Amendments to University Financial Regulations - (1) to No 4559



<br /> Oxford University Gazette: Amendments to University Financial Regulations<br /> (supplement)

Oxford University Gazette

Amendments to University Financial Regulations

Supplement (1) to Gazette No. 4559

Wednesday, 4 October 2000


Contents of the supplement:


To Gazette No. 4560 (5
October 2000)

To Gazette
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CHANGES IN REGULATIONS

The following changes in regulations made by the Curators of the University
Chest will come into effect on 20 October.

Curators of the University Chest

University Financial Regulations

With effect from 1 August 2000

1 In Ch. VIII, Sect. XII, FINANCIAL REGULATIONS, § 11,
cl. 2 (Statutes, 1997, p. 567, as amended by the revised
regulations published as Supplement (2) to Gazette No. 4554, 5 July
2000, p. 1440), delete `the schedule' and substitute `Schedule A'.

2 Ibid., § 19, cl. 1 (as amended by
Gazette, p. 1442), insert new second paragraph:

`All procurement of goods and services, including works, should be in
accordance with the University's Procurement Policy Guidelines, as set out in
Schedule B below.'

3 Ibid., (as amended by Gazette, p. 1446),
following § 45, after `SCHEDULE' insert `A'.

4 Ibid., (as amended by Gazette, p. 1447),
following the note, insert:

`SCHEDULE B

Procurement Policy Guidelines


Overview

Policy objective

All procurement of goods and services, including works, should be based on
value for money, having due regard to propriety, regularity, and timeliness,
and, as appropriate, on environmental considerations.

Value for money

Value for money is the optimum combination of whole-life cost, timeliness, and
quality (or fitness for purpose) to meet the user's requirement.

Tender procedures

Departments are responsible for ensuring they comply appropriately with
tendering procedures both within the framework of the law and within internal
requirements.

Competition

Goods and services should be acquired by competition unless there are
compelling reasons to the contrary. Competition promotes economy, efficiency,
and effectiveness in public expenditure. Competition will also contribute to the
competitiveness of suppliers, contractors, and service-providers.

Relationships with suppliers

In all their dealings, purchasers should do their best to preserve the highest
standards of honesty, integrity, impartiality, and objectivity.

Legal advice

Departments should always seek advice from the Universityþs own Legal
Services Office in the first instance.

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1. Policy objective

(1) All procurement of goods and services should be based on value for
money, determined by price, quality, timeliness, durability, delivery, and
service, and, as appropriate, on environmental considerations.

(2) The responsibility for achieving this objective lies with Heads of
Department or equivalent within the University.

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2. Value for money

(1) Value for money is the optimum combination of whole-life cost, timeliness,
and quality (or fitness for purpose) to meet the user's requirement.

(2) The achievement of value for money is crucial to the wider objective of
using resources effectively. It is essential, therefore, that purchasers develop
clear strategies for continuing improvement in the acquisition of goods and
services.

(3) Sound practice for the pursuit of value for money will contribute to the
competitiveness of suppliers, contractors, and service-providers (collectively
"suppliers") in both domestic and overseas markets.

Assisting the competitiveness of suppliers will also assist purchasers to obtain
future value for money and security of supply in a competitive market.

In particular, purchasers should:

(a) keep supplier bidding costs to the minimum necessary for effective
competition; and

(b) aim to reduce barriers to participation by small firms and the
self-employed without discriminating against larger firms.

(4) It would not be consistent with value for money policy for purchasing
power to be used to pursue other aims. For example, purchasers should seek
only such information from potential bidders as is necessary: in particular,
purchasers should not seek information which they cannot legitimately take
into account.

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3. Tender procedures (legal requirements)

(1) Departments are responsible for ensuring that they comply appropriately
with tendering procedures within the framework of the law.

(2) The legal framework for procurement includes:

(a) EU and other international obligations, as implemented in UK legislation;

(b) specific domestic legislation, for example on corrupt gifts or unfair
contract terms;

(c) contract and commercial law in general.

