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Improving the County Durham Pound

by Craig Martin on 24 February, 2021

Durham County Council have formulated a new process for procuring goods and services. One that directly promotes organisations based in County Durham, employs those living within the County, and helps to deal with the climate emergency.

The Council’s procurement process has always had a ‘social values’ clause that promotes this. But it is now quantifiable, rather than companies just having to pay lip service to it during the tender process. Improving the ‘County Durham Pound’ will account for 10% of the score.

I’ve raised the issue that value for money for the tax payer still needs to be at the heart of procurement. This being 50% of the score, with quality and specification making the remaining 40%. Ensuring that the Council don’t fall victim to cronyism with this new process, is something I’ve also raised.

Smaller and medium sized businesses are also being specifically aided. The value at which a full procurement process occurs has been raised significantly. Something smaller organisations have long complained about. They do not have the resources to compete with larger businesses that have teams of staff who are purely there to jump through the Council’s bureaucratic hoops.

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