Agenda item

Update to Finance and Contract Procedure Rules

To review and approve the proposed updates to the Contract Procedure Rules, the Financial Procedure Rules and the Financial Procedure Rules Guidance Notes.  To ensure council financial and contract procedure rules are up-to-date and provide clarity of roles, accountabilities and process in order to ensure transparency about how public resources are used and controlled to mitigate the potential for fraud and ensure compliance with relevant legislation.



The Head of Strategic Finance (HSF) introduced the report, the purpose of which was to inform the committee of the update to the finance and contract procedure rules (CPR). The CPR had been updated to reflect new thresholds, and to be compliant with current legislation and regulations. The finance procedures had been updated to incorporate additional evidence requirements for journal transaction postings in year and to provide clarity around roles and responsibilities for the delivery of projects across the council.


In response to committee questions, it was noted:

      I.         The HSF explained that the CPR provides the framework by which the council test on if value for money has been achieved. External auditors also provide their assessment of that activity in the year.

     II.         The Commercial Services Manager (CSM) confirmed that it was not always the cheapest price that would be awarded a contract but it would be based on quality as well the most economically advantageous response. CIFAS checks are conducted on suppliers as well other checks as part of the standard procurement process.

   III.         The CSM explained under the CPR for low and medium value contracts, a minimum of four suppliers can be invited to tender to which officers are encouraged to invite at least two local businesses that are interested and capable to provide those services. When the opportunity arises contracts could be divided which encourages smaller local business to bid for contracts. 

   IV.         The CSM explained the use of social value included within procurements potentially encourages larger contractors to employ local people or use local supply chains.

    V.         In terms of advertising, all information can be found on Hereford Council’s Website to which businesses are encouraged to sign up to a portal which will keep them informed of relevant opportunities as they arise and enable them to bid for a tender. If suppliers are having difficulties registering there is a dedicated member of the commercial services team who is on hand to take calls and emails. Suppliers are also invited and encouraged to attend “Meet the buyer events”.

   VI.         The CSM explained that pre-qualifying questions are asked as part of the tender response to ensure the capability and competency of a supplier and are proportionate and relevant to the procurement and the value of the contract.

 VII.         The HSF informed the committee that payments were fairly standard but highlighted from 1st April it was hoped a new scheme through oxygen finance which enables payments to go through “on day one” with a small discount in services for the Council would be fully introduced for small businesses. Local suppliers would be contacted shortly.

VIII.         The CSM confirmed there were no resource issues within the team currently, but if this did become a problem they would potentially seek to appoint an external advisor to support.



That the committee reviewed and approved the following updates as technical changes to the constitution:

a) The Contract Procedure Rules at Appendix 1;

b) Financial Procedure Rules at Appendix 2

c) Financial Procedure Rules Guidance Notes at Appendix 3






Supporting documents: