To consider an update on progress across the procurement function and a review of activity in financial year 2020-2021 and to review the 2021-2022 procurement schedule.
The Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder presented the Annual Procurement Update 2021/22, pointing out that this had been a challenging year due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, with a number of projects having had to be delayed. The report provided details around exemptions and wavers, training, spend analysis and future challenges.
The Overview and Scrutiny Committee had considered the report at its meeting on 27 August 2021 and Council would be asked to approve the updated schedule on 5 October 2021.
In response to a query regarding successful procurements and that relating to Kendal Markets, the Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder confirmed that these continued to be run by South Lakeland District Council, with the soft facilities, such as building energy and cleaning, being carried out by a contractor. The Council’s plans to increase its fleet of electric vehicles having been commended, a suggestion was raised for the potential use of green hydrogen or dihydrogen Heavy Goods Vehicles. The Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder was confident that staff were looking at a range of alternatives, however, explained that each had its own issues. He pointed out though that technology was fast moving and he looked forward to a more environmentally-friendly vehicle fleet. The Climate Action and Biodiversity Portfolio Holder hoped that one outcome of Local Government Reorganisation would be the potential of addressing the whole picture moving forward.
RESOLVED – That
(1) the progress across the procurement function over the past 12 months be noted;
(2) the future focus be noted;
(3) the items listed as Cabinet decisions be approved and the updated Procurement Schedule at Appendix 1 be recommended to Council for approval;
(4) the spend 2020/21 for the top 25 suppliers by value in Appendix 2 to the report and the exemptions and waivers for 2020/21 in Appendix 3 to the report be noted.
Reasons for Decision
The report provides an update on progress across the procurement function and a review of activity in financial year 2020-2021. This is a historic review for noting by Members.
The report also reviews the 2021-2022 procurement schedule and updates the schedule in line with the Contract Procedure Rules within the Council’s Constitution. This enables officers to ensure contracts are awarded promptly but transparently.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
An annual update to Cabinet does not take place. However, falling under the portfolio for Finance, it is vital that the procurement function continues to be driven and supported by members and senior managers. This will result in a more accountable and focussed procurement function delivering positive outcomes financially and in the quality of council services.
The Procurement Schedule is not updated. This reduces the efficiency of the Council by requiring individual reports and decisions for tender exercises. This also increases the time taken to let contracts. Also the Council fails in its statutory duty to report to the public procurement activity.