Guidance and advice

What is public procurement?

Public procurement involves the use of public funds (e.g. income from taxation, Government funding, etc.) to source, commission and/or purchase goods, works and services on behalf of the public sector. It differs from private sector procurement as it is governed by strict EU regulations and enforced through UK legislation. Unlike the private sector, equality and transparency must be maintained at every stage of the procurement and decision  making process; and a mandatory element of competition must be carried out. EU procurement regulations place great emphasis on process and this may seem bureaucratic at times, however if used effectively they provide key benefits to the public sector:

  • Focus on open competition across the EU;
  • Access to wider markets;
  • Increased potential to make efficiency savings;
  • Achieve evidenced value for money;
  • Public funds are protected under contractual terms and conditions;

On a practical level, the main driver behind public procurement is usually to continually reduce costs, increase value for money and to improve processes. It encourages collaboration to increase the buying power of the public sector and bring benefit to local communities. There are thresholds of spend that are placed on public bodies that apply for the purposes of the Procurement Regulations—these are continually reviewed and members should ensure they are aware of these when undertaking a call—off with Consortium Procurement.

Legislation overview

The Consortium‘s frameworks adhere to either of the following Directives 2004/17/EC, 2004/18/EC or 2014/23/EU, depending on when they were procured. The Directives on public procurement, ensure transparent and non-discriminatory procedures when procuring goods and services.
These Directives aim principally to ensure that suppliers can be assured that there is fair competition in public procurement contracts.

Get involved in framework development

Consortium Procurement works closely with members and suppliers to develop our frameworks and we would encourage you to get involved in the specification development and evaluation stages. For more information, you can contact a member of the team via the details provided.
In order to ensure our national frameworks have a broad selection of suppliers from across the UK, we advertise all our framework opportunities nationally through our members, via the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and on our website.