CODC seeks to change procurement rules after damning audit

by Kim Bowden - Oct 24, 2023

After a damning report last year, the Central Otago District Council is tomorrow looking to adopt a heavily revised set of procurement rules.

The council implemented its 'Procurement Policy' in 2020, but in 2022 an audit revealed staff deciding on contracts too often ignored the rules outlined in it.

Now, councillors are being asked to sign off on a largely rewritten policy, which council managers say will be shorter and simpler to follow than the three-year-old original.

In a report to councillors ahead of Wednesday's full council meeting, risk and procurement manager Amelia Lines says the changes between the old document and the new are "significant in nature".

Under the proposed new rules, the threshold for requiring an open market tender would jump by $150,000, from $50,000 to $200,000.

Ms Lines says the change is because market interest is often limited for tender opportunities with lower values, plus smaller local suppliers may be more inclined to respond to direct requests for quotes than open market tender opportunities.

She also says, "The effort and cost involved with completing a tender exercise is significant and must be commensurate with the outcomes sought through the procurement process".

While procurement plans are currently required for spend higher than $10,000, the new rules would shift the threshold to $50,000.

Ms Lines says a number of templates would also be made available to staff to ensure plans created are "useful, easy to digest and commensurate with the procurement being undertaken".

While the 2020 policy is 62-pages long, its suggested replacement comes in at just 19.

If approved, the new policy would come into effect immediately.

Read more: Review details 'pervasive' procurement problems at CODC





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