Pembrokeshire County Council
Pembrokeshire County Council operates a fleet of over 350 vehicles.
Under previous procurement arrangements in the Council, purchasing and hiring vehicles was the responsibility of individual departments. Heads of departments were therefore charged with researching vehicle types and ensuring they procured appropriately.
This resulted in duplication of effort between departments and there were inefficiencies in procurement because the process was led by people with limited expertise and experience in procurement.
Further inefficiencies and variation in practices arose because the Council did not have a procurement policy to guide these processes. Whole life costings were only considered in an ad hoc way.
The Council decided to improve its procurement processes and developed a Sustainable Procurement and Whole Life Costings Policy. This aims to ensure procurement provides value for money and that the Council procures in an environmentally friendly manner.
The policy states that whole life costs must be considered when making procurement decisions. For vehicles, the Council developed a set of formulae for calculating the whole life costs for around 30 vehicle types. These formulae calculate costs based on servicing needs, initial purchase price, parts and tyres.
Procurement of fleet vehicles was made the responsibility of the Fleet Management Department rather than a responsibility of the individual departments
By making the Fleet Management Department responsible for procuring vehicles, the Council has centralised expertise in this area. The Fleet Manager reported that this has removed the duplication of effort in the individual departments and has improved the quality of procurement. Vehicles are procured only after detailed consultation and agreement has been reached in relation to vehicle specification. This is to ensure that they are fit for purpose and to the exact specification.
Under the previous arrangements, the heads of departments were also responsible for making sure that vehicles were properly insured. Centralising this has minimised the risks associated with inappropriate insurance.
Whole life costings have allowed more detailed planning of vehicle costs and the formulae developed by the Council have proved to be generally accurate in predicting long term costs.