Procurement

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Procurement
University Office
University of Aberdeen
King's College
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX

t: +44 (0) 1224 27 4467
e: procurement@abdn.ac.uk

 

Purchasing and Procurement deliver central purchasing and contracting services. We are a subsection of Finance and report to the Finance Director.

The Procurement team oversees the purchasing processes and manages contracts used widely across the University, such as those for stationery, bulk paper, laboratory equipment, travel and vehicles. We also provide a full range of central tendering services and co-ordinate the Higher Education consortium contracts.

It is our responsibility to ensure that institutional procurement activity remains compliant with institutional regulations and national legislation. We will assist with questions on best practice; assist with any purchases; will provide guidance on major projects, and are responsible for ensuring that all University departments operate within the Public Contracts Regulations (Scotland), normally referred to as the EU Directives.

Procurement must be consulted on any procurement with a total value of £100,000 or above, with the exception to building works that are controlled by the Estates Section.

Please check the list of Lead Buyers for those who may be able to provide assistance close to hand.


This section provides information on how to go about obtaining various standard items. If you have any more questions or require more information about any of the services, please email: procurement@abdn.ac.uk

If you are looking to travel, please see travel for information about Key Travel, our contracted Travel Agent.

If you wish to purchase 'one-off ' goods ie white goods, toaster, kettle etc in the first instance check out Banner on OneSource.  You can also look for these items using GeM.

Stationery/Computer Consumables/Paper

The contracted Supplier for stationery, computer consumable items and paper orders is Banner.

All orders should be placed directly through the Banner marketplace (a punch-out site) via OneSource, except for paper, please see bulk paper detailed below. It is essential that all ordering is done in this manner.

If your delivery has not arrived or if you are unable to find an item that you require, please contact customer services at Banner on 0845 757 3125 or wps@bbanner.co.ik and they should be able to source the item for you.

Banner provide desktop delivery for all stocked items, meaning all goods should be delivered to your room/desk on Tuesday and Thursday. If you have any problems with the service provided by this Supplier, please email Robyn Campbell at procurement@abdn.ac.uk.

It is very easy to launch into the Banner market place through OneSource without the need for user names and passwords. In the past there have be issues with pulling back to our previous system of Pecos, we detail this here in case a similar issue appears with OneSource:

Occasionally a pop up box asking for login details might appear. When you come across such a request you should configure your internet explorer to accept cookies, as detailed below:

  1. In the Menubar, select:
  2. Tools > Internet Options > Privacy tab > Advanced
  3. The Advanced Privacy Settingsbox appears
  4. In the Cookies section, choose Override automatic cookie handling
  5. Under First Party Cookies, select Accept
  6. Under Third Party Cookies, select Accept
  7. Select Always allow session cookies
  8. Click OK to close the Advanced Privacy Settingsbox
  9. Click OK to close Internet Options
  10. Close all web browsers
  11. Open a new browser.
Paper Ordering

Following organisational changes to the management of MFDs, and other successful initiatives that aim at reducing the impact the University has on the environment, it has been recently decided to make a switch to fully recycled and FSC-certified copying and printing paper.

The sustainable paper will be supplied by our current stationery provider – Banner. The procedure removes the need to distinguish between bulk and desktop-delivery orders as the ordering routine will be the same regardless of an order size

Ordering procedure: 

Paper should be ordered using the online form available here: 

After filling out the form, an order will be emailed directly to Banner bypassing the internal finance system. Goods receipting is therefore not required and despatch notes shall be posted via internal mail to:

IT Services
Room G40
Edward Wright Building

Please note that all other stationery orders (excluding paper) should be made via the Banner punch-out site as normal.

If you have any queries, please contact:

PCs

Equipment order and supply

  • IT Services can provide advice on choosing and buying an approved UoA desktop, laptop or item of peripheral IT equipment, for example a printer. Further details on the standard desktop, laptop or peripheral IT equipment. Orders should be placed through IT Services. However, individuals using this service should ensure that they have the necessary authorisation at departmental/school level prior to beginning.

