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Procurement Services

 

How procurement is structured at the University

The University of Cambridge is made up of six schools and two non-school institutions, which contain over 180 departments and faculties. The 31 colleges are commonly thought of as part of the University, however they are individual institutions in their own right and do not form part of the University of Cambridge for the purposes of administration, including procurement.

The process of placing individual orders with suppliers is devolved to schools, faculties and departments operating within the University's Finance Regulations add hyperlink and Procurement Procedures. The majority of goods, works and services are ordered using the University's Financial system and a purchase order is issued. Goods, works or services should not be supplied without a University purchase order.

The University's Procurement Services team are responsible for directly supporting all corporate, high value and strategic procurements as well as ensuring that the best long term value for money is obtained with regards to all goods, works and services. It also provides guidance on and promotes good practice for all purchasing across the University.

Any purchase over £1000 requires competition. Because the University makes use of a number of local and national purchasing consortia framework agreements, suppliers should consider bidding for these agreements in order to widen their potential customer base.

Strategy and regulations

The University has a procurement strategy supported by established processes for procurement of contracts, purchasing activity, contract management and benefit reporting. These processes are informed by a range of factors including:

  • University of Cambridge Financial Regulations
  • European Public Contracts Regulations and its replacement post January 1st 2021
  • Procurement good practice
  • Sustainability – Environmental, Economic and Societal good practice
  • Corporate, social and environmental responsibilities
  • Views and opinions of our boards and external partners
  • Other legislative requirements e.g. health and safety etc

The University is guided by the seven principles of public life as identified by the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life.

The University of Cambridge is not a public body within the meaning of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (Directive 2014/24/EU) as amended by the Public Procurement (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 and is not subject to the European procurement legislation. However, the University is committed to ensuring all entities are treated equally and without discrimination, acting in a transparent and proportionate manner. Our procurement activities are not made with the intention of excluding or artificially narrowing competition.

Where the University advertises contracts via the UK e-notification service, it does so on a voluntary basis and does not undertake any obligation to comply with the procurement legislation. The University reserves its rights in full to adapt or step outside the procedures in the procurement legislation as the University considers necessary. 

Where the University advertises contracts in the Official Journal of the European Union, it does so on a voluntary basis and does not undertake any obligation to comply with the procurement legislation. The University reserves its rights in full to adapt or step outside the procedures in the procurement legislation as the University considers necessary.

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