last updated: 21st August 2012
Action Risk Solutions
Inadequate planning

- Poor completion of the procurement process

- Inefficient use of staff and other resources

- Consider using a check list to help form strategy for the procurement of the identified requirement

- Outline a work plan, highlight key milestones and allocate staff time to facilitate the meeting of these

Valuation of requirement - Unrealistic valuation of contract leading to an inappropriate competitive process leading to risk of legal challenge and/or the inefficient use of resources

- Use the Whole Life Costing Model to explore and identify the operating and end of life costs of the proposed purchase.

- At the final review stage of a completed project, assess the accuracy of the original estimated value for the requirement. Identify what could have been better.

Project Team not identified - The procurement is not managed appropriately


- Buy-in not obtained from main stakeholders

- At the start, determine the appropriate personnel to be involved in managing the procurement giving cognisance to its value and complexity

- If necessary, obtain expenditure information to identify the key users of the proposed goods or services. Seek representations from within that group to participate in the tender exercise

No challenge of requirement - Unnecessary or inappropriate purchase made and funds used that could have been put to better use - Ensure that questions are asked when a requirement is proposed. The level of challenge should reflect the value and complexity of the procurement.
No consideration of aggregation opportunity

- Opportunity for leverage (using the purchasing power/value to gain better terms contract) is missed

- Lack of willingness to coordinate requirement within the institution leads to wasted resources

- Use of better planning and the development of a culture of aggregation within the department, institution or between institutions

- The Institution’s Senior Management must support the procurement function by encouraging a coordinated, aggregated, approach to procurement needs

No option or investment appraisal completed - Alternative solutions not identified or considered



- Opportunity of a better solution is missed or a purchase made when it was not necessary

- An outline business case and an options appraisal should be completed for all procurements above a stated value. The detail in both reflecting the value and complexity of the proposed procurement

- The Do Nothing options should always be considered in order to identify if there is a genuine need for the proposed goods or services

Strategic requirements of department and/or institution not considered - The proposed procurement does not support, or is contrary to, current strategic goals

- Review the proposed procurement against the department’s or institution’s strategic goals and its current procurement plan (which should state the known medium to long term plans)

- Include this strategic review within the outline business case

Project timetable not set - Deadlines slip



- Key staff not available for key meetings


- Delivery of the goods or services is later than planned or required

- Goods or services are provided but staff are not appointed to use them


- Prepare a timetable for the project and identify key milestones

- Identify risks associated with missing of those milestones and develop outline strategies to deal with such slippages

- Ensure key dates are noted in the project team members’ diaries (holding, if necessary, extra days to deal with a higher than expected interest in the project)

- If future dates are known, consideration should be given to setting up the timetable working backwards from the end date

- Discussions at planning stage should include discussions with Human Resources to gain indication of expected lead timer for the appointment of any new staff specifically related to the delivery and used of the proposed procurement

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