    IT Services will setup your UoA PC with the standard software library which includes email, calendaring and printing to relevant printers including Multi Functional Devices. The software provided will depend upon your College or Admin Unit, please contact IT Services for further Information.

    Antivirus software is included as part of the standard software and regular updates are provided automatically. Critical operating system and Microsoft Windows updates are also made available automatically.
  • IT Services will come to your UoA office and unpack, connect and test your new computer for you. IT Services can also install items of approved UoA peripheral IT equipment and licensed software not on the standard list

    Where a new UoA PC is being supplied, IT Services will remove your old UoA PC, remove files and arrange disposal. Further information on disposal.
Furniture

All furniture purchases should be co-ordinated with the University Furnishings Officer, Mrs Marilyn McIntosh in Estates. Mrs McIntosh can advise on your requirements, keeps up-to-date with current HE contract deals for furniture and can access other major public sector agreements.

She can be contacted on: m.mcintosh@abdn.ac.uk


Supplier Set Up Amendments | Supplier Account Applications


New applications for Supplier Set Ups and amendments are processed by Demie Hall and Linda Leslie, using the OneSource Supplier Form.

Please read the Completion Guide for Staff and follow the instructions related to the form before sending to the Supplier. If you are unsure please email us at procurement@abdn.ac.uk or call 2824.

This form is to be used for companies, partnerships and sole traders. For full guidance on payments to individuals please refer to Guidance on Payments to Individuals: which can be found here and then click on Other Payments

  • Check to see that the new Supplier you are requesting to be added is not already on OneSource
  • Try to search on part of the name and scroll through
  • Please make sure that no orders are made until the Supplier is actually set up, if there are no issues and the form is completed properly then this will be within three days (top)

Should the supplier be Self Employed, please ensure that they also complete the Employment Questionnaire. The Employment Questionnaire should, once completed by the Individual, be submitted to Sarah Simpson in Payroll for checking and verification received from Payroll before submitting the Supplier Request through OneSource.

Also, attention should be applied to the requirement for a Bid Summary Form, this form is available here.

The Type of Supply/Service Box must be completed, using the correct Supply/Service Code.

Product codes (UNSPSC) help other users to search for a supplier, please view and add as appropriate for the supplier that you are setting up.

Once the Supplier Form has been completed, please visit https://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffnet/secure/finance-system-how-to-guides-432.php and follow the guide entitled Setting up a supplier.

Supplier Set Up Amendments

Amendments are completed on the same Supplier form given above, just check the box given on page 2 for amendment and complete as before. Please note that changes to company name, address or bank details need to have headed paper confirmation or official email from the requesting Supplier. (top)

Supplier Account Applications

Supplier Credit Account Applications are often received when we are dealing with a Supplier for the first time. These are completed by the Supplier Administrators. The forms can be scanned in and emailed to Procurement at procurement@abdn.ac.uk, faxed to 01224 273875, or mailed to Procurement, Room 46, University Office, Kings College. (top)


The following information is designed to give an overview of the Tendering procedure. This includes the preparation before the tendering process is started, what the tender thresholds are, and how to handle receipt of tenders, along with all other relevant information.

The definitions of "quotations" and "tenders" vary from institution to institution. The interpretation used for the purposes of this guide is that "quotation" is the relatively straightforward exercise of seeking price and delivery details for goods or services which are easily specified. A "tender" is the more formal and detailed exercise of obtaining sealed bids for goods or services where the value is high, or the specification is detailed or complex, or where special terms and conditions apply.

What Tender Thresholds Are

Below are the MINIMUM number of written or verbal quotes required, or the level at which full tendering procedures are necessary. Whenever possible these must be adhered to.

