NUI Galway Procurement Policy

 

 

Code:                    QA100

Title:                      Procurement Policy   

Date:                     21/11/2019

Approval:             University Management Team

Policy Owner:    Chief Operating Officer

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. 1.              Purpose

 NUI Galway, as a public body, operates under the National Public Procurement Policy Framework, which sets out the overarching policy framework for public procurement in Ireland. The University is obliged to adhere to this Regulatory Framework in its procurement of all goods, services and works (as outlined in Appendix 1). In so doing, it will ensure that public funds are spent in a way that ensures maximum value for money, provides the sustainable operation of University activities, and ensures compliance with government policy, national guidelines and EU procurement directives. This Policy sets out the parameters within which public procurement will be undertaken in NUI Galway, in accordance with the Regulatory Framework.

 2.              Definition

 Public procurement refers to the process by which public bodies purchase goods or services from suppliers which they have selected for this purpose. It ranges from the purchase of routine goods or services to large scale contracts for infrastructural projects and involves a wide and diverse range of contracting authorities. 

 3.              Key Principles

 NUI Galway operates its procurement in accordance with the overarching principles that procurement transactions and decisions must in all respects be non-discriminatory, fair, equitable, and ensure value for money. The University must be able to justify procurement decisions made and actions taken. Competitive processes will be undertaken in an open and transparent manner, and will deliver the best value for money, in compliance with the Public Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services and with the Capital Works Management Framework.

 In addition, NUI Galway aligns with the following principles, which are outlined in in the Office of Government Procurement ‘Public Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services’:            

  • Accountability
  • Acceptance of Gifts / Bribes
  • Collusive tendering
  • Conflicts of Interest 
  • EU Treaty principles
  • Green Procurement
  • Public Financial Procedures Codes of Conduct
  • Record keeping
  • Risk assessment  
  • Separation of duties
  • Training 
  1. 4.              University Procurement Objectives 

a)              To maximise compliance with all relevant government procurement policies, guidelines, and EU directives.

b)             To achieve maximum value for money and sustainability in the delivery of goods, services, and works across the University.

c)              To increase the proportion of spend with contracted suppliers drawn from national frameworks, where such represent real efficiencies and value for money for NUI Galway.

d)             To optimise procurement processes and procedures and introduce automation, where appropriate, to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency in executing procurement processes.

 

  1. 5.              Governance and Responsibilities 

 

Role

 

Responsibilities

 

Bursar

The Bursar is responsible for the overall financial planning and financial management of the University.

Chief Operating Officer

The Chief Operating Officer is the UMT Leader with responsibility for the Procurement & Contracts function of the University and oversees compliance with this Policy.

University Management Team

The University Management Team (UMT) members are accountable for budget allocation and for ensuring that budgets within their areas of responsibility are spent in compliance with this Policy

 

UMT members are responsible for coordinating and submitting, to the PCO by 30 September annually, procurement plans for their areas/units of responsibility, which align with the budgeting process.

Internal Audit & Risk Management

The Internal Audit and Risk Management function is responsible for giving assurance to Údarás na hOllscoile, through the Finance Resource Committee and Audit Committee, on the adequacy of the arrangements for systems of internal control, results reporting, risk management, compliance, governance, and arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

Heads of School / College / Research Centres / Support & Professional Units

Heads of academic, research, and support units have overall responsibility for procurement compliance in their units and are required to ensure that their reporting budget holders, and nominees, undertake all procurements in compliance with this Policy.

Procurement & Contracts Office (PCO)

The PCO is responsible for developing the University’s procurement policy, procedures and processes, based on relevant Government Policy, EU Directives etc., and for monitoring compliance to the Procurement Policy and procedures.

 

It is responsible for designing, and delivering (where applicable), procurement training for all staff involved in purchasing / procurement activities and those with responsibilities arising from this Procurement Policy.

   

The PCO coordinates the tendering of “non-works” contracts >€25k.

