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Cavendish Learning Trust

Cavendish
Learning Trust

Procurement

Summary Purchasing Procedure

Staff must always use this procedure for ordering all items (including services) at school level.

Do not place verbal or email orders without authority as this is not permitted under the financial procedures of the Trust.

Do not enter purchase requisitions with a zero value. Use the correct price you wish to pay or if this is not possible your closest estimate.

Purchasing

Value for Money

The Trust is aware of its duty to obtain value for money by testing the market and monitoring the quality of goods and services supplied. With that in mind, the Trust will use local suppliers whenever possible to participate in the local economy, to support local businesses, to foster good relations with the community and to take advantage of the rapid response time of local traders.

Budget Holders must order goods from the suppliers they consider will provide best value for money; the Bursar or School Business Officer is available to advise on any requisition request submitted and will inform the Budget Holder if he/she feels a particular supplier is not offering value for money. The School Business Officer/Finance Officer and the Administrative Assistant– Finance will help Budget Holders locate appropriate or alternative suppliers if required and arrange to open credit sales accounts as necessary providing that they represent value for money.

As a Trust we aim to generate economies of scale by asking all schools to deal with common suppliers, therefore preferred suppliers already on the Corero system should be used wherever possible.

Quotations and Approvals

For all purchases, Budget Holders are encouraged to consult the Bursar, the School Business Officer/Finance Officer or the Administrative Assistant - Finance when procuring goods or services. Budget Holders can approve expenditure up to £1,500 but should be able to provide evidence of “best value” wherever possible.

Secondary Academies:

Purchases above £1,500 and up to £5,000 must be approved by the budget holder and the Bursar/Business Manager. If the Bursar/Business Manager has placed the requisition then the headteacher of the School must approve the purchase.

Purchases above £5,000 and up to £15,000 must be approved as above with the Headteacher’s additional approval.

Purchases above £15,000 and up to £50,000 must be approved by either the Chief Operating Officer or the Executive Headteacher if in the approved budget, otherwise must be approved by the Trust’s Finance & Resources committee.

Purchases in excess of £50,000 and up to £100,000 must be approved by the Finance & Resources Committee. In urgent cases the chair of the committee may be consulted by email to approve the expenditure for future ratification.

Purchases in excess of £100,000 must be approved by the Finance & Resources Committee and reported to the Main Board. In urgent cases the chair of the Main Board may be consulted by email to approve the expenditure for future ratification.

Where the lowest quotation is not accepted, the reason for the decision should be recorded. The Finance and Resources Committee must approve this decision for contracts in excess of £50,000; for lower valued contracts such approval may be given by the Chief Operating Officer or the Executive Headteacher.

Primary Academies:

Purchases above £1,500 and up to £5,000 must be approved by the budget holder and the Headteacher. If the Headteacher has placed the requisition then the Executive Primary Lead must approve the purchase.

Purchases above £5,000 and up to £15,000 must be approved as above along with the Executive Primary Lead. (If the Executive Primary Lead is also the Headteacher of the school in question then approval must be sought from the Chief Operating Officer).

Purchases above £15,000 and up to £50,000 must be approved by either the Chief Operating Officer or the Executive Headteacher if in the approved budget, otherwise must be approved by the Trust’s Finance & Resources committee.

Purchases in excess of £50,000 and up to £100,000 must be approved by the Finance & Resources Committee. In urgent cases the chair of the committee may be consulted by email to approve the expenditure for future ratification.

Purchases in excess of £100,000 must be approved by the Finance & Resources Committee and reported to the Main Board. In urgent cases the chair of the Main Board may be consulted by email to approve the expenditure for future ratification.

All Academies

A minimum of three quotes are required to be sought for all purchases above £5,000.

Where the lowest quotation is not accepted, the reason for the decision should be recorded. The Finance and Resources Committee must approve this decision for contracts in excess of £50,000; for lower valued contracts such approval may be given by the Chief Operating Officer or the Executive Headteacher.

Orders/contracts in excess of £15,000 must go through a formal Tender process. Final approval will be given in accordance with the delegated authorites detailed above. Entry through the European Journal if likely to be in excess of £181,302 (Current thresholds effective 1 January 2018 can be found at: www.ojeu.com/links.html) . In the case of an emergency,  delegated power for purchasing is to be given to the Chairman of the Main Baord and Chairman of the Governors Finance and Resources Committee. Local Governing Bodies do not have financial delegated powers.

Budgeted Examination fees, Utility costs (whilst a third party is used for contract negotiations), MIS (Capita SIMS and RM), Finance System costs, Insurance, Rates, payroll, pension, PAYE and VAT payments etc may be authorised by the Bursar or Chief Operating Officer provided that the transaction is processed by another individual and are excluded from the aforementioned processes. This list is not exhaustive.

Tenders

The Governing Body tenders for major capital works and supply as outlined above.