Under £1000 1 quotation, written or verbal
£1000 - £5000 2 written quotations
£5000 - £25000 3 written quotations
Over £25000 4 tenders - use details given below
£100,000 and above Procurement MUST be consulted, please view tab on left and contact Procurement@abdn.ac.uk or call 4467

Other important thresholds:

Below £40 Use Petty Cash for your purchase

£5000

All orders for goods or services above the value of £5000 require a bid summary or record of selection to be completed & retained with the purchase order - except when the supplier holds a current contract

£164,176     All orders for goods or services, regardless of the source of funding, require to be tendered in accordance with the Public Contract Regulations except when the Public Works Regulations apply

ALL: Orders placed that are not based on the least expensive quote require to have a written justification held on file.

When it is claimed there is only one supplier available for a product or service, this must be based on clear evidence (not the supplier's opinion) and authorisation sought from the Head of Procurement for all purchases over £25K.

How to Tender

This section provides guidance on managing a tendering exercise and includes examples of standard tender papers. These documents are available for downloading from within these pages and must be modified (particularly the contact details) for use in any project. The simple form of contract included as an example is more appropriate for the purchase of goods than services. As service contracts can take many forms it is often preferable to write a bespoke contract to fit an individual requirement.

Purchasing and Procurement Services retain model contracts which may be used for the procurement of services such as hiring a consultant. Contracts for goods or services estimated to be worth £50,000 and above over the duration of the contract, eg. £12.5k per annum over 4 years, must be subjected to a formal tendering exercise.

Always use the Procurement department to manage a tender exercise if you have not used a formal procedure before, or have limited experience. We provide a free resource, will assist you to improve your skills if you wish to operate more independently, or will handle the complete administration up to letting of contract if required. Please remember that the team best equipped to obtain value for money within any market is one combining both technical knowledge and commercial skills.

The aims of a formal tendering exercise are to subject the proposed supply to a competitive bidding process in order to obtain best value for the University, and ensure that procedures used in the expenditure of public funds are sufficiently fair, impartial and robust to stand up to the closest scrutiny of outside parties (such as funding bodies or auditors) or legal challenges.

With these objectives in mind it is important that we operate within a set of tendering rules. As well as the formal instructions which are issued for potential suppliers to follow, it is important for our practices to comply with principles of good commercial procedure.

The following are offered as guidelines:

Preparation
  • Plan the process. Agree what the significant dates will be and who will be involved at each stage. You should invite a senior member of staff from outwith your department to witness the opening of tenders.
  • Establish a means of recording the tendering process from start to finish. It is recommended that departments maintain a register of all tendering exercises. An example of a tender recording form can be found here.
  • Allow sufficient time and resource to manage the process. Some complex tender exercises can take 40 to 60 hours of work to complete and it is not possible to cut corners.
  • Properly explore the market. In most situations it is best to ensure that all possible suppliers are given an opportunity to bid. Decide whether it is necessary to invite applications, advertise the contract notice locally, nationally, in specialist publications or in the European Journal.
  • Decide on an "open" or "restricted" process.Is it necessary to invite firms to qualify to tender (restricted) or will you issue tender papers to anyone who applies for them?
  • Keep a record of all of the suppliers who have applied to tender or who have been invited to tender.
Tendering
  • Using the examples provided in this section as the basis, prepare and issue the tender documents.
  • Allow adequate time for the suppliers to respond properly.This will obviously vary with the complexity of the specification, but a minimum of three weeks is recommended.
  • Once you have issued a formal notice of anything – including deadlines for receipt of tenders – you have an obligation to ensure that it is rigidly adhered to by all parties.
  • Treat all potential suppliers equally.
  • Control the channels of communication.Some firms will try to gain advantage over others by discussing the tender with you or your colleagues in order to gauge areas of particular interest, or even just to establish contact to talk in general about the tender. Give clear instructions to tenderers on who their contacts are. Keep communications formal.
  • If valid questions are received from one firm before the tenders have closed, circulate the questions and your detailed responses to all of those in receipt of invitations to tender in the form of a "pre-tender circular".
Tender Receipt
  • You will have fixed a time for receipt of tenders.Immediately after tenders have closed perform a document check so that any papers received in the mailroom, at reception or by the departmental secretary are received for consideration. Ensure all tenders are securely locked away until the opening ceremony. Late tenders should be opened, recorded, marked appropriately then returned to tenderer.
  • When opening the tenders invite a senior member of staff (preferably from another department) to witness the process. Record details of the tenders received.
  • The tenders submitted should not be used as the starting point for a round of negotiations. You must not use one supplier's bid as a bench-mark in discussions with other suppliers. It is permissible to seek clarification.
  • Post-tender negotiation should be limited. In particular, in the event of a contract advertised under the terms of the Public Supply / Service Regulations, it is important that the selection of a contractor is made before discussing detailed terms.
  • It is not just professional courtesy to brief unsuccessful suppliersof the outcome of the tender exercise: it is actually a requirement under the Public Supply / Services Regulations (where these apply) that you do so, and that you detail the criteria used in your selection in a notice to the Official Journal of the European Union.
  • Always record the selection process leading to the award and include the criteria used. This is a formal record which may be used in the event of a challenge from an aggrieved supplier or may be required to complete a Contract Award Notice to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Examples of Tender Documents

