Procurement is the process of finding and buying works, equipment, goods and services. Under the agreement with government which regulates our use of taxpayers’ money, English Heritage is committed to ensuring that all procurement which we finance, whether directly or indirectly, achieves value for money. All projects grant-aided by English Heritage must therefore demonstrate that value for money will be achieved. This means that grant-aided building works will normally need to be competitively procured by getting at least three tenders.
Direct public expenditure is subject to additional standards established by the European Community treaty and fully incorporated in UK Procurement Regulations. These include the principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment, the freedom to provide services across member states, and transparency, which in practice necessitates the advertising of work in advance and the impartiality of selection procedures. Where more than 50% of the costs of a project are publicly funded, it is treated as if it is direct public expenditure and so these principles will apply.
For the majority of English Heritage repair grants the total grant from public bodies (and that includes English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Listed Places of Worship Grant scheme) does exceed 50% of the overall project costs and so the public procurement regulations will apply.
This means that in many cases our grant recipients will have to appoint their main professional adviser and building contractor in a transparent way. This will involve advertising the work in advance as well as running a competitive process. We encourage all grant recipients to follow the approach recommended in these pages. This will ensure that you can demonstrate value for money regardless of the level of grant as well as complying with the regulations for those projects which are covered by them.
To help you carry out the procurement for your project you can read our guidance on appointing professional advisers and advertising and seeking tenders for building works. However, the suggested formats and methods on these pages are not the only ways to comply with the procurement regulations. If you are in any doubt please contact your English Heritage office. Please note that it is a condition of our grants that the procurement strategy should be agreed by English Heritage before tenders are sought.
Where English Heritage makes a grant to a local authority or another public body or company and the grant recipient’s thresholds for formal tenders and advertising are higher than the ones set out here, we would expect our thresholds to be applied.
Procurement regulations and thresholds may be subject to change. If so, these webpages will be updated. Where any of the guidance here conflicts with the ‘Managing Your Grant’ leaflet annexed to your grant offer please treat these webpages as our most up to date guidance.