Defining the Need

4.1 Environmental impact

4.2 Determining the need

4.3 Project initiation

  • Defining the Need is a key element of the customer’s role. Prior to any procurement being undertaken, the actual need must be clearly defined, i.e. that it is fit for the purpose for which it is intended. If an actual requirement does exist, it must be procured by means that offer best overall value for money.

4.1 Environmental impact

As part of the SPCB’s Responsible Purchasing policy, customers and purchasers must be prepared to challenge the need for proposed purchases. Not purchasing goods or services is the most effective method of reducing environmental impact. Otherwise, re-use existing items wherever possible - consider refurbishment/upgrade etc and the extent to which goods contain recycled materials or are recyclable at end of life.

4.2 Determining the need

It is essential that the full extent of the anticipated and potential need is defined by the Project Owner at the outset (and this should include related requirements from other business areas). The extent of the requirement dictates the overall contract value which, in turn, determines the appropriate procurement process. If additional requirements are identified following contract award or if actual spend exceeds the estimated contract value, a further competitive procurement exercise may be required. This is not an effective use of SPCB resources and may create difficulties in terms of compatibility, continuity, fair and open competition, legal compliance etc.

  • Wherever it is necessary to contact suppliers to assess the likely contract value, care must be taken to ensure that any subsequent procurement exercise is not compromised in any way, e.g. by affording any particular supplier an unfair advantage. Procurement Services or staff with relevant Purchasing Authority should normally make such contact.

4.3 Project initiation

A Project Initiation Document (PID) must be completed for all procurement projects over £60,000, whether it is for a new requirement, part of a larger project or a replacement contract for goods or services currently being received.

The purpose of the PID is to ensure that all appropriate planning and stakeholder consultation has taken place prior to the project being allowed to commence. As part of the consultation process to complete the PID Procurement Services will provide an Outline Procurement Strategy for each option included within the PID. Procurement Services should be consulted as soon as possible as we may be able to assist with market research, as well as providing the Outline Procurement Strategy. Details of how to complete the PID are set out in the Project Management pages on the intranet.

As a general rule if the PID is for a replacement contract (a new contract for the same goods and/or services) it does not need to be passed through the project approvals process, but must still be signed of/approved by the appropriate Group Head to confirm budget and staff resources before procurement resources will be fully committed.

For requirements below £60,000, budgetary approval must be obtained before a procurement project will be initiated. This will normally be confirmed in the form of a requisition.