be guided by a clear definition of public procurement and the concept of “best value for money”.

    • Public procurement is defined as “the process of acquisition, usually by means of a contractual arrangement after public competition, of goods, services, works and other supplies by the public service”.   The public procurement process spans the whole life cycle from initial conception and definition of the needs of the public service through to the end of the useful life of an asset or the end of a contract.   Both conventionally funded and more innovative types of funded projects (for example PPP/PFI arrangements with the private sector) are included as are the use of the private sector to deliver services previously delivered directly by the public sector (contracting out) and in house consortia bidding in a public procurement process.

    • The concept of “best value for money” is defined as “ the optimum combination of whole life costs and quality (or fitness for purpose) to meet the customer’s requirement”. This definition enables a public body to compile a procurement specification that includes social, economic and environmental policy objectives within the procurement process.   “Whole...