If you have little or no experience of managing a formal tendering exercise please do not use these documents without contacting Helane Gannicliffe for advice or assistance.

  • Invitation to Tender
    A letter such as this with details of enclosures should be sent to potential suppliers. This letter may be used if there are a limited number of suppliers which the University has dealt with before. If there has been no pre-qualification process, or the suppliers are not known to the University, a Supplier Appraisal form should be sent with the tender papers (and accordingly be added to the list of attachments).
  • Tender Acknowledgement Form
    This is used to assist tendering firms to acknowledge receipt of the papers and indicate whether they intend to offer. The simplest way of doing this is to send out a "fax back" page as provided above.
  • Instructions to Tenderers
    This page is to be sent to ensure that there is a clear understanding of what the potential suppliers are required to do, and gives all tenderers the same set of basic rules to operate to.
  • Form of Tender
    This is a formal declaration of offer intended to be certified and returned by tenderers. In order to simplify comparison of bids a "schedule of requirements" may be appended to this form. This is just a means of breaking the tender into the component parts of the supply and expressing this in a tabular form with the intention of standardising the offer format.
  • Supplier Appraisal Form
    This may be used in a pre-qualification process or be issued with the tender documents. Potential suppliers are asked to provide information on financial position, scale of operation, areas of operation and relevant experience. For major purchases it is recommended that a qualified accountant examines the financial submissions before moving to final agreement and award of contract.
  • Simple Contract
    This may be used for the purchase of goods or services which require a clear definition of terms which may differ from those detailed in the General Conditions of Purchase of the University of Aberdeen.
  • Record of Tender
    Use as a check-list to record each stage of the tendering exercise.

Tendering over 100K

Overview

If you have a requirement for goods and/or services with a total value of £100k or over (excluding VAT) for the period of the contract, then Procurement must be involved. If the total value (including whole-life costings, such as post warranty maintenance etc., but excluding VAT) exceeds £172,000, then the Public Contracts Regulations require a contract notice to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This process is likely to take around 100/120 days, so please allow sufficient time.

In existing legislation the University of Aberdeen is considered a public contracting authority and this brings with it a number of duties and responsibilities; we strongly recommend early Procurement involvement. 

We have to comply with international/European legislation and University Regulations and be able to demonstrate that we are obtaining best value for public money.

This is a guide through the normal stages for a high value procurement of goods or services. It is recommended that tender exercises over £100k in value involve a Project Team which might include:

  • a representative of the Client, School or Section and their Line Manager;
  • the Accountant for their College or Section;
  • someone from Procurement and possibly a Technical Adviser (such as a representative from DIT for a software purchase).

To view the full document, click here,

Tendering Items of special interest

Research Requirement

What do you want to buy?

Can you satisfy your requirement by sharing, borrowing or using second-hand equipment, or purchasing jointly with another user? Can the product or service be obtained from an existing collaborative agreement?

(See http://www.unibuy.com/ for a portal displaying all current HE contracts).

