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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 08/04/2008
Minor Amendments to Contract Procedure Rules



APPENDIX J.1
Waverley Borough Council
Executive – 8th April 2008

Title:
MINOR AMENDMENTS TO CONTRACT PROCEDURE RULES

[Portfolio Holder: Cllr Band]
[Wards Affected: All

Summary and purpose:

The financial thresholds contained in Contract Procedure Rules (CPRs) are increased annually, and the proposed new limits require approval. The report also contains a new procedure whereby officers may approve waivers to CPRs, except in exceptional circumstances, thereby freeing the Executive from operational matters.

Environmental implications:

CPRs govern the award of contracts, which in turn need to take account of the Council’s environmental policies.

Social / community implications:

CPRs ensure that contractors/suppliers are given a fair chance to win Council contracts.

E-Government implications:

There are no direct e-government implications.

Resource and legal implications:

CPRs ensure that contracts are let in such a way as to secure good value for money for the Council.

Introduction

1. Under current provisions, waivers to CPRs require the approval of the Executive or, in urgent circumstances, the approval of the Chief Executive and/or the relevant portfolio holder. In latter cases, a retrospective report is made to the Executive to advise members of the action taken.

2. There have been several instances recently where waivers have been sought from the Executive to allow contracts to be awarded without recourse to competition. In accordance with the ethos behind the recent restructuring, this report contains a proposed revision to CPRs to allow officers to take control of operational decisions. The proposals would allow the S.151 Officer to such approve waivers.

3. The financial thresholds that determine the number and type of alternative prices are reviewed annually. This report seeks approval to uplift of c.4% in accordance with the RPI.

The revisions

4. The proposed changes to the upper limits of the financial thresholds are:

Threshold 1 – from 4,000 to 4,200
Threshold 2 – from 11,500 to 11,900
Threshold 3 – from 56,600 to 58,800
Threshold 4 – from 113,200 to 117,700
Threshold 5 – from contracts over 113,200 to over 117,700.

5. The new provision for waivers is as follows:

the request does not contravene the council’s statutory obligations;
there is adequate and appropriate reason for awarding a contract without competition;
the award of a contract would provide good value for money and shall specify the evidence to be supplied to evidence this;
the necessary checks regarding the proposed contractor have been undertaken in accordance with F101/H106 (as appropriate) and that the results do not indicate that a contract award presents undue risk to the Council; and
an assessment of any associated risks has been undertaken. 6. This provision maintains an element of check in that the S.151 Officer (the Deputy Chief Executive) is required to satisfy him/herself that the proposals are sound and justifiable. It also provides that the Executive receives information on the waivers approved and thus provides the opportunity to seek explanations from officers if members require. This will allow, at the same time, greater ability to take operational decisions without having to wait until the Executive next meets.

Conclusion

7. The proposed changes to the financial thresholds will ensure that CPRs do not become unnecessarily restrictive. The new provision for waiver approval will also allow officers to make operational decisions, in accordance with the ethos behind the recent restructuring, whilst providing information to members to allow them to monitor officer actions.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the amendments to CPRs as set out in paragraphs 4 and 5 above are approved for immediate application.


Background Papers (DCEx)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.


CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Mark Hill Telephone: 01483 523240




comms\executive\2007-08\292 anx L.1.doc