Policy and Legislation
NI Public Procurement Policy
The Northern Ireland Public Procurement Policy document sets out the policies adopted by the Executive and the organisational structures that have been established to implement them. The document also outlines the 12 Procurement Principles which govern the administration of public procurement.
Procurement Policy Guidance Notes
CPD disseminates advice and guidance to the NI public sector on public procurement policies through the production of Procurement Guidance Notes.
Procurement Advice Notes
Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) is responsible for disseminating best practice guidance to Centres of Procurement Expertise (CoPEs). Procurement Advice Notes are the administrative means by which the Northern Ireland Public Sector is advised of best practice on specific technical and operational matters relating to the application of NI Public Procurement Policy. They are developed by CPD in consultation with CoPEs in order to ensure a consistent approach is followed in relation to these matters within contracts awarded by bodies subject to NI public procurement policy.
Policy Framework for Construction Procurement
The Policy Framework for Construction Procurement sets out six key aspects of Northern Ireland Public Procurement Policy that are of particular significance to construction works and services:
- Northern Ireland Guide to Expenditure Appraisal and Evaluation (NIGEAE);
- Procurement through a Centre of Procurement Expertise;
- The Gateway Review Process;
- Achieving Excellence in Construction;
- Sustainable Procurement in Construction, and
- The Policy on Architecture and the Built Environment
Tender Arrangements for Construction Works Contracts
Mandatory requirements for participation in tender competitions for works contracts up to £4.3M
In line with Procurement Guidance Note 05/12, the Centres of Procurement Expertise (CoPEs) have agreed, in consultation with the Construction Industry Forum for Northern Ireland, that from the 01 January 2013, contractors wishing to apply to be short-listed for invitation to tender must:
- Be registered with Constructionline, have ‘Active’ status and have at least the minimum Category Value in one of the Work Categories specified for the procurement;
- Have a health and safety management system, satisfying the requirements of the Buildsafe-NI initiative, which has been certified by one of the 3rd parties listed; and
- Have a valid certificate demonstrating that the company’s organisation and arrangements for health and safety have been evaluated, in accordance with the CDM Regulations (ACOP Stage 1 assessment), under a scheme which is a member of the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) Forum.
Procurement Process for Over Threshold Construction Works and Services
In support of the Procurement Processes set out in Procurement Guidance Note 06/10 - Procurement of Construction Works and Services, Central Procurement Directorate has developed standard template Pre-Qualification Documentation for:
Simplified Procurement Process for Under Threshold Construction Works and Services Contracts
In support of the Simplified Procurement Processes set out in Procurement Guidance Note 05/12, Central Procurement Directorate has developed standard template Pre-Qualification Documentation for Under Threshold Construction Works & Construction Services Contracts.
Buildsafe NI Action Plan
The aim of the Buildsafe-NI initiative is to eliminate deaths and substantially reduce injuries, through improvements in the application and management of health and safety processes within the industry.
Contractors, consultants (and their supply chains) seeking to tender for public sector works contracts must be able to satisfy the Government Construction Client that they have the resources and competence to manage health and safety. As a minimum, they must demonstrate that they are capable of meeting the requirements of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (NI) 2007 and other relevant regulations, approved codes of practice and recognised guidance.
Best Value for Money (Revised Definition - April 2011)
The revised definition of Best Value for Money, approved by the Procurement Board at its meeting in November 2010 and endorsed by the Executive on 22 March 2011 is:
“the most advantageous combination of cost, quality and sustainability to meet customer requirements.”
In this context, cost means consideration of the whole life cost; quality means meeting a specification which is fit for purpose and sufficient to meet the customer’s requirements; and sustainability means economic, social and environmental benefits, considered in the business case, in support of the Programme for Government.
CPD and the Centres of Procurement Expertise (CoPEs) have a key role to play in the drive towards Sustainable Development by assisting the Northern Ireland Public Sector to embed sustainable development considerations into its spending and investment decisions
Innovation and Public Procurement
Public procurement is a key driver for innovation particularly in the manufacturing and construction industries and generally in relation to the achievement of sustainable development. For further information and to download innovation guides, please go to our Innovation and Public Procurement page.
EU Directives and UK Procurement Legislation
Procurement law is driven by European directives, which are implemented in NI through regulations, including the Public Contracts Regulations 2006. The regulations apply to all public bodies which are largely owned, managed or financed through public funds. This includes government departments and their agencies, non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), hospitals and health sector purchasers, housing associations, education boards and institutions, various non-government organisations and district councils.
- The Public Contracts Regulations 2006
- The Public Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2009
- The Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006
- The Utilities Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2009
- The European Directives
- EU Remedies Directive 2007/66/EC
- Consultation on the European Directives
- The Cleaner Road Transport Vehicles Regulations 2011
- Energy Labelling Directive (Directive 2010/30/EU)
- EnergyServices Directive
EC Procurement Thresholds
- EC Procurement Thresholds. .
The EU Procurement Rules apply to public authorities (including, amongst others, Government departments, local authorities and NHS Authorities and Trusts) and certain utility companies operating in the Energy, Water, Transport and Telecoms sectors. The rules set out detailed procedures for the award of contracts whose value equals or exceeds specific thresholds.