If new equipment is required, develop a generic description that explains what you want and please do research the market to discover what is available, identify suppliers which might have a suitable product, and it is also useful to establish supplier contact details

Obtaining a Budget Price

What will the estimated cost be?

Please ask firms for budget prices, but don't settle on a particular item or supplier or get into detailed discussions with your favourite firm. For acquisitions over £100k you will have to go to tender anyway and all quotations received before this will have to be set aside: it is also likely that the quotes received will be out-of date by the time funding becomes available. 

At this stage it is reasonable also to request a general statement of the approximate running costs of the equipment over its expected life (this is dealt with in more detail in the section on Specification of Requirements that follows).

The information received from this stage should be sufficient for applications to funding bodies. 

Drawing up Specification of Requirements

What to Include in the Description of Your Requirement

When funding has become available we have to make a more formal approach to the market. A model Specification will include a brief overview of the University of Aberdeen and its activities; a section on the background to the requirement; a description of the present range of equipment or services used, then a detailed description of what is needed.

The specification should also include your award criteria and the weightings of the criteria. These will be the things which are important to you and which will allow you to make your final decision. They might include price, proposed maintenance and technical support, experience, references and delivery lead time.

There are two main elements to the specification: a brand-less, generic statement of need accompanied by a request for a "whole-life costing" for equipment offered.

3.1  The Specification should describe what is important to you and might express your requirement in terms of:

  • The application: where and how the equipment will be used and what for;
  • Minimum required performance: volumes, speed, magnification, data to be produced etc;
  • Inputs and outputs;
  • Results expected;
  • Quality requirements;
  • Ease of use;
  • Operator requirement;
  • Upgradeability;
  • Physical limitations: weight and dimensions, mobility, access, floor strength, building requirements (such as for room modifications or shielding);
  • Compliance with prescribed standards;
  • An opportunity for the tenderer to include an alternative offer which might include joint research, use of the University as a reference site, a novel approach, application of new technology or ex-demonstration equipment etc. 

3.2 The "Whole-Life Costing" will reveal the true cost of ownership and provide a proper basis for comparison between competitive quotations; it is not unknown for a supplier to quote a low capital cost to secure the business, then uplift the cost of maintenance services to increase their margin. 

Consideration should be given to:

  • Capital purchase price;
  • Delivery date (does this meet your timescale?);
  • Delivery to site and insurances;
  • Rigging into position;
  • Installation;
  • Testing;
  • Training for operation and local maintenance (both on and off-site);
  • Number of operators required;
  • Expected life of the equipment in a normal working environment;
  • Anticipated running costs over the expected life, including an estimate of annual costs for utilities in a similar operation and cost of replacements and wearing arts (with a guarantee that these will remain available); 
  • Product life and upgradeability – when will the model offered cease to be produced and what is the approach to upgrading? Warranties and extended warranties;
  • Post-warranty service and maintenance proposals for the life of the equipment (if this is not known then request that details for a five-year period be included);
  • WEEE: Waste electrical and electronic equipment legislation requires manufacturers to participate in a scheme for removal at end of economic life.  Request costs associated with the supplier/manufacturer meeting their responsibilities within the regulations;
  • End of life replacement or disposal: what options are available when the equipment is no longer required, and what are the costs involved? (top)
Advertising and Application to Tender

How Will You Let Suppliers Know There is a Requirement?

As a minimum, all University of Aberdeen tenders of £100k and over will have contract notices published on a public information service (Public Contracts Scotland) to ensure that they receive appropriate visibility and give potential suppliers access to our tender processes. It is also mandatory that all tenders over £156,442 are advertised in the supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union. Once the notices are in the public domain it is permitted to alert any firm you wish to be included (you may have noted their contact details at the "Research the Requirement" stage) to the details contained in the notices.

The Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations prescribe the tendering procedures that we have to follow for tenders over £156k, and the most commonly used of these is the Restricted Procedure. This is described in detail below, and the general approach requiring suppliers to qualify to tender is one that may also be used as a "best practice" for below-threshold tenders.