 

It reviews and analyses expenditure to identify common categories of spends that result in aggregation, and identifies Budget Holders, or their nominees, or subject matter experts to lead, or assist with, the required tendering procedure. 

 

In compliance with regulatory obligations, the PCO coordinates and submits the Multi-Annual Procurement Plan (MAPP) and the Corporate Procurement Plan (CPP).

 

It supports internal and external procurement audits, including the University’s annual C&AG audit.

Requisitioner

Requisitioners are required to undertake all requisitions and purchases in full compliance with this Policy. 

They are required to undertake mandatory procurement training relevant to the procurement activities and responsibilities that they assume, as required by this Policy. 

Requisitioners develop, maintain, and store securely the Required Documentation Set, in accordance with Appendix 2 of this Policy, and fully cooperate with internal and external audits, providing responses and documentation, as required, by given deadlines.   

Budget Holders

All budget holders are responsible for ensuring that: 

All goods and services are procured from their budgets in compliance with this Policy. 

All staff to whom they delegate responsibility for procurement are appropriately trained and undertake procurement activities and responsibilities in compliance with this Policy. 

A multi-annual procurement plan is prepared in respect of planned expenditure in line with the budget preparation process. This plan will be submitted to the relevant UMT member for onward forwarding to the PCO by 30 September annually, to form part of the University’s Multi-Annual Procurement Plan. 

Supplier relationships are managed, ongoing monitoring of contracts that they have lead is conducted, and formal reviews of contract performance are undertaken, to ensure agreed service and performance levels are delivered, and that agreed rates are being applied by suppliers. 

They commit resources, in terms of time and effort, towards the tendering processes undertaken to manage aggregated expenditure. 

Documentation relevant to each purchase is developed, maintained, and stored appropriately (as per Appendix 2). Budget holders may be required to provide such documentation to auditors, to demonstrate compliance. 

They support the University’s category management approach to procurement by raising purchase requisitions on Agresso, and applying accurate product codes to purchases. 

They support, cooperate with, and are accountable to internal and external auditors in relation to procurements made from their budget(s).

 

They provide documentary evidence as to why a supplier should be classified as a ‘Sole Source’ supplier to justify their derogation from competitive procurement processes. 

The advice of the Procurement & Contracts Office is sought, as required, on all procurement matters and in respect of using the national procurement model and agreed national frameworks, where relevant. 

 

  1. 6.              Procurement Thresholds   

EU Directives and national regulations impose legal obligations on public bodies in regard to advertising and the use of objective tendering procedures for awarding contracts above certain value thresholds. 

The Procurement Thresholds, and the levels of approval required at each threshold, are outlined in Appendix 3.  These thresholds apply to procurement of individual goods, services and works where the aggregated value of procurement of aforementioned exceeds a threshold. 

In conducting public procurement, those to whom delegated authority has been granted to procure on behalf of the University must comply with the guidelines in respect of each of the Phases or Public Procurement, as detailed in the Public Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services’, or with the Capital Works Management Framework. 

7.         Compliance 

Procurement compliance is required at three levels: 

  • Compliance to legal obligations—EU Directives, Irish regulations and other applicable legislation
  • Compliance to government policy—Circulars, Public Spending Code, etc.
  • Compliance to internal University policy, procedures, and controls. 

All budget holders are responsible for ensuring that expenditure from their budgets is undertaken in compliance with this University policy.  They must also ensure that those to whom responsibility for procurement has been delegated exercise this duty in compliance with this policy. In the event of significant or continued instances of non-compliance, the Procurement & Contracts Office will review the issues with the budget holder and agree an action plan that will ensure future compliance. 

Monitoring of Units’ compliance to this Policy, and to the Public Procurement Guidelines, will be undertaken on an ongoing basis. 

The University will develop and implement any such policies, procedures, and controls required to enable maximum compliance by all staff to legal, government, and internal policy requirements.  This will be supported through a programme of staff training to enable all staff to meet their obligations. 

8.         Aggregation 

The aggregate total value of different contracts for the same category of goods, services or works are treated as a single amount for the purpose of procurement. Aggregation can occur at a number of different levels—nationally, sectorally, cross-sectorally, regionally, or at an organisational level. 

