Office for Nuclear Regulation

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How purchasing is organised in ONR

When ONR wishes to let a contract, it does so by utilising the expertise of HSE's Procurement Unit (PU) which acts as a focus for all matters relating to procurement.  This includes such matters as propriety, the development and implementation of procurement policy, procurement strategy and procedures whilst at all times ensuring value for money.

Advertisement of contract opportunities

If a potential supplier wishes to engage with ONR, they should monitor announcements under 'current contract opportunities'. ONR also utilises the Government Procurement Service to obtain products and services, when appropriate.

Where appropriate advertisements for contract opportunities will be placed in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and Contracts Finder.

Small and medium size enterprises (SMEs)

We welcome applications from Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs) and we utilise the services of sole traders where appropriate.

Supported factories and businesses

It is Government policy, as far as possible, to give people with disabilities the opportunity to enter the labour market. For this reason, Government sponsors supported employment.

Pre-qualification (PQQ)

In certain circumstances we may decide to conduct a pre-qualification stage. Detailed evaluation criteria will be provided with the questionnaire to explain the basis on which submissions will be judged. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a full bid in response to an Invitation to Tender (ITT).

Invitation To Tender (ITT)

ONR's requirements will be set out explicitly in the ITT documentation, e.g. the technical capability, quality, method of delivery, timescales and performance measures. Detailed evaluation criteria will be provided to explain the basis on which bids will be judged. Late or incomplete tenders will not be accepted.

Health and safety

ONR expects that any business with 5 or more employees to have a written Health & Safety policy and, in all cases, to operate appropriate health and safety systems. Failure to provide sufficient assurance that the business actively promotes and manages health and safety, may rule out the business from being selected. 

Sustainability (social, economic and environmental)

ONR is committed to doing business with suppliers that can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. We consider and score the sustainable policies of bidders during the evaluation process. Contract specific environmental considerations will be included in the ITT specification (as appropriate) and these will form part of the evaluation criteria and be scored accordingly.

Ethical procurement

ONR is committed to doing business with suppliers who take responsibility for the working conditions of the people who make the products they sell. Companies with a commitment to ethical trade adopt a code of labour practice that they expect all suppliers in their supply chain to work towards. Such codes address issues like wages, hours of work and health and safety.

Security and Information Assurance

The protection of people, property, assets and information is of paramount importance to ONR and the appropriate specific requirements will be articulated in ITTs.

Diversity and equality

We seek to ensure diversity and equality when tendering for goods and services and comply with the relevant legislation.

Terms and conditions

We have standard sets of terms and conditions covering products and services which we expect businesses to accept.

Tender evaluation

We use a formal evaluation process to identify the bidder(s) who will provide the best overall value for money for the particular purchase, which is not necessarily the lowest price. We conduct all tendering activities in a fair and open manner. Records are made at all stages in the process to provide an audit trail. During the evaluation process we may ask bidders for samples or to provide a demonstration / presentation to address any questions we may have. In some instances we may visit bidders' premises.

Electronic auction

Where appropriate we may run an electronic reverse auction (eAuction) event, which will be facilitated on our behalf by a third party service provider.

Contract award

When we have completed the evaluation of tenders and reached our decision, we will inform the successful and unsuccessful bidders in writing as soon as possible.

Unsuccessful bidders will be offered a debriefing to provide feedback which may provide insight on how to improve future applications. Bidders will have the opportunity to comment on ONR's performance and procedures.

Prompt payment policy

ONR`s current policy is to pay all invoices within 10 working days of receiving a valid invoice or from receipt of the goods/services (whichever is the latter).

Transparency

The Government has set out its clear agenda to improve transparency about how it spends public money. Greater transparency is at the heart of the Government's commitment to enable the public to hold politicians and public bodies to account, to reduce the deficit, and to deliver better value for money in public spending.

Freedom of Information

We may receive requests for disclosure of information on tenders and will comply with our obligations as required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We will approach suppliers and/or contractors for permission before disclosing any information to enquiring parties.