The procedure is as follows:

4.1  Contact is to be made with Procurement and a meeting arranged to discuss the procurement strategy and establish whether the tender might exceed the EU Threshold of £156,442.  If so, then information needs to be gathered to enable us to place an advert/contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union. 

4.2  The information required for the advert:

  • Title of the notice – this is a short statement of the goods and/or services
    required.   
  • A more detailed description is also required (usually just a few lines) to provide a general summary of what you wish to purchase.  
  • The place where the goods and/or services will be delivered/performed.  
  • Estimated value of the contract over the whole contract period excluding VAT (this should include whole-life costings such as post-warranty servicing etc).  
  • The required start date/delivery date.  
  • Period of contract – more relevant for services.  
  • Qualification Criteria (criteria for short-listing through to the next stage).   
  • Interested parties will be asked to provide some financial, economic, legal and technical information as standard (i.e. last 3 years audited accounts, details of their main business over the last 3 years etc). However, the client department may have additional requirements that will help them to select suitable firms to tender, e.g. the tenderer's approach to sustainability, or policies on diversity and equality, corporate responsibility and health and safety, experience of HE Sector, references, particular accreditations, membership of professional organisations etc.

The request for information is normally in the form of a Pre-qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) which is made available electronically to interested firms. Procurement has a standard template which they will modify to suit your particular area of interest.

4.3  Once this information has been provided to Procurement then an OJEU notice will be placed. After publication all communications are to be formal, and via Procurement. General details from internal meetings, the number of participants, how the exercise is progressing etc. are all Commercially Confidential and not to be shared with third parties.

The Restricted procedure is a two-stage process; suppliers apply to tender, then we invite those we feel are qualified to submit tenders. The first stage is to request applications to tender from interested suppliers along with any supporting information such as audited accounts etc. We have to allow a period of at least thirty-seven (37) days from the date the advert is placed for suppliers to provide their qualification information. During this period, if the client department hasn't already done so, then they should prepare a full specification of requirements. This has to go out to the suppliers at the next stage of the process. (top)

Considering Applications and List of Tenderers

How Do We Decide Who to Invite to Tender?

5.1  After the minimum 37 day period, Procurement should have received the applications and supporting information from the suppliers interested in participating.  A member of the Procurement team will open them and record the information provided against a checklist (for completeness of response) for each supplier. A copy of the checklists and the applications will then be provided to the client department for consideration (the technical evaluation) and to identify which suppliers might be short-listed through to the next stage.

5.2 The client department should review the applications for details of experience and technical capacity, and if references have been requested then these should be followed up and the responses documented. It is important to record which of the suppliers have been rejected and the reasoning behind this, and which will go forward to the next stage of the process.

5.3  The applications, accompanied by a supporting narrative explaining the reasons for the decisions, should then be passed back to Procurement. The public sector legislation currently in place facilitates supplier challenges to decisions made, even at this stage, so care has to be taken with the rejection process.

5.4  Procurement will request that a University Accountant checks the short-listed suppliers' audited accounts to establish their financial stability (financial evaluation). Each set of accounts will take approximately two hours for the accountant to review and report on, and their findings will be reported back to the Project Team before Invitations to Tender are issued to the selected suppliers.

It's difficult to estimate how long this particular part of the process will take because it depends on the number of applications received, how many suppliers are short-listed and the availability of the client department, project team and the accountants to undertake this work. However, we recommend that you allow around 2 to 3 weeks. 

Issue Tender Invitations

Invitations and Time Allowed

The Procurement Office will then issue the Invitations to Tender along with all of the tender documentation, including the specification of requirements, and this will include a date for receipt of tenders which must not be less than forty (40) days from despatch of the invitations. Rejection letters will also be issued to those suppliers who have not been short listed. 

Within the Regulations it is possible to reduce the process times by using electronic means to publish our contract notices and make our documents available.

Procurement has access to systems to do this and the schedule may be brought down to thirty (30) days for the notice to be advertised and thirty-five (35) days for the Tenderers to submit. 