An important consideration in relation to aggregation is where the Budget Holder has a “line of sight” of the expenditure in question i.e. there has been historical expenditure and there is an ongoing requirement. 

Budget holders whose individual expenditures contribute to an overall aggregated University spend close to the tendering threshold, must contribute resources, in terms of time and effort, towards the tendering process and establishing a contract. The Procurement & Contracts Office will ensure that the effort required to be invested by budget holders will be equitably shared. 

Where staff in particular units are considered subject matter experts on specific categories of expenditure, which, when aggregated, reach tendering threshold values, they will assume leadership of the procurement tendering project and the contract management, supported by other units with expenditure in the same category.  The team will be guided by the Procurement & Contracts Office on the overall procurement strategy. 

Procurement thresholds, as detailed in Appendix 3, apply to the aggregate (total) value of all requirements for the purchase, lease, rental or hire of goods and services of a similar type. 

In judging whether goods or services or works are “of a similar type”, reference should be made to the Procurement Coding directory and consideration should be given to whether those goods or services or works would normally be ordered together and/or from the same suppliers. 

Aggregate values may be calculated as follows: 

  • the estimated value of separate contracts of goods or services or works to meet a single requirement (e.g. purchase of cleaning services); or
  • the total value of goods, services or works purchased during the last financial year; or
  • the estimated total value of all contracts/orders expected to be placed in the next financial year, or during the term of the contract if that is longer; or
  • where contracts have no definite duration, in this case the value is calculated as 48 x the monthly value. 

NUI Galway will proactively participate in the development of contracts arising from aggregate expenditure nationally, across, or within, the higher education sector, or at a regional level, as directed by government policy. 

9.         Sole Source

The Sole Source Process, is a non-competitive purchase or procurement process that indicates for a specific reason(s) there is only one source for goods or services.  The process may be used only in exceptional circumstances as it permits a purchase without running an open and competitive quotation or tender process. This must be approved by PCO in advance of purchase(s) being undertaken.   Budget holders who undertake the Sole Source process will justify their derogation from competitive procurement processes to the Procurement & Contracts Office and to internal and external auditors, as required. 

10.     Requirement for Agresso Purchase Orders 

Purchase Orders facilitate budgetary control by ring-fencing committed expenditure.  The processing of Purchase Orders through Agresso is a requirement for all purchases (irrespective of value) with the noted exception of the categories of expenditure listed on the Procurement & Contracts Office website (examples of which are outlined in Appendix 4).  

Financial Accounting will not process payments in respect of purchases for which Purchase Orders have not been issued, with the exception of those exempted. 

11.       Multi-annual Procurement Plan (MAPP) 

Each year, aligned with the process of forecasting and preparation of budgets, budget holders are required to identify planned expenditures that exceed threshold values, and set out their plans for how they will expend their budgets on goods, services, and works, in accordance with the Procurement Policy. 

Each UMT member is required to coordinate and submit multi-annual procurement plans for their areas of responsibility to the Procurement & Contracts Office by 30th September annually. The PCO will compile the University’s overall Multi-year Annual Procurement Plan and submit it to the HEA and EPS by the annual deadline of 1st November. 

12.       Training and Access to Systems 

It is the responsibility of Budget holders to ensure that all staff procuring goods or services or works using funds from the budget(s) under their control do so in compliance with this Policy. The Procurement & Contracts Office will make available the appropriate training to support compliance in this area.   Budget holders are required to ensure that staff attend training appropriate to the procurement activities and responsibilities that they assume, as outlined in the Table below.  It is important to note that, in order for the University to meet its obligations, access to the University’s financial system and involvement in procurement activities will be permitted to staff only when the appropriate level of training has been received by them. 

Procurement Activity

Mandatory training

Who needs to attend?

Course content

Frequency of training

 

Requisitioning

Purchasing

 

 

Stage 1

Foundation

 

All staff involved in any aspect of procurement and/or purchasing.

