Procurement policy

Procurement is the process of acquiring goods, works and services covering both acquisitions from third parties and from in-house providers.

Person Doing Calculations

The process spans the whole cycle from identification of needs, through to the end of a services contract or the end of the useful life of an asset. It involves options appraisal and the critical make or buy decision which may result in the provision of services in-house in appropriate circumstances.

The Barnsley MBC procurement team has the responsibility for the development of policy and strategy, which is linked to improving the council's procurement service in response to the issues raised in the National Procurement Strategy for Local Government (2003 - 2006) and the The Stronger and Prosperous Communities White Paper (2006). More recently the Government’s 2010 Spending Review advocated transforming procurement to achieve spending reductions, with key messages being; align procurement with organisational policy, collaborate and aggregate, implement category management techniques, streamline processes, use accurate data and find alternative models for delivery.  In addition the Localism Act 2011 sets clear expectations that some power and budgets will be passed down to local communities, as well as giving citizens greater choice in shaping local services. 

The policies and the strategy are reviewed annually and updated to fit circumstances and government/market changes.


Our procurement strategy covers the period September 2013 to August 2016 and supports the councils three main corporate drivers.

The Contracts and Procurement service is central to procurement within the council. The main aims of the service are to provide information, guidance, advice and support to other departments during the procurement process, to manage its own specialist categories and to maintain policy and strategy with central government objectives and guidelines.

Consortia and collaborations

We work with other local councils, procurement agencies and consortia where efficiencies can be delivered through sharing services or leveraging spend. Currently Barnsley is working with other local councils for Decent Homes, Highways, and Waste Management and through meet the Buyer/ Supplier Events, as well as with the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation and the Government Procurement Service.

The Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO)

We are one of the founder members of the YPO, along with 12 other local authorities in the north of England. The YPO supplies goods and services both through its catalogue and through framework agreements where direct supply contracts are arranged. The YPO frameworks used by the council include:

  • Building materials
  • Energy (gas, electricity, coal)
  • Food
  • Fuel
  • Highways materials
  • Horticulture
  • IT consumables
  • Multi-functional printers
  • Piped water
  • Vehicles

Suppliers who are interested in supplying the YPO should view the YPO website.

Government Procurement Service

Government Procurement Service is an executive agency of the cabinet office, whose overall priority is to provide procurement savings to the UK public sector as a whole and specifically to deliver centralised procurement for central government departments. We use the Government Procurement Service for many different types of products and services including mobile phone and landline telephone maintenance. To become a Government Procurement Service approved supplier please view the Government Procurement Services website.

The procurement process

To secure value for money and to ensure the fair distribution of contracts to potential suppliers the council procures goods and services in the most competitive and equitable way possible. The thresholds of the contract value determine the procurement process and the choices that may be made. The YORtender system is to be used for all procurements over £2500.

The rules for these contract values are as follows:

  • A contract estimated to be below £2,500 an officer needs to ensure value for money is being obtained
  • A contract estimated to be between £2,500 and £100,000 needs a minimum of three quotations to be obtained
  • For a contract estimated at £100,000 and above, a tender exercise must be carried out
  • For higher value procurements the European Procurement Directives apply.

European procurement directives

The European Procurement Directives are the secondary legislation adopted by the European Parliament and the Council (Member States) on the co-ordination of procedures for the award of public contracts. The European Union (EU) procurement directives are intended to reinforce the European Treaty's provisions on the free movement of goods and freedom to provide services within the internal market to ensure compliance in all member states with the treaty principle of equality of treatment, non-discrimination and transparency. The EU procurement directives apply to all public sector contracts equal or above specific thresholds.

The thresholds which apply from 1 January 2014 are:

Goods and services: £172,514

Works: £4,322,012

The directives set out clear procedures and standards to be followed by us when choosing tenderers and awarding contracts.

Terms and conditions for goods and services

Standard Terms and Conditions for the supply of goods and services apply to our orders except where contracts have been awarded against tender or quotation exercises which may have their own specific terms and conditions in addition to these.

Terms and conditions for works contracts

Works contracts are usually subject to specific industry terms and conditions which will be identified at the time of the procurement exercise.


As part of the governments commitment to greater transparency, we have to make information on procurement more visible. With effect from the 1st February 2011, the following clause will be included in the terms and conditions for all our procurement exercises:

The parties acknowledge that, except for any information which is exempt from disclosure in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act ("the Act") the text of this contract, and any schedules to this contract is not confidential information. The Council shall be responsible for determining in its absolute discretion whether any part of the contract or its schedules is exempt from disclosure in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Notwithstanding any other term of this contract, the Contractor hereby gives its consent for the Council to publish the contract in its entirety, including from time to time agreed changes to the contract, to the general public in whatever form the Council decides.

What does this mean for suppliers?

Suppliers should be aware that if they are awarded a tender, the resulting contract between the supplier and us will be published. In some circumstances limited redactions will be made to some contracts before they are published to comply with existing law.

Suppliers are encouraged to identify information they believe is commercially sensitive and would not wish to be published; the final decision however will rest with the council.


The YORtender system is an electronic tendering system used by the council (and all the other 22 councils in Yorkshire and the Humber).  This system was implemented on 1st January 2013 and it is council policy that all procurement activity (goods, services and works) with an estimated value over £2,500 is undertaken via YORtender.

YORtender is a Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Initiative, designed to give suppliers the information needed to trade more easily with the Councils in the region.  The system provides suppliers with direct access to a wide variety of procurement opportunities across the region and there is no cost to use it.  Suppliers only need access to the internet.

Suppliers can register to do business with Barnsley MBC on the YORtender system for all categories  that are relevant to their business, and will receive ‘alerts’ whenever a tender opportunity for those relevant categories is placed on the system. 

To register, click on the following link YORtender.  If you require guidance please click here for a copy of a YORtender supplier guide which takes you step by step through the registration process.  If after reading the guide you require further support on registering, please contact the Due North helpline on 0844 5434580.

It is advised that suppliers review and update their company’s registration information on YORtender at least annually, to ensure that information remains up to date. 

It is the responsibility of suppliers registered on the ‘YORtender’ system to keep their profile updated, including email contact details.

Barnsley MBC will not be liable for loss of any potential business opportunity arising from the failure of any supplier to update information on their profile, including email contact details.


Specific Policies

Adult and Family Learning Service Sub-contracting policy.  

This policy managed by the Adult and Family Learning Service relates to the procuring of learning provision in the post 19 sector.  Any potential subcontractors are advised to consider the policy document .

Why suppliers should work with the council?

We have spent in the region of £220 million in goods, works and services in 2013/14. There is a statutory duty on the council to ensure that the procurement of these goods, works and services represents the most cost-effective solution and that the best possible value-for-money has been achieved.

The advantages of supplying the council

  • We have a legal duty to be fair, honest and professional in both its initial choice and subsequent treatment of contractors/suppliers.
  • We are a financially stable customer.
  • We have a duty to pay promptly (within thirty days or as otherwise agreed).
  • We seek continuous improvement and works to develop innovative solutions that can benefit it and those it employs or contracts with.
  • We are a caring customer willing to work closely with those it employs and its contractors. It promotes ethical, environmentally sound, non-discriminatory approaches that benefit its area and all those who work and live in it with a view to their wealth, health and safety.
  • We have been granted approved signatory for the Institute of Credit Management, Prompt Payment Code & Supplier Guidance

How to contact us

The Procurement Team: 01226 774371/773540


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