This page is a guide to inform potential Suppliers/Contractors about procurement policies and procedures and what they need to do to take advantage of the business opportunities we offer.
The University of Hull recognises that the prospect of tendering with an organisation such as the University can be daunting for companies who are new to the process. This Guide is an attempt to explain what is involved in an easy to understand way.
Purchasing Operation | Aims of Purchasing | Applying to be a Supplier | Tendering and Competitive Quotations | Submitting Quotations and Tenders | Debriefing | Payment Terms | Collaborative Purchasing | Equal Opportunities
To be an ambitious, distinctive and successful university, promoting the exploration, creation and communication of knowledge, committed to enhancing our regional, national and global communities by:
- developing students to be independent learners
- producing world-class research
- providing significant benefits for our partners
- attracting, retaining and developing committed, high-performing staff
The University is divided into four Academic Faculties, these being:
- Faculty of Arts, Cultures & Education (FACE)
- Faculty of Business, Law & Politics (FBLP)
- Faculty of Science & Engineering (FSE)
- Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS)
In addition the University supports the academic areas with administration and support services, the principle ones are listed below:
- Finance Office
- Library Services
- Estates Directorate
- Student Services
- Vice-Chancellor's Office
- Planning Office
- Marketing & Communications
- Schools and Colleges Liaison
- Health and Safety
- Human Resources
University procurement operates within a devolved budgetary environment and the ultimate authority to purchase lies with the budget holders. They have the final say in any purchasing matters, providing that they act within the Financial Regulations and rules governing the purchase of goods and services.
For the purchase of goods under £5,000 the budget holder may go single source although the University encourages competition to be sought in all goods and services that are purchased.
For the purchase of goods and services between £5,000 and less than £30,000 (exclusive of VAT) the budget holder is expected to have sought competition in the form of at least 2 written quotations. If the value is £30,000 or over (exclusive of VAT), then a minimum of 3 written quotations must be sought.
The role of the University's Central Procurement Office is to act in an advisory capacity and offers a full support service to staff of the University on any matter relating to the purchase of goods or services. The University also has Procurement Category Managers in the ICT, Estates, Science and Indirect Goods/Services areas.
Aims of Purchasing
The main aims of the Procurement Department are to offer a customer focused service whilst getting best value for money in all its purchasing activities and it has a Procurement Policy and Strategy to this effect.
Competition is encouraged in all our procurement activities and the University supports National and Regional purchasing arrangements brokered on their behalf by the local Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC) or by the HE sector’s National Working Parties.
Applying to be a Supplier/Contractor to the University
The University is very diverse in its purchasing requirements and welcomes all prospective Suppliers and Contractors to apply to supply goods or services to the University.
To let us know about your company please send in a letter or email telling us about yourselves to Procurement Office, University of Hull, Cottingham Road, Hull, HU6 7RX. Please do not telephone the Procurement Office.
On receipt of the letter or email we will look at the information and decide whether you could provide a service to the University with regards to the supply of goods or services. If the University is interested in and has a requirement for what you have to offer as a supplier, you will be asked to supply additional information.
Please note that the University uses in excess of 3,000 suppliers and contractors in a year and there are commodities, goods and services where we are actively trying to reduce the number of suppliers we purchase from. This specifically applies to ICT, stationery and office supplies, vehicle hire, travel agents and audio visual equipment. This maybe because we have formal long-term agreements in place or believe that we are better served by using a small number of suppliers.
Suppliers should note that when trading with the University they should have, prior to delivery, an official University Purchase Order to cover the goods or service being purchased. Failure to follow this procedure will result in the transaction not being recognised and as a consequence the University may refuse to pay any invoice which may be presented for goods or services supplied.
Tendering and Competitive Quotations
Whenever we invite a company to tender, we:
- Specify our needs in terms of outputs whenever appropriate, to encourage innovation
- Invite tenders from enough suppliers to ensure there is genuine competition, whilst still giving tenderers a reasonable chance of winning
- Make sure tendering procedures and documentation are as clear and concise as possible, and only ask for information necessary to evaluate bids
- Establish the evaluation criteria on which the decision to award the contract will be based
- Provide all tenderers with equivalent information and opportunity.