 

Budget holders.

 

Heads of Units.

 

Procurement Policy.

 

Step-by-step procurement processes.

 

Every 2-3 years, or in line with regulatory changes.

 

Mini-competitions

 

 

Stage 2

Quotations and Mini-competitions

 

Staff involved in seeking quotations.

 

Staff involved in purchasing from centralised Framework Agreements.

 

Budget holders and/or nominees.

 

How to seek, evaluate, and award quotations.

 

Distinguish between mini-competitions and quotations.

 

Every 2-3 years, or in line with regulatory changes.

 

Tendering

 

Stage 3

Tendering (National and EU)

 

Budget holders and their nominees, whose expenditures exceed tendering thresholds.

 

Members of Tendering Evaluation Groups.

 

Understanding a full tendering procedure.

 

Distinguish between National and EU tenders.

 

Every 2-3 years, or in line with regulatory changes.

 

13.       Supply Chain Resilience 

             As part of the University’s commitment to developing its organisational resilience, and to mitigating the loss of goods and services that support its critical academic, research, and support functions, it will incorporate measures into its procurement processes and procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of its critical suppliers’ business continuity arrangements. 

14.       Sustainable Procurement 

The University is committed to working with the relevant Government agencies to develop green procurement criteria that will be used where relevant when tendering for goods, services and works.  NUI Galway will incorporate the use of Green Procurement practices in our processes and procedures, in an effort to reduce our environmental impact in conjunction with the Community University Sustainability Programme (CUSP).

 

______________________________________

Appendix 1

Regulatory Framework

 

NUI Galway operates under the National Public Procurement Policy Framework , which sets out the overarching policy framework for public procurement in Ireland.  It consists of the following strands: 

Legislation: 

Public Service Management Act

EU Procurement Directives, including:

a)       Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement (goods, services and works)  

b)       Directive 2014/23/EU on the award of Concession contracts 

Irish Regulations implementing EU Procurement Directives:

a)         S.I.  No. 284/2016 (the “2016 Regulations”);

b)         S.I. No. 286/2016 (the “2016 Utilities Regulations”) and

c)         S.I. No. 203/2017 (the “2017 Concessions Regulations”). 

Remedies Regime  

Remedies Directives

National Remedies Regulations 

Government Policy on Procurement 

Circular 13/13: Public Spending Code

Corporate Governance Standard for the Civil Service

Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies

Freedom of Information Model Publication Scheme

Circular 10/2014 - Initiatives to assist SMEs in Public Procurement

Circular 16/2013: Revision of arrangements concerning the use of Central Contracts put in place by the National Procurement Service

Circular 40/2002 - Public Procurement Guidelines- revision of existing procedures for approval of certain contracts in the Central Government sector

Circular 05/2013 Procurement of Legal Services and Managing Legal Costs

Circular 01/2016 – Construction Procurement

Circular 6/10 - Construction Procurement Reform

 

Capital Works Management Framework for Public Works as detailed on the CWMF website – www.constructionprocurement.gov.ie 

General Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services 

More detailed technical guidelines, template documentation and information notes as issued periodically by the Policy Unit of the Office of Government Procurement (OGP). 

Also of relevance: 


Appendix 2

Required Documentation Set 

The Table below sets out the documentation set relevant to each procurement activity that must be developed, maintained, and stored appropriately. Budget holders and Requisitioners may be required to provide such documentation to internal and external auditors, to demonstrate compliance. 

Purchases <€25k (Supplies & Services) + <€50k (Works)

Item No.

Document Type

Maintained by

Notes

1

Request for Quotation Form

Budget Holder / Nominee

Templates available on the PCO website

2

List of suppliers being invited to quote

Budget Holder / Nominee

 

3

Evaluation of Quotation (signed)

Budget Holder / Nominee

Templates available on the PCO website

4

Notification to Successful supplier(s)

Budget Holder / Nominee

Templates available on the PCO website

5

Notification to Unsuccessful supplier(s)

Budget Holder / Nominee

Templates available on the PCO website

6

Agresso Purchase Order

Budget Holder / Nominee

 

7

Details of all communications with successful supplier in regard to the specific purchase

Budget Holder / Nominee

 

 

Purchases  >€25k (Supplies & Services) + >50k (Works)

Item No.

