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Before commencing a procurement process it is essential that the officer leading the procurement process has identified the need and fully assessed the options for meeting those needs. Consideration shall be given to the Sustainable Procurement Strategy and further guidance provided in the Corporate Procurement Handbook, as appropriate.

Before undertaking the procurement, the lead officer shall:

–  –  –

 consult DP to ascertain whether there is an appropriate framework agreement, collaborative or partnership arrangement that should be used, including any existing or planned contract with the Central Buying Consortium (CBC), Pro5 or others.

–  –  –

 carry out an assessment of risks including procurement risks and business continuity associated with the project (see the Risk Management Strategy and Dorset Procurement Handbook, for guidance on conducting risk assessments)

–  –  –

16. Equality Standard for Procurement Diversity is not about treating everyone in the same way, but about recognising and valuing difference, as well as recognising and addressing inequalities and disadvantage.

The Equality Framework for Local Government has laid out specific equality in procurement criteria to be included in contracts and achieved through the procurement process. This standard carries an assessment process that is an important measure of how well public sector services deliver equality and diversity in all areas of service provision and employment.

Prior to the commencement of any procurement project, consideration must be given by stakeholders to the impact that diversity and equality may have and identify whether it is a core requirement of a particular contract.

The role of Dorset Councils Working Together as community leaders is important to us and we are committed to the promotion of equality of opportunity and accounting for diversity in delivering our services. We welcome the opportunity to promote fairness as we continue to improve our public services and achieving the aims set out in our comprehensive Equality and Diversity Scheme. An important part of this commitment is encouraging, and where possible, requiring all organisations which bid for our business to demonstrate equalities in recruitment and retention as well as service delivery.

Dorset councils spending sustain and generate thousands of jobs in and around the geographical area of Dorset. The Councils have a statutory duty to ensure that public money is spent in a way that ensures Best Value and does not lead to unfair discrimination and social exclusion.

Dorset Procurement has developed the “Equality Standard for Procurement” which provides a benchmark against which service providers’ compliance with our statutory requirements and other legal obligations can be measured. Answers to the “approved” questions, will be used to determine if a potential service provider satisfies the pre-contract requirements of the standard.

This document has been developed to support council officers, contractors and organisations to understand the importance of equality and diversity issues in the procurement process and to provide guidance about the evidence required to show how equality and diversity issues are being met and managed.

It provides information and advice about how the Dorset Procurement will promote equality when procuring goods, services and works from external organisations including contractors, suppliers and consultants from the public, private and third sectors.

Questions relating to whether the equality and diversity requirements are met will be included in all tenders for council business. All organisations who wish to undertake business with the Councils will need to ensure that they conform to these requirements. We may ask for evidence that equality and diversity requirements are being met. Failure to demonstrate this may be grounds for termination of the contract.

This Equality Standard for Procurement will be subject to regular revision and will incorporate the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

Dorset Procurement will continue to play a significant role to help Dorset council’s work towards ‘Achieving’ and/or ‘Excellence’ under the new Equality Framework for Local Government.

17. Sustainable Procurement Dorset Procurement will play a significant role in supporting a number of panDorset policies and strategies that are aimed at mitigating the impact of climate change including energy and water.

We have set the following objectives for purchasing works, goods and services, across all our operations but with due regard to the legislative requirements of European and English law: Minimise environmental impacts, including  Minimise waste, pollution, energy and water use and the impacts from transport,  Maximise re-use and recycling and the use of efficient & clean technologies  Protect and enhance the natural and built environment  Maximise benefits to the local economy, including  Maximise the use of local goods, skills, materials and services  Encourage supply chains to adopt good environmental practices  Maximise benefits to local and global communities, including  Improve accessibility to services and green products for all  Maximise opportunities for learning and training and promotion of sustainable development  Maximise opportunities to support healthy lifestyles  Encourage equality, fair and ethical trade and address poverty  Explore opportunities for the application of renewable energy technologies  Take a long term view, account for the impacts and benefits of products and services through their whole life  consider the implications of long term issues such as Climate Change  consider the needs of future generations

To ensure the achievement of the above we will:

 Implement such policies and action plans as actively as we can, consistent with the effective management of each Council’s resources  Ensure all procurement staff are aware of their roles in implementing such policies  Ensure our suppliers comply with statutory environmental requirements  Where appropriate, encourage tenderers to provide comparative whole life costs for environmentally sustainable alternatives.

 Ensure that the evaluation criteria where appropriate, recognises suppliers that can demonstrate the ability to supply works, goods and services that have a clear environmental advantage where it satisfies the value for money requirement  Share our successes and encourage others to do the same In the last few years, the Dorset Councils Working Together with the unitary authorities of Bournemouth & Poole, other public sector organisations and the business and sectors have developed two components as part of the Climate Change Mitigation Framework; the Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole Renewable Energy Strategy and the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Energy Efficiency Strategy.

With a growing awareness of the threat of climate change and the need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, a range of national and regional targets for reducing carbon emissions have been set.