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4. Tender procedures (university requirements)

(1) Quotations/tendering for goods and services

The following regulations apply to all procurements within the price categories
stated whether it be a single item of the applicable price or a group of
products. Any departure from these regulations should be documented
and will require justification
.

(a) Goods and services between £10,000 and £50,000

Three written quotations must be sought for all procurements between
£10,000 and £50,000. Tenderers must be given adequate time to
prepare their response.

(b) Goods and services between £50,000 and £144,456

A full tendering procedure must be carried out for all procurements between
£50,000 and £144,456. Model documents for this procedure are
available from the Central Purchasing Office. Tenderers must be given
adequate time to prepare their response.

(c) Goods and services over £144,456

All procurements, regardless of the source of funding or proportion of cost
to be met by the University, over £144,456 must, by EU law, be tendered
throughout the European Community. The Central Purchasing Office must be
notified of all requirements at this level. A formal tender, advertised in the
Official Journal, will be co-ordinated by the office.

This regulation also applies to any supplier agreement where the total value
of the goods to be purchased during the agreement period exceeds the
threshold of £144,456.

(2) Works

The following regulations apply to all procurements within the price categories
stated.

(a) Works contracts or sub-contracts under £7,500

The number of tenders to be invited is at the discretion of the Director of
Estates and Surveyor to the University. The name of tenderers is to be
settled and tenders opened by the Architect, Engineer, or Building Surveyor
for the job. The contract will be awarded by a Deputy Surveyor. Approval to
accept other than the lowest tender is by the Director of Estates and
Surveyor to the University.

(b) Works contracts or sub-contracts between £7,500 and £75,000

The number of tenders to be invited is at the discretion of the Director of
Estates and Surveyor to the University. The name of tenderers is to be
settled and tenders opened by the Director of Estates and Surveyor to the
University. The contract will be awarded by a Deputy Surveyor. Approval to
accept other than the lowest tender is by the Director of Estates and
Surveyor to the University.

(c) Works contracts or sub-contracts between £75,000 and £150,000

The number of tenders to be invited is at the discretion of the Director of
Estates and Surveyor to the University. The name of tenderers is to be
settled and tenders opened by the Director of Estates and Surveyor to the
University. The contract will be awarded by Director of Estates and Surveyor
to the University. Approval to accept other than the lowest tender is by the
Director of Estates and Surveyor to the University.

(d) Works contracts or sub-contracts between £150,000 and £300,000

The number of tenders to be invited must be least four. The name of
tenderers is to be settled by the Director of Estates and Surveyor to the
University. Tenders are to be opened by the Tenders Sub-committee. The
contract will be awarded by the Director of Estates and Surveyor to the
University. Approval to accept other than the lowest tender is by the
Buildings and Estates Subcommittee.

(e) Works contracts or sub-contracts of £300,000 and over

The number of tenders to be invited is at the discretion of the Buildings and
Estates Subcommittee. The name of tenderers is to be settled by the Buildings
and Estates Subcommittee. Tenders are to be opened by the Tenders
Subcommittee. The contract will be awarded by the Director of Estates and
Surveyor to the University. Approval to accept other than the lowest tender
is by the Buildings and Estates Subcommittee.

(3) Supplier selection

University purchasers must seek to purchase from a University of Oxford
preferred supplier as listed in the Buyers' Guide.

(a) EU tendered agreements

Where agreements have been reached through competitive tendering via the
Official Journal of the European Community, departments should use the
designated suppliers for the products concerned. A matched or lower price for
the same product is not a valid reason for purchasing outside the agreements.
Under EU law departments must not seek or accept an alternative price from
any supplier who unsuccessfully tendered for the business. Any offer of this
nature must be notified to the Purchasing Officer.

(b) Non-EU tendered agreements

Where an agreement is a centrally negotiated framework agreement, which has
not been tendered through the EU, departments should endeavour to use
those agreements wherever possible. All offers of more competitive pricing
should be notified to the Central Purchasing Office with a view to the
negotiation of a university-wide agreement.