Document Type

 

Maintained by

 

Notes

1

Tender Initiation Form (TIF) - signed

Each Devolved Procurement Centre

Template TIF document available on PCO website

2

Purchase Service Request Form PSR (OGP)

Each Devolved Procurement Centre

 

3

All related communication emails around the PSR between OGP and other Sourcing Agencies (e.g. EPS, HSE etc.)

Each Devolved Procurement Centre

 

4

Third Party Funding Letter (if applicable)

Each Devolved Procurement Centre

 

5

FRC approval details (i.e. purchases >€211k)

Procurement & Contracts Office

 

6

Invitation to Tender documentation suite

Each Devolved Procurement Centre

 

7

eTenders Notices and all clarifications issued during advertisement period

Each Devolved Procurement Centre

 

8

Article 84 Report

Each Devolved Procurement Centre

 

9

Tender opening record sheet (signed)

Each Devolved Procurement Centre

 

10

All Tender Response documents submitted by Suppliers

Each Devolved Procurement Centre

 

11

Signed Tender Evaluation Report including evaluation of both Eligibility and Tender Award Criteria

Each Devolved Procurement Centre

 

12

All notification Letters (standstill, regret and award letters)

Each Devolved Procurement Centre

 

13

eTenders Contract Award Notice

   

14

The signed Contract Document

Budget Holder

Template document available on  PCO website to be agreed and signed by the Budget Holder / Contract Owner.

15

Framework Agreements - all correspondence in relation to each individual drawdown  i.e.  Drawdown documents, POs, invoices

Budget Holder

Where mini competitions are conducted locally - all correspondence should be maintained locally.

16

Project Management Plan where applicable

Budget Holder

 

17

Project Meeting Minutes

Budget Holder

 

18

All Agresso Purchase Orders under this specific contract

Budget Holder

 

19

All invoices and payment details for this specific contract

Budget Holder

 

20

All Goods / Services Received Notes

Budget Holder

 

21

All Correspondence with the awarded supplier

Budget Holder

 

22

Any reports prepared by Third Parties specifically related to this purchase/project

Budget Holder

 

 



 

Appendix 3

Procurement Thresholds 

The National and EU Procurement thresholds for advertising and the procurement procedures to be used are set out below.  Where Grant Recipients are required to comply with public procurement procedures, it should be noted that the funding body may require additional conditions and this is a matter for the funding body to inform the applicant of same. 

Where a Centralised Contract or a Framework Agreement exists for the required goods / services / works-related categories of expenditure, the instructions on “How to Avail of this Contract”, outlined on the Procurement & Contracts Office website, should be followed. 

The thresholds mentioned below relate to expenditure where no current contract is in existence. 

Contract Type

Estimated Value of Procurement

 (exclusive of VAT)

Procurement Procedure required

Required Approval

Guidance

Supplies or General Services

Less than €5,000

Seek Written Quotes from a minimum of 1 or more genuine and competent  participant(s) of supplies / service providers.

PO and invoice approved by Budget holder or designated nominee.

 

See

Public Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services

 

Greater than €5,000 and less than €25,000

 

 

Seek Written Quotes from a minimum of 3 genuine and competent participants of supplies / services providers.

PO and invoice approved by Budget holder or designated nominee.

 

See

Public Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services

 

Greater than €25,000 – and less than the EU Threshold5

Seek a minimum of 3 Written Tenders from genuine and competent  suppliers/service providers through an open

National Tendering Competition advertised on eTenders website using the Open or Restricted Procedure.

Tender Initiation Form required to be signed by Budget Holder and nominee

 

PO / invoice Approval <€100k =Budget holder or nominee. 

 

PO / invoice Approval >€100k = Budget Holder and relevant UMT Member (or Bursar).

