How we buy goods and services
Avon Fire Authority is responsible for Avon Fire & Rescue Service, which spends approximately £8m a year on a wide range of goods and services.
The Authority must ensure the money it receives through taxation is used as carefully as possible and it achieves best value in providing services to the public.
A large amount of the Authority’s expenditure is spent under contracts, which are awarded after reasonable competition.
The Authority undertakes collaborative procurement with fire authorities in the South West including Cornwall, Devon & Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire; other fire and police Authorities nationally; and with sub-regional group, the Partners in Procurement. You can find more details by clicking here.
The Authority also makes use of contracts awarded by other bodies on behalf of the public sector, such as Buying Solutions and other purchasing consortia.
The Authority generally encourages competition and welcomes bids from new and established suppliers. Contracts must be awarded on the basis of the most economically advantageous offer. The Authority cannot discriminate in favour of local suppliers, but will provide all suppliers with encouragement and advice on how to compete for contracts.
The Authority aims to increase the levels of electronic business, which over time will include electronic ordering and invoicing. This will reduce the costs associated with the process and the costs of normal trading.
As part of this, the Authority aims to place advertisements for contracts and to carry out quotation and tender exercises through the Bluelight e-tendering portal www.bluelight.gov.uk (opens in new window) You may also like to view the government's Contracts Finder web page.
Contractors should register on Bluelight as a potential supplier in order to receive information on tender opportunities and to access documents for Avon Fire Authority and some other fire and police authorities nationally.
The Authority must follow the European, national and local level regulations including the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, when procuring goods, services and works and must ensure the principles of transparency and fairness are applied throughout all stages of the procurement processes.
Subject to certain exceptions, the following thresholds apply from 2015 to requirements for the external supply of goods, services or works, where the total value of the contract is calculated as:
- Up to £10,000 - No formal requirement but best practice should be followed.
- £10,001 to £25,000 - A minimum of three quotations.
- £25,001 to £100,000 - A minimum of three ‘sealed bid’ quotations.
- Over £100,000 - Formal tendering and implementing of EU procedure, when applicable.
Details of the Authority’s contracts can be found at: https://www.blpd.gov.uk/foi/foi.aspx (opens in new window)
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