(4) References/credit checks

All suppliers in the Buyers' Guide have been subjected to appropriate credit
checks. All new or unlisted suppliers must be the subject of a credit check
which will be carried out by the Finance Division.

A supplier appraisal (which includes agreement to the University's Terms and
Conditions of Purchase) must be carried out on all potential suppliers to the
University of Oxford. A copy of the completed form must be attached to all
applications to the Finance Division for the addition of a new supplier.

A credit check must be carried out on any company to which a sum of money
is to be paid in advance of goods or services received - e.g. in the case of
a maintenance contract. The Finance Division must carry out these checks
centrally.

Advance payments in excess of £5,000 for capital equipment must only be
paid upon receipt of a banker's guarantee. Alternatively, suppliers can be
offered the option of an interest- accruing escrow-type account. All payments
of this nature should be notified to the Central Purchasing Office.

(5) Placement of orders

All requests for goods or services must be made using an official order
number. The University's Terms and Conditions of Purchase must cover all
orders. Suppliers must be aware of and have agreed to these terms and
conditions. An authorised signatory of the University must approve all orders.

(6) Vendor rating

Supplier performance should be monitored continuously. Appraisal meetings
with suppliers should be held at an appropriate frequency.

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5. Code of ethics

(1) Members of the University shall never use their authority or office for
personal gain and shall seek to uphold and enhance the standards of
purchasing by:

(a) maintaining an unimpeachable standard of integrity in all their business
relationships both inside and outside the organisation;

(b) fostering the highest possible standards of professional competence
amongst those for whom they are responsible;

(c) optimising the use of resources for which they are responsible to provide
the maximum benefit to the University;

(d) complying both with the letter and the spirit of:

(i) the law of the country in which they practise;

(ii) such guidance on professional practice as may be issued by the University
from time to time;

(iii) contractual obligations;

(e) rejecting any business practice which might reasonably be deemed
improper.

(2) Guidance

(a) Declaration of interest. Any personal or close family
interests which might impinge or might reasonably be deemed by others to
impinge on an employee's impartiality in any matters relevant to his or her
duties should be declared. It is not possible to provide a comprehensive
definition of potential conflicts, and in any situation where an individual is
uncertain as to the propriety of a given arrangement a declaration should be
made and, if necessary, advice should be sought from the Conflict of Interest
Committee. A typical example would be where there is or was a recent personal
or close family involvement in any company or commercial enterprise which is
in a contractual relationship or which is in the process of negotiating the
terms and conditions of a contract with the University where the employee has
been concerned or connected with the placing or negotiating of the contract
or order in question.

(b) Confidentiality and accuracy of information. The
confidentiality of information received in the course of duty should be
respected and should never be used for personal gain; information given in
the course of duty should be true and fair and never designed to mislead.

(c) Competition. While bearing in mind the advantages to the
University of maintaining a continuing relationship with a supplier, any
arrangement which might, in the long term, prevent the effective operation of
fair competition, should be avoided.

(d) Business gifts. Business gifts, other than items of very
small intrinsic value, should not be accepted.

(e) Hospitality. Modest hospitality, such as the occasional
business lunch, is an accepted courtesy of a business relationship. However,
the recipient should not allow himself or herself to reach a position whereby
he or she might be, or might be deemed by others to have been, influenced
in making a business decision as a consequence of accepting such hospitality;
the frequency and scale of hospitality accepted should not be significantly
greater than the University would be likely to provide in return.

(f) When it is not easy to decide between what is and is not acceptable in
terms of gifts or hospitality, the offer should be declined or advice sought
from a superior.

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6. Legal advice

Departments should seek advice from the Universityþs Legal Services Office
on any issue of concern.

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7. Dissemination

Heads of Department or equivalent should ensure that these guidelines, the
Buyers' Guide, and ad hoc guidance on procurement issues are drawn to the
attention of the relevant staff and incorporated appropriately into their
internal procurement instructions. In particular, the requirement to seek value
for money, not lowest price, should be written into all notes for guidance.'

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