An introduction to procurement

A further education college’s responsibilities for the management of funds are set out in the Funding Councils' Financial Memorandum. While the wording varies between the Funding Councils, in essence the head of an institution i.e. the Principal is responsible and accountable to the Funding Council (and ultimately to Government) for the use of the funds. The Principal, needs to satisfy the Funding Council that the conditions of the Financial Memorandum are complied with and he/she may be required to appear before the Public Accounts Committee alongside the Chief Executive of the Funding Council on matters relating to grants made to the institution.

These responsibilities place a duty on an institution's Principal, to ensure that the procurement of goods, services and works is managed appropriately. The institution's actions should be able to demonstrate value for money as well as an open, transparent, non-discriminatory approach to the award of its contracts.

This website has been produced to provide guidance to colleges in setting up an easy to maintain approach to procurement. It will help you to procure more effectively and achieve better value for money. Depending on how advanced your college’s procurement management is and whether you want to take small steps over time or to implement a more significant change, this website can be used as a routemap for making major improvements or for guidance on specific aspects of procurement management.