Before you consider procurement approaches you should first ask:
- can and should we build the product or service ourselves? Sometimes
known as a ‘make or buy’ decision
- can we use or extend an existing contract to deliver the same outcomes?
- can we get a better price through 'aggregated' or collective buying with other departments?
These options can avoid you having to run a new procurement process. However, they need careful consideration to ensure:
- you have the expertise and capabilities to deliver a solution
- you will get better value for money by building a product or service in house
- contract changes are permitted and cover the same scope of the original contract
- the product or service can be bought 'off the shelf' and does not need to be tailored to your needs
If the answer is no to these questions then you will need to choose from the following procurement procedures:
- open procedures, where any supplier can bid for the work
- restricted procedures, in which only certain suppliers can bid, for example those with specific skills or experience
- negotiated or ‘competitive dialogue’ procedures, which allow you to
negotiate requirements with suppliers before inviting them to bid
- direct-award procedures, in which contracts are awarded direct to one supplier, without competition, generally used only in defence or emergency contexts
Of these options the ‘open’ procedure should be considered the default choice as it maximises transparency and competition.