Procurement Policy & Procedure for St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church (SAPLC) Ecumenical Church Council (ECC), sub-committees, working groups, volunteers and staff.
Members of the SAPLC ECC want to ensure that the purchases of goods and services are carried out according to the ethos and principles of the Church, that best value for money is obtained without compromising these principles and the selection of supplier is not influenced by anyone in SAPLC gaining any direct or indirect financial or other benefit from the transaction.
Conflicts of interest with respect to purchases could include but are not limited to:
• A reduced price or improved service or product being offered by a potential supplier to the purchaser or anyone connected with the purchaser.
• The purchaser being the same person as the supplier or bearing a close connection to him/her.
SAPLC desires to maintain a purchasing system that:
• Is efficient and economical.
• Honours the values and mission of the Church
• Establishes accountability with sufficient record keeping for it to be possible to ensure good stewardship of resources.
• Avoids duplication and waste.
• Considers the current budget, cash-flow and financial position of the church.
Selection of Supplier and Authorisation
SAPLC strives to find good quality and competitively priced goods that are fit for purpose. The best value may not be the lowest priced item or service, bearing in mind the expected service life, possibility of extending the service life through repair, and suitability of the item(s) or services for the intended function. Consideration may also be given to environmental factors, including providing local employment; reduction of carbon footprint by good design and reduced need for transportation; the avoidance of adverse environmental impacts in manufacturing and processing operations; and the ethical character of suppliers.
Preference will be given to fairly traded products and materials such as timber should be from certified sustainable sources.
Care should be taken to ensure good stewardship of resources. There should be a couple of trusted traders available to instruct for smaller jobs to avoid the complication of getting quotes. For larger jobs, 1 quote should be obtained for jobs up to £750, 2 quotes for jobs up to £2000 and 3 quotes for jobs larger than this. Where this is not possible the procurement shall be discussed at the next meeting of the Property and Finance Committee, or by email if more urgent. As noted above factors other than financial cost should be taken into account when choosing the supplier and existing preferred suppliers should be used for ongoing maintenance. Where it is not feasible to obtain several quotations, the matter should be discussed by the Property and Finance Committee, by email if necessary, before the purchase is made.
Those ordering advertising should be aware that advertisements placed by Charities in connection with fund raising are zero rated for VAT. The supplier may need to be reminded of this.
Proposed purchases and services costing more than £500 should be approved by the Property and Finance Committee before the purchase is made. Purchases should not cause spending within the relevant budget heading to exceed the budgeted amount for the year, where anticipated spending is also included. Any purchase that is likely to cause an over-spend must be discussed by the Property and Finance Committee before the purchase is made.
Orders for goods and services are to be made by the Church Administrator or others delegated to do so by the Property and Finance Committee. Payment will be made by BACS except in exceptional circumstances. Where a purchase is made on behalf of the Church, all delivery notes, invoices or receipts must be forwarded to the Church Administrator.
Bills and invoices for items being paid for directly by SAPLC must be addressed/forwarded to the Church Administrator. The Church endeavours to make payments promptly, usually within a week of the receipt of the invoice. Regular payments for services and utilities can be paid by arranging standing order or direct debit payments. Where suppliers require payment in advance or at the time of delivery, the payment can be made by cash or cheque, by arrangement with the Church Administrator. Details of the item to be purchased, including the cost, the particulars of the supplier and the budget heading must be provided.
Where purchases are made on behalf of SAPLC using personal cash, cheque or bank card, then the purchaser must provide details of the goods or services on an Expenses Form, which must be accompanied by receipts to cover the amount being claimed. Reimbursement of such expenses will usually be by BACS. No Petty Cash is kept in the Office.
The Procurement Policy will be reviewed annually. The next review is due in January 2025.
This version agreed and accepted by the Property and Finance Committee, 17th January 2024.