Investigating the Council’s Procurement Practices

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Scrutiny Councillors have concluded their inquiry into procurement. The key question of the inquiry is ‘What is Swansea Council doing to ensure it procures locally, ethically and greenly while being cost effective and transparent in its practices?

The Convenor of the Inquiry Panel, Councillor Chris Holley, said ‘As part of this inquiry, we wanted to ensure the Council is striving to purchase goods or services using this mantra and when doing so are using the most appropriate methods and engaging with the right people.  We were keen to see the example of the work being led by Social Services in relation to co-production, where they are getting partners, service users and the public to co-produce contract specifications for services.’

Panel Members met with varies external organisations such as SCVS and Business Wales, contractors, and several Cabinet Members along with officers from across council departments to gather detailed evidence on how procurement operates in Swansea.

The inquiry concluded that:

  • Procurement must be built into the Council’s Recovery & Transformation Plan and clearly aligned to the Council’s key objectives moving forward.
  • Adherence to legislation and ensuring local policy and practice is clear, effective, transparent and consistently applied is vital.
  • Quality as well as value for money is necessary in order to get the best spend from the public purse.
  • We need to consider how leaving the European Union will affect Procurement in Swansea.
  • There is positive local procurement practice, which can be built upon and embedded further.
  • Not only the Council, but those who enter into contracts with it need to meet the general equality duty. 
  • There is evidence of good Environmental and Ethical practice, which could be built upon and embedded further.
  • There are benefits in collaborating with partners and others in our procurement activities.
  • Effective procurement needs a good framework for monitoring performance and measuring success essential for continuous improvement.

The Inquiry Final Report is scheduled for agreement by the Scrutiny Programme Committee on the 15 March 2022. It will then go to Cabinet for consideration and those recommendations agreed, will be implemented.

The Panel will convene again 6-9 months after the Cabinet decision to see the impact of its recommendations.

Click here to find out more about this scrutiny inquiry.

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