Twelve principles guiding public procurement in Northern Ireland

The twelve procurement principles which govern the administration of public procurement are listed below.

Procurement principles

The twelve procurement principles are: 

  1. Accountability: Effective mechanisms must be in place in order to enable Departmental Accounting Officers and their equivalents in other public bodies to discharge their personal responsibility on issues of procurement risk and expenditure.
  2. Competitive Supply: Procurement should be carried out by competition unless there are convincing reasons to the contrary.
  3. Consistency: Suppliers should, all things being equal, be able to expect the same general procurement policy across the public sector.
  4. Effectiveness: Public bodies should meet the commercial, regulatory and socio-economic goals of government in a balanced manner appropriate to the procurement requirement.
  5. Efficiency: Procurement processes should be carried out as cost effectively as possible.
  6. Fair-dealing: Suppliers should be treated fairly and without unfair discrimination, including protection of commercial confidentiality where required. Public bodies should not impose unnecessary burdens or constraints on suppliers or potential suppliers.
  7. Integration: In line with the NI Executive’s policy on joined-up government, procurement policy should pay due regard to the Executive’s other economic and social policies, rather than cut across them.
  8. Integrity: There should be no corruption or collusion with suppliers or others.
  9. Informed decision-making: Public bodies need to base decisions on accurate information and to monitor requirements to ensure that they are being met.
  10. Legality: Public bodies must conform to European Union and other legal requirements.
  11. Responsiveness: Public bodies should endeavour to meet the aspirations, expectations and needs of the community served by the procurement.
  12. Transparency: Public bodies should ensure that there is openness and clarity on procurement policy and its delivery.
Back to top