BS 95009:2019 Procurement to the public sector – generic requirements for organizations providing products and services
A new tool to simplify and strengthen public sector procurement processes – written very much with SMEs in mind
What is BS 95009?
This is the first generic, non-sector-specific standard for procurement in the UK public sector. It specifies how an organization can demonstrate that it is:
a) Suitable as an external provider of products and services to the public sector
b) Able to reliably deliver products and services meeting the requirements of the contracting authority
The requirements are generic and apply to any organization, regardless of type, size or the nature of its activities.
The criteria set out can be used by organizations which are:
1) Contracting out provision of products and services to external providers
2) Acting as external providers
Why has the standard been written?
Historically, UK public sector procurement struggles with a poor reputation: there’s a perception that the processes involved could be fairer, more transparent and more accessible to smaller or newer organizations.
This standard was written to tackle those issues. It provides criteria and guidance that enable potential suppliers to demonstrate their generic trustworthiness, transparency and ethical practice.
At the same time, procuring bodies can use the standard to assess bidders more readily and accurately. Overall the standard should simplify the process, reduce bureaucracy, ensure due diligence and provide assurance that fairness prevails in the awarding of contracts.
How will users benefit?
- Small or newer businesses sometimes report that there are barriers between them and the public procurement supply chain, because of the actual or perceived complexity of the tender process, and blanket requirements. This new standard provides for three levels of conformity to its requirements, with Level One enabling smaller or less mature organizations to demonstrate their suitability as potential suppliers more easily.
- The standard’s single, generic assurance framework will reduce bureaucracy and eliminate duplication of effort for organizations which bid in multiple tenders
- Likewise from a procuring body’s pointof view the standard supplies the generic part of all tender processes, so procurement officers can use it to more quickly, accurately and fairly assess each bidder’s suitability for consideration for a particular contract. Specific contracts can also be more focussed and simpler.
- Finally, it’s important that public sector contracts are awarded to the most suitable organizations and that they provide products or services in the best way, without compromising ethics, quality or value for money. This standard helps that happen, so the general public ought to benefit too.