The Public Spending Code: B. Expenditure under Consideration Procurement Guidelines

The Public Spending Code: B. Expenditure under Consideration

Procurement Guidelines


Document Update Log

Capital projects as a rule and in some cases current expenditure programmes will involve third party provision on a contractual basis. Having attained an Approval in Principle on completion of the Appraisal phase and an Approval to Proceed to Tender during the planning phase the project moves on to Procurement which is a phase of planning that is governed by extensive regulations and guidance.

Procurement Regulations aim to give potential suppliers a fair opportunity to compete. From a Value for Money perspective lower prices are secured when competitive processes are used. To be compliant with the Public Spending Code, Departments and Agencies have to comply with Procurement Regulations and Guidelines.

For regulations and guidance on procurement see:

Contract Placement

The Sponsoring Agency should procure the services of a contractor in accordance with EU and national procurement requirements. Depending on the kind of project being undertaken, the Sponsoring Agency may have a choice of engaging in a single contract with one contractor, or of co-ordinating a number of minor or sub-contracts. The task of managing a large number of contracts should not be underestimated; any potential cost savings associated with such an approach should be weighed against the inevitable additional management costs. The use of nominated subcontractors is not permissible in any public works contract. The contract should make clear the specific responsibilities of the parties.

Public Procurement National Public Procurement Policy Unit (NPPPU)

The NPPPU was established in June 2002 and is charged with the formulation of policy and guidance in public procurement and the delivery of the government’s e-procurement strategy. It is also responsible for producing national procurement guidelines, transposition of EU directives and for the Government Contracts Committee. The unit can be contacted at 01 6318034 or 01 6318101 or email:

National Procurement Service (NPS)

The NPS was established in April 2009 on foot of a Government Decision assigning responsibility for procurement to the Minister of State at the Department of Finance with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works.

The establishment of the NPS is part of an overall vision for Public Procurement, which sees policy and operational structures working together. The NPS has been tasked with centralising public sector procurement arrangements for common goods and services (excluding the construction sector). By identifying key markets and analysing procurement trends, the NPS develops a more integrated approach to procurement across the public sector utilising procurement tools such as aggregation and framework agreements.

The NPS establishes central framework agreements and contracts for use by the wider public service. These central contracts are publicised through This website also contains guidance material and standard procurement documents for use by public service buyers and suppliers.

The NPS administers the website which is the portal through which all public service contracts over the value of €25,000 must be advertised. This website also allows full access to the Official Journal of the European Union. The NPS can be contacted on 046-9426000 or email and is based in OPW Headquarters, Jonathan Swift Street, Trim, Co. Meath.