Procurement policies

The process spans the whole cycle from identification of needs, through to the end of a services contract or the end of the useful life of an asset. It involves options appraisal and the critical make or buy decision which may result in the provision of services in-house in appropriate circumstances.

The Barnsley MBC procurement team has the responsibility for the development of policy and strategy, which is linked to improving the council's procurement service in response to the issues raised in the National Procurement Strategy for Local Government (2003 - 2006) and the Stronger and Prosperous Communities White Paper (2006). More recently the Government’s 2010 Spending Review advocated transforming procurement to achieve spending reductions, with key messages being; align procurement with organisational policy, collaborate and aggregate, implement category management techniques, streamline processes, use accurate data and find alternative models for delivery. The Localism Act 2011 also sets clear expectations that some power and budgets will be passed down to local communities, as well as giving citizens greater choice in shaping local services. 

The policies and the strategy are reviewed annually and updated to fit circumstances and government/market changes.


The Contracts and Procurement service is central to procurement within the council. The main aims of the service are to provide information, guidance, advice and support to other departments during the procurement process, to manage its own specialist categories and to maintain policy and strategy with central government objectives and guidelines.

Consortia and collaborations

We work with other local councils, procurement agencies and consortia where efficiencies can be delivered through sharing services or leveraging spend. Currently, we're working with other local councils to deliver decent homes, highways, and waste management services through meeting the buyer or supplier events. We're also working with the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation and the Government Procurement Service.

The Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO)

We are one of the founder members of the YPO, along with 12 other local authorities in the north of England. The YPO supplies goods and services both through its catalogue and through framework agreements where direct supply contracts are arranged. The YPO frameworks used by the council include:

  • Building materials
  • Energy (gas, electricity, coal)
  • Food
  • Fuel
  • Highways materials
  • Horticulture
  • IT consumables
  • Multi-functional printers
  • Piped water
  • Vehicles

Find out more information on becoming a supplier with YPO.

The procurement process

To secure value for money and to ensure the fair distribution of contracts to potential suppliers the council procures goods and services in the most competitive and equitable way possible. The thresholds of the contract value determine the procurement process and the choices that may be made. The YORtender system is to be used for all procurements over £10,000. Contracts over £5,000 must be published to the contracts register via YORtender.

The rules for these contract values are as follows:

  • A contract estimated to be below £10,000 an officer needs to ensure value for money is being obtained.
  • A contract estimated to be between £10,000 and £70,000 needs a minimum of three quotations to be obtained.
  • For a contract estimated at £70,000 and above, a tender exercise must be carried out.
  • For higher value procurements the European Procurement Directives apply.

Terms and conditions for goods and services

Standard Terms and Conditions for the supply of goods and services apply to our orders except where contracts have been awarded against tender or quotation exercises which may have their own specific terms and conditions in addition to these.

Terms and conditions for works contracts

Works contracts are usually subject to specific industry terms and conditions which will be identified at the time of the procurement exercise.

Why suppliers should work with the council?

We have spent in the region of £230 million in goods, works and services in 2016/17. There is a statutory duty on the council to ensure that the procurement of these goods, works and services represents the most cost-effective solution and that the best possible value-for-money has been achieved.

The advantages of supplying the council

  • We have a legal duty to be fair, honest and professional in both its initial choice and subsequent treatment of contractors/suppliers.
  • We are a financially stable customer.
  • We have a duty to pay promptly (within thirty days or as otherwise agreed).
  • We seek continuous improvement and works to develop innovative solutions that can benefit it and those it employs or contracts with.
  • We are a caring customer willing to work closely with those it employs and its contractors. It promotes ethical, environmentally sound, non-discriminatory approaches that benefit its area and all those who work and live in it with a view to their wealth, health and safety.

We're committed to tackling modern slavery throughout our supply chains. Read more about how you can work with us to prevent modern slavery.    


As part of the governments commitment to greater transparency, we have to make information on procurement more visible.

The Council includes in its Standard Terms and Conditions a Freedom of Information Clause that requires the Supplier to acknowledge that the Council is subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

What does this mean for suppliers?

Suppliers should be aware that if they are awarded a tender, the resulting contract between the supplier and us will be published. In some circumstances limited redactions will be made to some contracts before they are published to comply with existing law.  

Suppliers are encouraged to identify the information they believe is commercially sensitive and would not wish to be published; the final decision will be made by the council.