Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) is the lead professional public procurement body for Northern Ireland.
Role of CPD
In Northern Ireland responsibility for public procurement policy lies with the Procurement Board, chaired by the Finance Minister. All policies agreed by the Procurement Board must comply with EU legislation.
One of the key functions of CPD is to support the Procurement Board, by liaising with the Crown Commercial Service on EU and legislative matters; helping in the development of new policies, and monitoring their implementation by the public sector in Northern Ireland.
CPD develops detailed guidelines for organisations across the public sector in how to apply procurement policies in practice. The organisations impacted by public procurement policy include all the NI Civil Service departments, agencies, non-departmental public bodies, and public corporations.
The current public procurement policy and a set of procurement guidance notes are published in the procurement policy and guidance section of our website.
CPD also works in partnership with industry representatives to ensure that suppliers are aware of the opportunities available in the public sector market, which are published online on the eTendersNI portal. More information is available in the ‘Selling to government’ section of our website.
Provision of professional procurement services
Nine Centres of Procurement Expertise (CoPEs) exist in NI to provide expert advice and professional procurement services to public sector organisations, helping these clients obtain best value for money. Six of the CoPEs are responsible for a specific sector – education, health supplies, housing, roads, transport and water.
In addition CPD provides three CoPEs – one for construction works and services; one for construction health projects and the other for supplies and services. These CoPEs meet the needs of clients within the NI Civil Service departments, their agencies and non-departmental public bodies.
The role of our procurement experts includes:
- helping the client clearly define what they need
- advising on the best method of finding a supplier
- taking it to the marketplace to obtain best value
- assisting in managing the contract
More information on services provided by the CPD CoPEs is available in the ‘Public sector customers’ section of our website.
Local councils across NI operate under a different procurement framework, and do not receive services from the CoPEs.