Procurement

In the financial year 2019/20, Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority ("the authority") spent just over £17 million on a wide range of goods, services and works.

The Authority must ensure that the money it receives through taxation is used as carefully as possible and that it achieves best value in the use of this money. The authority's Procurement Service Order (PSO) sets out the policy by which we spend money on goods, services and works. A significant proportion of the authority’s expenditure is spent under formal contracts which have been subject to reasonable competition, in accordance with UK and EU procurement legislation, and in accordance with the Authority's PSO.

When appropriate, the authority undertakes joint procurement with other fire and rescue authorities. The authority also makes use of framework agreements and contracts awarded by other bodies on behalf of public sector authorities e.g. Crown Commercial Service, Kent County Council, Laser Energy Buying Group, the consortium and others.

View details of all spend each month greater than £250 excluding VAT

The authority advertises new procurement opportunities with a contract value greater than £10k on the Kent Business Portal and the Government's Contracts Finder website. New procurement opportunities that require publication of a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union are also published in Tenders Electronic Daily (TED).

Useful documents and further information
The contracts register

We have published our contract register which is available from the links below. This shows all known contracts let by the Authority, and where available, the estimated contract value. Where this is not known, this is because the contract is old and was let before this information was collected. As contracts are refreshed, this data will be published on the website. Any contracts which are commercially sensitive do not have their value published in the register.

It is not believed that the authority has any contracts with voluntary or community groups.

If a contractor is known to be a 'small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)' this information is shown in the contract register.

Review dates for contracts entered into by the authority do not follow a set pattern. However, on average the review process begins about a year prior to any contract lapsing.

Contracts register downloads

Tender opportunities

Full details of each opportunity, along with instructions on how to apply, can be found on the Kent Business Portal website. Potential suppliers will need to create a login profile on that site in order to submit tender applications and any required documentation.  

Value Added Tax (VAT)

The Authority confirms it is an End User for the purposes of Section 55A VAT Act 1994 reverse charge for building and construction services unless you are notified differently. Please issue the Authority with a normal VAT invoice, with VAT charged at the appropriate rate.  The Authority will not account for the reverse charge.

Publicity

The Authority would like to advise all prospective and current suppliers of goods, works and services that it is does not participate in any publicity relating to any of its contracts or purchases. Suppliers are requested not to advertise or publicly announce that they are undertaking work for the Authority. This decision has been taken in order to be fair to all suppliers and for a consistent and equal approach. If the Authority is made aware of any such advertising on websites or company literature the supplier will be contacted and requested to remove such references. It is hoped that suppliers will understand and cooperate with this request.

Prospective suppliers

Companies who wish to introduce themselves as prospective suppliers to the Authority can do so by sending brief details about themselves and the goods, services and/or works that they can supply to procurement@kent.fire-uk.org

Employees of the Authority who wish to be considered as an independent supplier to the Authority must follow the same introductory process as all other prospective suppliers and will be subject to the same process for selection as all other prospective suppliers regarding transparency, fairness and competition.

Additionally, prospective suppliers can register on the Kent Business Portal in order to view any opportunities which become available.

Such introductions will be retained and as and when appropriate procurement opportunities become available, the prospective supplier may be contacted by the Authority.

All prospective suppliers should note that introductory information will be retained for not longer than 12 months. If no procurement opportunities arise during that 12 month period, prospective suppliers will not be contacted and their introductory details will be deleted.

The Authority does not hold a list of preferred suppliers for any spend category as each Procurement opportunity is considered on its own merits, based on published thresholds.

The Authority does not bind itself to respond to or to contact any prospective supplier following receipt of introductory information.

Purchase orders

No goods, services and/or works should be supplied to the Authority by any current or prospective supplier without the supplier first having received an official Purchase Order from the Authority.

In the event that any goods, services and/or works are supplied without the supplier first having received an official Purchase Order, any or all such goods, services or works may be returned to the supplier unused at no cost to the Authority.

Suppliers' invoice

The Authority discourages receipt of paper invoices and suppliers are expected to provide electronic invoices.

All invoices from suppliers must be directed to the Authority’s Finance Department via email to invoices@kent.fire-uk.org and not to individual employees or departments.

All invoices must show the official purchase order number. Any invoices that are received that do not show an official purchase order number may be returned unpaid to the supplier.

Following receipt of goods, services and/or works, payment shall be made via BACS in arrears, within 30 calendar days whenever possible following receipt of a correctly presented invoice.

European Union (EU) procurement rules and financial limits

The European Commission biennially sets the financial thresholds that govern competitive bidding for procurement for public sector organisations.

The European Commission has issued revised thresholds for the application of EU public procurement rules. The revised thresholds will take effect from 1 January 2020:

For information, a summary of the current limits is shown below.

The public sector contracts regulations

Supplies and Services

  • Central Government Bodies £122,976
  • Other Contracting Authorities £189,330

Works

  • All bodies £4,733,252

Light Touch Regime

  • All bodies £663,540

Concessions Contracts

  • All bodies £4,733,252

Suppliers may view procurement opportunities that are above the EU thresholds on Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) website.