How does government procurement work?


The government procurement policy requirement is that all public procurement must be based on value for money. This is defined as “the best mix of quality and effectiveness for the least outlay over the period of use of the goods or services bought”.

Public sector procurement is subject to a legal framework which promotes open competition and value for money for buyers. These are in line with internationally and nationally agreed obligations and regulations. 

The public procurement process ends with a contract award, where an agreement is reached between a buyer and supplier. Before that can happen, however, there are numerous steps that must be completed, the majority of which are often time-consuming and resource-heavy. These include:

  • Requirement identification 

  • Determining the suitable procurement method

  • Procurement planning and strategy development

  • Procurement requisition processing

  • The preparation and publication of solicitation documents

  • A series of bid/proposal meetings

  • Contract negotiations 

And, finally, the awarding of said contract. 

You can read more about public sector procurement here, but the most important thing to understand is that the difficulty of the steps ensures the quality of the framework in question. Aero, for example, are part of several fantastic frameworks because of the level of quality and expertise that we can offer. 

Utilising a government framework 
As we have seen above, government procurement can be a complex and unwieldy process. Because of this, framework agreements make things easier by offering a selection of pre-qualified suppliers, with pre-set terms and prices, which help save on time and resources. 
The benefits of frameworks in government procurement are huge. They help reduce the overall costs of procurement, help organisations avoid supplier ‘lock in’ and help fix prices so that optimal value is achieved. They also provide prospective buyers with readymade templates and ‘menus’, so to speak, so that you know exactly what you are getting every time. 

Why frameworks work so well for government organisations
Procuring quality supplies can be an absolute minefield for large public bodies and knowledge of the product might be minimal, increasing the risk that the resulting supply or service will not be up to specification. Frameworks offer peace of mind that products will be up to standard and remain so at a set price point, which ensures that budgets can be forecasted and met well in advance. 

Aero Healthcare has been supplying the Metropolitan Police Service and a large proportion of other UK police and fire services with crucial first aid products and life-saving devices since 2009, and through a 2013 retender, where the network was opened up to all UK-based blue light services. Since 2011 we have also supplied Scotland’s councils through a national framework, leveraging our extensive supply chain to deliver to even the most remote locations. 

By joining a framework that we are appointed to, we can offer frictionless transitions with no downtime in service, ensuring you are always stocked with the life-saving supplies that you need, at a stable price that we can guarantee.  

To learn more about joining a public sector framework, why not check out our guide, Navigating the Procurement Highway

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