Summary of the main changes to the new Procurement Standing Orders
The new Schools Procurement standing orders (PSOs) are effective from 1 January 2020.
Procedure for orders of different values
There is a change to the value levels and the number of quotations required:
|Value range||Minimum requirement|
|Up to £9,999.99|
One written quote
(note change in upper threshold)
|£10,000 - £49,999.99||Three written quotations|
|£50,000 and above, but below regulatory threshold||Tendering|
|Above the regulatory threshold: £189,330 (Social and other specific services £615,278) (£4.73m works). See Annex B in the standing orders||Public Procurement Regulations compliant tendering (but see notes on works in Annex B) NB Values change Jan 2020|
Please note: Your Governors can set their own levels for your school. The levels above are the minimum requirements schools must meet to comply.
Post tender clarification and negotiation
When advertising an EU compliant tender make sure you are clear from the beginning about the terms of the contract and any extension periods that apply. Contracts that are subject to EU procurement rules can only be extended if the original tender process provided for an extension (see section 3.25 of the PSOs).
Conflict of interest
When conducting any procurement activity it is important to declare any conflict of interest at the beginning of the process. This is because there needs to be evidence that the market searches, procurement, evaluation and selection were carried out free from any conflict of interest to support our transparency objectives. Further clarification of the requirements for managing real or potential conflicts of interest is in Section 4 of the PSOs.
Sustainability and social value
Various changes to reflect the council's emphasis on supporting Surrey based business where possible:
- Schools are asked to consider local business where possible to comply with the Social Value Act 2012
- Schools are asked to consider offering smaller packages of work, where this makes the work more accessible to local contractors (see Section 3.3 and Section 5).
Schools should remember that many leases are finance leases and are defined as borrowing and thus outside their power. If you are unsure please contact David Green in Finance
Retention of records
The retention of tenders and contractual documentation is prescribed in the Limitation Act 1980 and the Public Contracts Regulations of 2006.
- Contracts valued at £50,000 or more should be kept in a secure fireproof location and should also be scanned and held electronically
- Tenders and pre-qualification questionnaires should be kept for 18 months
- Even after expiry, contracts valued under £500,000 need to be kept for a minimum of 6 years
- Contracts over £500,000 must be retained for 12 years.
Changes to the timescales required fo tender submissions for contracts subject to EU procurement.
Previously EU tenders awards required the tenderer to offer a debrief meeting to all unsuccessful suppliers. This requirement has now been removed although debrief letters must still be provided.
The EU thresholds have been updated in line with the current regulations.
As part of the work being done to formalise the basis upon which the UK leaves the EU, we will see updates to the thresholds, these are not expected to be reviewed again until 2022.
Part A and Part B services. The EU procurement regulations are designed to ensure suppliers throughout the EU have an equal opportunity to tender for public contracts – that there is no discrimination according to nationality.
Please contact the Schools Procurement Specialist if you need any further clarification or have any questions about the Schools Procurement standing orders.
Files available to download
Procurement Standing Orders for Schools 2019 (PDF)
Annex to Section E of Schools Finance Manual: Procurement Standing Orders for schools (revised December 2019)