Submitting Quotations and Tenders
The University uses its own Terms and Conditions so please do not refer to any standard terms and conditions that your company uses when you submit a quotation or respond to a formal tender.
When you submit tenders make sure you follow all instructions carefully or it may be rejected. For example, tenders received after the stated deadline will be rejected.
Tender documentation will contain the following:
- Instructions to Tenderers - instructions to be followed during the tender process, when the closing date is, how tenders should be submitted etc.
- Items to be submitted with the Tender - which parts of the Tender should be completed, signed and in what format.
- Specification/Project Brief/Statement of Requirement - this will give a description of the goods or services required, requirements in relation to guarantees, after sales service, training, installation and commissioning, manuals, contract monitoring, management and quality control, details of the evaluation criteria (EU tenders only) which show how the tender evaluation will be weighted (i.e. price 40%, delivery 10%, training 10%, quality 30% etc.).
- Any other details that are relevant to the contract, i.e. timescales, meetings, delivery schedules etc.
- Terms and Conditions of contract, general and specific as appropriate.
- Schedule of Prices - this will vary from one contract to another, it is a list of all the items that must be individually priced. On Construction based contracts these will be priced Bills of Quantities or Schedules of Rates.
- Certificates/Forms - a declaration that the tender is a bona-fide bid, a declaration that there has not been any price fixing or collusion with another company etc.
- A questionnaire to enable us to assess your Quality, Environmental, Social and Equality status.
Evaluation of Tenders
When the tender return date has passed the tenders that were submitted on time will be formally opened at a special 'opening ceremony'. Late tenders are not opened.
On some tenders it may be felt appropriate for the shortlisted suppliers after the initial evaluation to attend an interview, give a presentation to the selection panel and answer questions.
Once the tenders have been fully evaluated, the successful tenderer is notified and the unsuccessful companies are informed that their tender was not favourable. In the case of contracts which are subject to EU Regulations there is a 10 day standstill period. All companies are notified who the University intends to award a contract to and the contract is then awarded to the successful supplier at the end of the standstill period.
Your bid will be successful if it is the one that offers the University best value.
The University always reserves the right to post-tender negotiation where it is appropriate to do so.
If you would like to know why your offer was unsuccessful please contact the person who is named in the tender who will arrange to debrief and give you a full explanation.
The University's payment terms are 30 days from the date of a correctly-rendered invoice. No exceptions are made to these terms unless agreed by the Purchasing Manager and a commercial advantage accrues to the University as a result.
Some commodities purchased by the University lend themselves to a collaborative approach and often these commodities are purchased through contracts which are done at National or Regional level by the HE purchasing consortia or National Working Parties.
These commodity areas include:
- Stationery and Office Supplies
- IT Consumables
- Audio Visual
- Laboratory Supplies
- Postal Services
- Cleaning and Hygiene
- Catering (food, drink, equipment)
- Utilities (Gas & Electricity)
- Certain IT equipment such as PCs, Printers, laptops, servers etc
The University of Hull use the collaborative arrangements put in place by the HE Sector where they offer the University best value. To be considered for these, suppliers should register an interest via the local consortium website. The University is a member of the North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC) and they can be contacted via their website.
The University of Hull is an Equal Opportunities organisation and actively seeks to promote equality of opportunity throughout all its functions. It is also now law that as a body who receives and spends public funds, we are required to satisfy our obligations in law to promote equality throughout all out functions; this includes activities related to supplier selection. Under the Equality Act 2010 a vendor's performance and behaviours in the area of equality can now impact on their ability to obtain business from publicly funded organisations.
All suppliers will be requested to complete a Procurement Equality Questionnaire to enable the University to assess your equality status.
Further information about the University's approach to equality can be found on the main University web site.
A copy of the University Equality Policy is available.