Prior to the development of the procurement plan, there are a number of questions which need to be asked, some of which are as follows;
1. What are the exact specifications of the supplies / services which are required?
Only goods and services of a satisfactory quality are acceptable to LNGO and must be committed to adhering to minimum standards defined in the proposal or which are acceptable by local standards. This implies that we are obliged to only source goods or services for our operations that meet acceptable standards of quality and meet certain minimum specifications. A policy of standardisation should be applied where possible with a view to maximising organisational efficiency for the ultimate benefit of our beneficiaries.
Examples of some commodities for which standard specifications can been established are;
- IT equipment
- Communication equipment
- Emergency relief items such as blankets and shelter items
- Water Testing Equipment
- Food used for nutrition programmes
2. What quantities are required?
At project proposal stage it may not always be possible to accurately predict the exact quantity of requirements throughout the entire life of the project. It is however generally feasible to provide a relatively accurate estimation of needs and therefore when developing a procurement plan, efforts should be made to be as precise as possible in terms of the quantity of supplies required.
3. Do any time constraints exist?
The successful implementation of a project can often depend on materials or services being delivered in a timely fashion. For example; when distributing seeds and tools, it is imperative that this occurs prior to the rainy season. Likewise a rainy season may render it impossible to transport materials to a particular project site. Such constraints should be built into a procurement plan so that the procurement function has sufficient notice to consider project related time constraints while allowing for the timeframes necessary to complete the appropriate procurement process.
4. Do any relevant donor issues apply?
The procurement plan should highlight any information which is specific to the donor that is funding the project. If it is intended to use a procurement procedure which does not comply with donor guidelines, this should be clearly stated in the procurement plan included with the project proposal. The procurement plan should be referenced in the main body of the proposal itself and any issues which require a derogation/waiver from donor procedures should be clearly highlighted and discussed in the proposal.
5. What budget is available?
In a procurement plan, the amount of money available to pay for the material or service required is a vital component. The procurement function should be well placed to ascertain whether a budget is sufficient to meet the needs of the requirements within a reasonable timeframe. Instances will inevitably arise however where procurement personnel cannot suggest a budget price of a particular material or service. In such circumstances budget costs should be obtained through the following means where possible;
- Regular or pre-approved suppliers or service providers
- Other NGO’s
- The Bureau of statistics
6. What is the appropriate procurement procedure?
The applicable procurement procedure will directly affect the amount of time required to source the requested items. Three different procurement approaches can be applied, as follows;
- Single Quotation
- Request for Quotation Procedure (RFQ) – 2 Types
- Invitation to Tender (Local or International)
7. Where does the procurement plan go?
The person with final responsibility for the project proposal must ensure that the procurement plan is developed. The development of the plan should involve senior systems/procurement staff. Once the draft plan is complete, prior to the proposal being given to the donor, it should be passed to the Procurement function. The preparation of a procurement plan as discussed above should be completed in a systematic and structured way and is summarised as follows;