Selling to the Commission

Purpose of this guidance
Introduction to the Commission
What does the Commission spend its money on?
Who are the buyers?
How we advertise
Supplies and Services
Procedures
Suppliers Requirements
Terms and Conditions
Awards
Payment Methods
Electronic Procurement
What’s Expected
Feedback

Purpose of this guidance

The purpose of this guidance is to explain to current and potential businesses, contractors and suppliers to the Commission the way in which we do business, and how they can be involved and the methods used by us. It is designed to outline the buying procedures for contractors and suppliers, and to make the process of procurement more transparent, it will help us to make sure that we're always getting value for money and we're spending public money in the right way.

The guidance aims to enable more small and medium enterprises, more businesses from black and ethnic minority communities and more local suppliers to engage with us fully in accordance with the ethos of the Commission. Whilst we cannot commit to awarding contracts and tenders to any organisation, we aim to support as far as possible those businesses capable of meeting the Commission's requirements, enabling them to take part in our tendering process.

Introduction to the Commission

The way that the Commission does business will always reflect our Strategic priorities as set out in the Business Plan.

The Commission is working to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, and protect human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society. It acts not only for the disadvantaged, but for everyone in society, and can use its new enforcement powers where necessary to guarantee people's equality. It also has a mandate to promote understanding of the Human Rights Act.

It has a UK wide remit with principal offices in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow, with a small number of local offices elsewhere within the UK.

What does the Commission spend its money on?

The Commission spends money on a wide range of goods and services. It has a statutory duty to ensure that its expenditure is compliant with both legislative requirements and the Commission's own policies, and to demonstrate equality and Value for Money. In spending that money, we also have a duty to provide a high standard of service.

Who are the buyers?

The Commission has a core procurement team supporting and managing higher value transactions, with low value transactions delegated to local managers.

How we advertise

The way in which we advertise for services and suppliers is dependent on the value of each particular product or service.

Supplies and Services

  • Below £20,000 are procured by delegated budget holders in each directorate, ensuring good value for money and high quality service. Quotations are obtained from businesses that are capable of meeting the Commission’s requirements; either using known suppliers or inviting offers from the wider market place.
  • Above £20,000 Tenders will be sought, in this case opportunities will be advertised on this web site, and were relevant other sites, local or trade press, and if applicable in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
  • Supplies and Services whose value exceeds the European Union (EU) thresholds are subject to slightly different procedures, the commission is required to comply with the EU Procurement Directives
  • The current EU threshold relevant to the Commission is £156,442 over the life time of the contract.

Procedures

The Commission will use a number of procedures which are briefly described below:

  • Use of national framework agreements.
  • Use of existing collaborative agreements.
  • Request For Quotation (RFQ) for low value contracts.
  • Open tender procedure, allows anyone to submit a tender.
  • Restricted tender procedure, which requires the commission to invite expressions of interest then draw up a short list of businesses who will be invited to tender.

Suppliers Requirements

The Commission as part of its processes, will require its suppliers to demonstrate that they,

  • are correctly established
  • financially sound
  • able to provide references
  • have acceptable people policies, including Equality and Diversity
  • have effective quality processes
  • hold appropriate insurance cover.

Terms and Conditions

Unless specifically set out elsewhere (for example, in Tender documentation), the Commission will trade on its own Terms of Purchase and your attention is drawn to the following point:

  • A duly authorized purchase order must be in place before any work is undertaken by a supplier. The Commission accepts no liability for any work carried out prior to the issue of a Purchase Order and, where relevant, a formal Contract being in place.

Download the Commission's terms and conditions:

Awards

The contract award criteria will generally be published in either the advert, notice or tender documents. In general terms this will require suppliers to offer the best value for money, linked to the ability to meet the business needs and provide assurances that the offer is realistic and sustainable. The commission will usually consider whole life costs evaluation process.

 

If you are unsuccessful in bidding to supply the Commission, we will if requested provide feedback to enable you to learn from the experience and better compete in future.

 

Payment Methods

Payments are made to suppliers and contractors following receipt of goods or materials; payment schedules are drawn up where appropriate. As far as possible, payments are made by bank automated credits (BACs).

Electronic Procurement

This Commission is moving rapidly towards Electronic Trading, including the issue of its purchase orders, tenders, and quotations. Tender or Quotation documents, where appropriate, will be available for suppliers to download, responding as required. At the present moment we do not have the facilities for receiving Tenders by electronic means, however we are seeking to improve our current arrangements and specific information will be included in each Invitation to Tender. Purchase orders and other information may be transmitted by e mail or other electronic methods.

What’s Expected

The Commission expects suppliers and contractors to provide;

  • A reliable and dependable service
  • Good communication with it
  • Willingness to suggest alternatives to reduce cost or waste (whilst maintaining overall quality)
  • Honesty and professionalism
  • An ethical business approach

In return, the Commission will:

  • Settle and pay accounts promptly
  • Provide good communication with the supplier and partners
  • Work with honesty and professionalism

Feedback

If you would like to comment on this information please get in touch with:

Head of Procurement,
Equality & Human Rights Commission
4th Floor
Arndale Centre
Manchester
M4 3AQ

tel 0161 829 8220
e-mail procurementhelpdesk@equalityhumanrights.com
 
March 2014

Back to top of page

back to top