Receive and Review Offers

Tender Opening Ceremony

After the forty (40) day minimum period the tender submissions should have been received in Procurement and a representative from the client department should attend to witness the formal opening of them, and prepare a Record of Tenders.  The tenders will then be carefully reviewed and scored against the award criteria by the Project Team.

Selecting the Winning Tender

Fairness and Transparency

It is important for the Project Team to decide as a group how the selection will proceed: they may mark the tenders individually, then discuss and agree the final scoring, or they may jointly allocate scores to each tender. Decisions and reasoning must be recorded.

The simplest way to assess each of the tenders is to rate them against the weightings allocated to the selection criteria (see Specification of Requirements).  As an example, if "Equipment Performance" carried a total weighting of 40%, then the firm which offered the best option in terms of the performance specification should receive a score equal or close to the maximum for this, with the firm in second place receiving a lower score dependent on how their performance was rated in relation to the spec. By methodically working through the criteria for each tender submitted, the end result should be a set of total scores for the suppliers expressed as percentages, leading to a logical and transparent selection. When it comes to prices Procurement use a standard formula to allocate scores. 

Note:

We may not use any reason that was not detailed within the selection criteria to either make an award or reject any submission.

The scores allocated by the Project Team are to be recorded along with narrative detailing the reasoning behind the decisions, and the results are to be forwarded to Procurement.

Issuing Notice and Rejection

Final Hurdle

We have a legal obligation to inform all of the Tenderers of the decisions made and give them full details of how they were reached (i.e. their overall score, ranking, the name of the successful supplier and other relevant information).

A letter of our intention to award is accordingly issued by Procurement; the unsuccessful firms are afforded an opportunity to challenge any award made, and are allowed fifteen (15) days (the "mandatory standstill period") following announcement of selection (reduced to ten (10) days if this is sent electronically).

It is very common to receive requests for further information at this stage, and we must do our best to accommodate them: the alternative might be that these will be received as Freedom of Information Requests, or even legal challenges, so provided the information is not considered commercially confidential (and in the public sector very little is) details should generally be released, but this must always be treated as a formal matter, and all communications should be through Procurement.

After this period is over, and as long as we don't receive any challenges, we can begin discussing and agreeing the terms and conditions of contract with the successful supplier.

Tender Clarification and Agreement on Applicable Terms

How to Conclude the Agreement

Once tenders are in we are not permitted to enter into further negotiations with the firm selected, and until the agreement is in place we must continue to communicate formally with the supplier. We may however work with them to clarify or refine the final content of their offer. If there are a number of communications with minor changes, one clear way of concluding matters is for Procurement to obtain a final confirmation of the requirement from the client department, then request a Full and Final Offer from the supplier containing all of the minor revisions to the specification.

In parallel with this Procurement will be negotiating the contract terms and conditions that will apply to the deal with the supplier. As a general rule we should never accept a supplier's terms as the basis for agreement, and it is normal for them to receive a draft contract along with the Invitation to Tender documents.

Issue of Award Letter and Agreement to Purchase and Supply

When the agreement is in draft, Procurement will send a copy to the client department for comment.

When the terms are finally agreed with the supplier, Procurement will confirm that funding is in place before sending the contract documentation out.

The Client, School or Section will normally raise a purchase order using the nominated budget code (note that they may have to be set up as a new supplier, if so a Supplier Set-up Form must be sent to them for completion and return) just to get the financial commitment into the system, but the order copy will not be sent to the supplier chosen, as the contract will effectively replace the purchase order. 

The contract will be printed as two originals and they must both be authorised at an appropriate level within the University before being sent to the winning firm.

 

 


Helane Gannicliffe - Head Procurement

Helane heads the section and oversees the work of the team. She deals with the travel, laboratory maintenance and service contracts, and any enquiries relating to these areas should be directed to her. Helane also has to approve any orders for values greater than £100,000 (apart from building work done through Estates) and any sole supplier transaction over £25,000.