 

See

Public Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services

 

>EU Threshold

EU Tendering Procedure – advertisement on eTenders and OJEU is required.

FRC Approval required at both pre-tender and award of contract stage.  

 

PO/invoice approval :   Budget Holder, Bursar and relevant UMT member.

See

 

Public Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services

Works

Less than €50,000

Direct Invitation

Seek a minimum of 5 Written Tenders from interested, genuine and competent contractors.

PO and invoice approved by Budget holder or designated nominee.

 

See Section 3.2 ‘Advertising and Timeframes for the Tender’ of

GN 2.3 -  Procurement Process for Works Contractors

 

€50,000-€250,000

Open Procedure Publish Contact Notice on eTenders

PO and invoice approved by Budget holder or designated nominee.

Tender Initiation Form required to be signed by Budget Holder and nominee

See Section 3.2 ‘Advertising and Timeframes for the Tender’ of

GN 2.3 -  Procurement Process for Works Contractors

 

€250,000 – EU Threshold2

Open or Restricted Procedure

Publish  Contract Notice on

eTenders

Tender Initiation Form required to be signed by Budget Holder and nominee

PO / invoice Approval <€100k =Budget holder or nominee. 

 

PO / invoice Approval >€100k = Budget Holder and relevant UMT Member (or Bursar).

See Section 3.2 ‘Advertising and Timeframes for the Tender’ of

GN 2.3 -  Procurement Process for Works Contractors

 

>EU Threshold

EU Tendering Procedure – advertised through OJEU is required.

FRC Approval required at both pre-tender and  acceptance of tenders stages.  

 

PO/invoice approval :   Budget Holder, Bursar and relevant UMT member.

 

 

Works Related Services3

Less than €50,000

Direct Invitation

Seek a minimum of 5 Written Tenders from interested, genuine and competent consultants.

PO and invoice approved by Budget holder or designated nominee.

 

See

GN 1.6 – Procurement Process for Consultancy Services (Technical)

 

€50,000-€250,000

Open Procedure Publish Contact Notice on eTenders

PO and invoice approved by Budget holder or designated nominee.

 

See

GN 1.6 – Procurement Process for Consultancy Services (Technical)

 

 

Thresholds (exclusive of VAT) above which advertising of contracts in the Official Journal of the EU is obligatory.

Budget Holders should ascertain the correct rate of VAT applicable and account for it in the budget amount available for the purchase. 

All procurement thresholds are exclusive of VAT.    Above the EU threshold, advertisements are obligatory in the Official Journal of the EU.    The thresholds are revised bi-annually and those mentioned below applicable from 1st January 2020 (until 31st December 2021). 

The main advertising EU thresholds with effect from 1st January 2020 are as follows: 

 

Works - €5,350,000

Government Departments and Offices, Local and Regional Authorities and public bodies

 

Supplies and Services

€214,000 – Public Bodies

 

Annex XIV of EU directive 2014/24/EU

€750,000 

 

 

Appendix 4

Purchase Order exemptions

The procurement of some goods and services are exempt from the requirement to issue a Purchase Order. Examples include:

  • Travel for staff and non-staff  expenses which is governed by the NUI Galway Travel Policy
  • Club Travel bookings
  • Utilities
  • Telephone: Fixed Line and Mobile Bills
  • Banking services
  • Catering services provided by the University's onsite catering service providers including Water Coolers
  • Temporary recruitment of staff e.g. ICE, CPL
  • An Post – Postage charges
  • Courier Services
  • Taxis for meetings not related to Travel
  • Motor Tax
  • Arts in Action Performers
  • External examiners and Quality Assurance Reviewers
  • Recruitment/Job Candidate Expenses/Relocation
  • Erasmus Payments
  • Awards/scholarships
  • Commission Invoices re Student Recruitment
  • Professional Subscriptions 

The complete and up-to-date  list of goods and services that are exempt from the requirement to issue a Purchase Order is available on the Procurement & Contracts Office website.