Dorset councils are committed to ensuring that full consideration of the impact that the procurement of goods, works and services will have on the environment and, in particular, on the Dorset community.

As well as the consideration of the full life cycle costs in any procurement of works, goods and services, Dorset Procurement will continue to work closely with local organisations in so far as it is lawful to do so to ensure that opportunities for competing for public sector contracts are as accessible as possible.

In addition to providing better access to such opportunities, Dorset Procurement will help organisations improve the quality of their own businesses by using the leverage of public sector spending to influence organisations to manage sustainability and reduce their own ‘carbon footprint’ which will contribute to the overall reduction to help meet local and national targets.

Dorset Procurement already meet regularly with local representatives of both small and medium sized enterprises and third sector organisations to share and promote sustainable issues in the pursuance of successful bidding for public sector contracts. In 2010, a series of ‘Meet the Buyer’ events was hosted by Dorset Procurement working in partnership with Business Link to reach out to local organisations to help create a better understanding of the needs and opportunities for all concerned.

The good work that Dorset Procurement is doing to support local organisations through improving its Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) and tender documentation was recognised in 2009 in being awarded the FSB Local Authority Small Business Friendly Award for the Best Small Business Friendly Procurement Policy

18. How will Dorset Procurement deliver on this agenda?

As stated above, Dorset Procurement will undertake a number of initiatives to ensure that sustainability in its wider sense is considered as a significant element of the procurement process.

The Dorset Procurement Toolkit provides the framework against which all procurement will be undertaken. Based upon a ‘gateway’ process, progress through the four stages can only be achieved through the ‘sign-off’ at each milestone stage by the Principal Category Manager.

Dorset Procurement will engage with the marketplace when considering solutions to meet the business needs of the organisation for specific categories of works, goods and/or services.

Building on successful collaborations with infrastructure groups including Dorset Community Action (DCA) in respect of third sector organisations, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Dorset Business, representing the Chambers of Commerce and Business Link, Dorset Procurement will continue to consult and work with such groups to promote opportunities for local organisations to compete for public sector business but without favour.

Where appropriate, ‘soft market test’ meetings will be held with interested parties to help inform Dorset Procurement of preferred or innovative solutions to help meet the needs of the organisations represented by Dorset Procurement.

All tendering opportunities can be accessed via the Dorset for You website.

This website also provides helpful information and guidance to all interested parties of the processes and procedures to be considered when competing for public sector contracts.

As well as promoting all our tendering opportunities on Dorset for You, Dorset Procurement will also advertise on the Supply2Gov website (and its replacement medium) and, where applicable, in appropriate local, national and international newspapers or specialist journals. Contracts in respect of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council will, in addition to the above, be advertised on their own website, weymouth.gov.uk All contract opportunities which exceed the threshold will also be published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and the website, Dorset for You.

As part of the procurement process, including both the tender documentation and evaluation criteria, Dorset Procurement will promote the use of local organisations and the creation of local jobs as well as other benefits to the local community so far as it is lawful to do so..

Such community benefits may include recruitment and training, equal opportunities, training for existing workforces, supply chain initiatives, community consultation and, under the government’s Promoting Skills through Public Procurement, the recruitment of modern apprentices and the long term unemployed, as long as such requirements comply with the requirements of EU and English legislation.

Dorset Procurement will continue to work with the relevant agencies, including Job Centre Plus, Business Link to help pursue these benefits.

Our progress will also be monitored against the Sustainable Procurement National Action Plan – Procuring the Future 2006. The National Action Plan

requires public sector organisations to:

–  –  –

A Flexible Framework has been produced which provides a consistent approach to this agenda and sets out a number of targets that will enable priorities to be effectively managed. The Flexible Framework has set national targets that required all public bodies to be at least to Level 1 (Foundation) by April 2007 and by December 2009, to have reached Level 3 (Practice) and at least one area of Level 5 (Leadership). With the adoption of this Sustainable Procurement Strategy, Dorset Procurement will have achieved these targets in a number of key areas and will continue to progress through the Flexible Framework over the course of the next two years.

A copy of the Flexible Framework is attached to this document.

19. E-Procurement A number of e-solutions have been developed to help streamline the procurement process to the benefit of both the buying organisation and potential providers of our works, goods and services.

The use of technology also contributes to the sustainability agenda in reducing the dependence on paper based solutions from the tender documentation through to the ‘procure to pay’ system thereby eliminating the need for invoices, statements, delivery notes and cheques.

20. Electronic Tendering (e-Tendering) Dorset Procurement has recently adopted the use of an e-tendering system.

By the end of 2011, we aim to conduct all our procurement activity through the electronic system.

The system is an electronic tendering solution that facilitates the complete tendering process from the advertising of the requirement through to the placing of the contract. This includes the exchange of all relevant documents in electronic format.

Suppliers can register their interest in being considered to be invited to tender for business by self-registering their details and identifying their category/categories of products, services or works they wish to be considered to provide.

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