Leon Mouat - Contract Manager
Linda Leslie and Demie Hall - Supplier Administrators (job-share)

Procurement are currently dealing with anything to do with Suppliers - from setting them up on the system, amending details of existing Suppliers, to carrying out credit checks. They also maintain the supplier information and product catalogues held for the OneSource system.

Robyn Campbell - Contract Officer

Robyn administers various contracts held by the University. Robyn looks after the University's contract with Banner, who provide the University with stationery, paper and computer consumables.

Martin Phillips - Trainee Contract Officer

Martin administers various contracts held by the University. Martin looks after the University's contract with Alphabet Leasing who provide the University with our leased vehicles.

Aileen Johnston - Procurement Assistant

Aileen is the first point of contact for queries by telephone, email or post and assists the department with various administrative duites. 


APUC

APUC stands for Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges. It acts as the procurement Centre of Expertise for the 62 Universities and Colleges in Scotland. APUC's aim is to maximise the contribution that advanced procurement makes to teaching expertise and research within these establishments.

SIMAP

SIMAP portal provides important information about public procurement in Europe for both buyers and suppliers, including publication of tenders on an electronic database.

Unibuy

Unibuy is the new eMarketplace and contracts repository for both the Higher Education and Further Education sectors. It lists all the contracts that are currently available to Universities and Colleges.

Getting to grips with procurement

Procurement: A guide for governers is produced by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. 


 

Quick Links

Strategy

The Strategy is an institutional commitment to direction: procurement activity takes place at every level within the University so it is necessary to consider how change may be managed in a holistic way. Recommendations will influence how the daily commercial business of the University is conducted, and achieving improvements will require the agreement of and input by each College, School and Section.

Policy

Guide to procedures

Don't use the new procedures without training

The Procurement Procedures published in 2011 are being replaced by the Scottish Government's "Procurement Journey." As these new procedures are very detailed, training will be delivered to University buyers during 2016. Staff should continue to use the Procurement Procedures: 2011 until they have received this training, at which point they should begin using the Procurement Journey. Links are below:

  • A summary of the Essential Procurement Procedures can be found here
  • The full Procurement Procedures: 2011 can be found here
  • Procurement Journey - Low Value Orders: Procedures for transactions up to £50,000 are described here and displayed in a flow chart. (Number of quotes and basic rules included).
  • Scottish Government Procurement Journey: This set of procedures is subject to change from time-to-time, so a link to the Scottish Government Portal is provided here.
Terms and Conditions

Our General Conditions of Purchase are incorporated into all orders made and if not should be provided to all suppliers on the University's behalf.

The University as a Buyer

If you have any queries from companies asking for their terms and conditions to be accepted please contact Linda Leslie or Demie Hall in the first instance on procurement@abdn.ac.uk.

The University of Aberdeen's normal payment terms are 30 days from receipt of a valid invoice.

The University as a Seller

Sales invoices are to be raised monthly, where possible, in order to minimise the working capital impact in terms of cash flow.

Non-payment after 30 days will be subject to normal credit control procedures, and in the case of external bodies (non-students, non-charities, non-public sector) interest may be charged for late payment at the prevailing Bank of England base rate.

Code of Ethics

The University of Aberdeen Code of Ethics is based on that published by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. CIPS is an international education, qualification and networking body representing procurement and supply chain professionals.

EU/UK Regulations

This note is intended for staff who need to acquire equipment or services valued at over £150k to provide them with a brief description of the current EU/UK legislation and guide them through the procedures. The process needs to be properly planned with adequate time allowed for it.

Buyer's Profile
Our Buyer's Profile can be found on the Public Contracts Scotland Website.
Suppliers' Guide

The University of Aberdeen is committed to obtaining the best value possible from all of its business transactions. Procurement at the University of Aberdeen will apply the highest ethical standards in terms of: our treatment of suppliers; our sustainable approach; the personal conduct of our buyers and legal compliance.

The University’s Contracts Register is available here.

News (Archive)

This page provides Procurement updates and is intended to keep readers informed of the section's activities.

News Sheets