Tendering process

The Bursar or Chief Operating Officer shall determine the methodology to use for the tender process depending on the value and strategic importance of the service. Lower value tenders may be operated by setting a deadline for responses, after which the member of staff carrying out the tender compares the prices and the specification of the goods/services offered based on the content of the tenders received and selects the tender which represents the best value for money. Higher value tenders will be more formal in nature and may utilise the services of a professional consultant to ensure that the technical content of the tenders received are adequate for the requirements of the Trust. Tender processes may include the following points:

1. An invitation to tender shall state clearly the closing date and time for receipt of tenders and

    that:

  • The Governing Body does not bind itself to accept the lowest or any tender.
  • No tender will be accepted unless it is enclosed in the special envelope bearing the distinctive label supplied with the tender form, properly sealed and addressed to the Headteacher of the School or the Chief Operating Officer and either sent by post or had delivered to that person.
  • Proof of posting will not be accepted as proof of delivery if the tender fails to arrive at the address shown on the tender envelope label for the closing date and time.
  • The same information on the Trust’s requirements shall be provided to all the tendering suppliers. If they ask for clarification then the response should be shared with all other tenderers so that all parties are working from the same data and information base.

2.  No tender received after the closing date and time shall be considered (any such tender will be returned to the tenderer unopened by the Headteacher of the School or Chief Operating Officer).

3.  Tenders should be kept securely in the custody of the Headteacher or Chief Operating Officer until the time and date specified for their opening.

4.  Tenders shall be opened at one time, which shall be as soon as possible after the closing time and only in the presence of three people appointed by the individual responsible for running the tender. Those people shall clarify a list of tenders received.

5.  When responses are being evaluated the Trust may ask individual suppliers questions to clarify any points within the tender that are not clear provided that this does not give any particular supplier an unfair advantage.

Acceptance of Tenders

1.  Where the lowest value quotation is not accepted, the reason for the decision should be recorded. The Finance and Resources Committee must approve this decision for contracts in excess of £50,000; for lower valued contracts such approval may be given by the Chief Operating Officer or the Executive Headteacher.

2.  A list of tenders received identifying the tender accepted and the reasons for selecting the successful tender (usually being a detailed scoring sheet) shall be retained by the authorising person in case of challenge and for audit purposes.

Alteration of Tenders

Once opened, tenders shall not be altered except that a tenderer may be given an opportunity to correct an error in calculation or clarify any points which are vague or unclear. When such an opportunity is given the tenderer shall be given no information about others tenders or a likelihood of his tender being accepted.

After selecting a preferred supplier commercial negotiations may be appropriate to fine tune the selected contract provided that this continues to represent best value for money.

Purchase Order System

The Corero purchase order system is administered by the Finance Officer/School Business Officer.

Official purchase orders must be raised for all supplies and services with the exception of items purchased through Petty Cash. As a general rule, purchase orders should be used for all purchases over £10 in value. Petty cash payments must be authorised by a different person who has custody of the money in order to ensure that the budget is available for the expenditure and that there is no opportunity for one individual to operate the system alone.

Orders must be processed under the delegated authorities procedures outlined above. New suppliers must be authorised by the Bursar. Those individuals making payments to suppliers in respect of purchase invoices must not have also entered requisitions for such goods without secondary approval.

Requisition Request

A requisition request is created by a member of staff on Corero which then requires the appropriate Budget Holder to authorise the expenditure. This authorisation enables the Finance Officer to raise the official purchase order.

Sufficient information must be included on the request form to allow accurate analysis of the type of expenditure and for eventual checking of invoice details against the order.

The value or estimated value must be entered on the form to allow an accurate check of available uncommitted funds.

Raising the Purchase Order

The Finance Officer:

  • Enters details from the requisition request onto the Corero system to generate an official purchase order which automatically updates the committed expenditure under the budget heading -the system reveals whether there are sufficient uncommitted funds available;
  • Dispatches the order to the supplier, either by e-mail, fax or post.The order is retained on the Corero system to view and maintain the audit trail.

Goods Inward

It is the responsibility of the Requisitioner (if delegated) or Budget Holder to ensure that goods are checked on delivery for quality, quantity and condition and any discrepancies are chased up immediately. The Finance Officer and Administrative Assistant - Finance and the School Business Officer will assist in this.

Delivery notes should be signed by the person who checks the goods as an indication that the delivery is acceptable. The delivery note is then passed to the Budget Holder for later comparison against invoices; delivery notes should be retained for audit purposes and attached to the invoices to which they relate.

Invoices

Invoices should all be addressed to the Finance Office which is based at Netherthorpe School.

Invoices are date-stamped when the post is opened, (where an invoice accompanies the supply then it is the responsibility of the Budget Holder to pass the invoice to the Finance Office to date stamp same, without delay). The Finance Officer checks the invoices for arithmetic accuracy, highlighting any discount allowable.  The invoice is logged onto the Corero system against the relevant purchase order.  The system prevents the logging of two invoices with the same number against a single order and thus offers a check that no invoice can be paid twice.  The system requires that individual items on an order are ticked off against the invoice, thereby ensuring a check against double payment on part orders.

Completed orders are marked “complete” on the system.

The invoice is grid stamped, attached to the file copy of the purchase order and scanned on to the Corero system for authorisation. No invoice is paid unless it has been approved by the appropriate Budget Holder/ Requisitioner.

The authorisation signifies that the invoice is correct in all respects and that the goods and or services have been received and or carried out to the satisfaction of the Budget Holder/Requisitioner.

Payments are made either by cheque or through the electronic banking system (Lloydslink).

Authorised invoices awaiting payment are filed alphabetically.

Get in touch

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Staveley Hall, Staveley Hall Drive, Staveley, Derbyshire S43 3TN

phone

+01 246 479013