Issue - meetings

Issue - meetings

Procurement Update

Meeting: 18/01/2022 - Scrutiny Committee (Item 84)

84 Procurement Update pdf icon PDF 1014 KB

The Scrutiny Committee has requested an update on the Council’s procurement process. Attached is the current Procurement Policy, with a list of planned amendments to go into the new policy. Annette Osborne, Procurement Manager, will be available to introduce those planned amendments, but would value the input of the Committee in identifying other ideas for inclusion also. She is also available to answer questions concerning the Council’s procurement.

The Committee is asked to consider the update and AGREE any other amendments for inclusion, to be made via recommendations to Cabinet.

Additional documents:


Annette Osborne, Procurement Manager introduced the report and explained that the Procurement Strategy had been sent out to the majority of Service Areas within the Council for their input and this was an opportunity for the Committee to recommend any considerations that it wished to be taken into account during the update process. She highlighted that a number of amendments were proposed to bring the strategy up to date, including around:

  • Embedding Social Value within commissioning and procurement decisions
  • Tailoring the national TOMs (themes, outcomes, measures) Measurement Framework into a model that works locally - OxTOMs.
  • Taking into account environmental impact
  • Strengthening GDPR within the strategy
  • Contract management
  • Fostering an inclusive economy and Community Wealth Building

The Committee raised a number of points, including around:

  • Social Value - in response to questions, the Procurement Manager confirmed that the definition of Social Value would not be too prescriptive but would reflect the current description. She confirmed that there would be engagement with suppliers and this piece of work would be undertaken as part of the OxTOMs work.
  • % weightings in evaluation - the Committee was interested in the 10% weighting given to Social Value considerations during the tender process and whether there was reporting/monitoring information to reveal how often the 10% weighting was outweighed by other factors. Questions were also raised about the circumstances under which the % weightings might be increased or decreased for specific tenders, particularly in relation to how environmental and social harm/value were weighed up. The Procurement Manager was proposing to strengthen the environmental aspect within the Strategy update and advised that each tender had a different set of questions depending on the context of the tender. The Procurement Manager agreed to share the environmental questions asked in the last five big tenders with Cllr Imogen Thomas and outline how they impacted the procurement process.
  • Suppliers - the Committee noted that suppliers named in the Strategy document included the likes of 'Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation' and 'Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation', which were not local to Oxfordshire. The Procurement Manager explained that the two organisations named were buying organisations which could present a quicker route to market.
  • Partnership working - in response to questions, the Committee was advised that conversations were being held with the local universities and councils around how they could work better together, but that this was a challenge due to the different organisations managing procurement in different ways.
  • BAME/Women-led SMEs - the Procurement Manager confirmed that the aim to support BAME/Women-led SMEs in order to tackle under-representation in specific service sectors referenced in the original Strategy had been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Oxford Living Wage - the Committee noted that OCC and ODSL both scored '0' on 'Support Oxford Living Wage'. The Procurement Manager confirmed that both organisations support the Oxford Living Wage in their contracts.
  • Community Wealth Building - in response to questions, the Procurement Manager confirmed that her team was working on bringing local anchor institutions together and that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84