Procurement exist to help the University achieve our objectives and deliver the best results for the best value expenditure. Our role is to assist our staff in dealings with suppliers and to work with them to help source the goods and services needed to do their work.
Procurement do not just provide value for money, but also ensure an operational fit between the needs of the University, our students and staff, and the solutions available from the market.
In the current day and age, there is high scrutiny of expenditure and a need to reduce costs. Procurement therefore:
- Provide procurement services and advice for all spend
- Work collaboratively to ensure we get best value for money
- Analyse spend and risk
- Select suppliers to reduce risk
- Review pricing, costs, terms and conditions and performance
- Work collaboratively to drive performance and value for money
- Deliver operational support
- Review how the University works with our suppliers
Approximately £54m a year is spent with external suppliers and contractors. Procurement exist to ensure that that money is spent in a manner that is demonstrably best value in terms of performance, delivery of outcomes, reduced cost and customer satisfaction.
This includes involvement at every step of a requirement, from the early stages where a need is identified, to the last day of a multi-year contract, and the subsequent arrangement of a new contract. Our intention is to deliver a co-ordinated, business wide approach that meets the aims of the corporate plan.
The Procurement team at the University use an online tender portal, eu-supply.com to publish all our procurement opportunities over the value of £25,000. Suppliers should register their details at: https://uk.eu-supply.com/login.asp
If you wish to become a supplier to us, please use the Contact tab and we will respond if there is a requirement we may wish to pursue.
Fraudulent emails and purchase orders
We want to alert you to a fraud that is targeting existing and potential suppliers of goods to many universities in the UK.
The main victims are not the universities but hundreds of organisations across the UK and Europe. In the UK alone it is estimated that the sums run into £Millions.
The fraud operates in the following way:
- A supplier will receive an email or phone call from the fraudster requesting a quotation for specific item/s of equipment or goods. These may be in large or small quantities and of low to high values, or requesting extended payment terms.
- There are instances where the fraudster has used the name of an individual connected with the university.
- Once the quotation has been provided, a purchase order is emailed to the supplier that resembles an authentic University purchase order.
- The purchase order typically instructs delivery to an address that may or may not be affiliated to the University. If the University address is used, the fraudsters intercept or redirect the delivery once they are notified of despatch and tracking from the courier.
- The fraudster will provide a mobile number, asking for it to be the first number to try as they may be away from their desk or in meetings and therefore unable to take calls on the office extension.
- After shipping the goods, they are collected and despatched, usually abroad.
The following will be evident in these fraudulent emails and purchase orders:
- An incorrect domain name (incorrect email extension) will be used to send emails and purchase orders e.g. -ac.uk rather than .ac.uk.
At first glance, these fraudulent domains may appear genuine. Suppliers must always ensure that the email address is genuinely the University email address.
- Delivery addresses will typically be a self-storage facility or freight forwarders, often nowhere near the University.
In some cases, the delivery address may be a genuine university address, which is later changed or redirected
- There may be an instruction for the supplier / courier to use a mobile number rather than an office number.
NEVER contact the name / number used on the email / purchase order.
ALWAYS contact through the main University switchboard
We advise all suppliers to consult with their IT or cyber security advisors to ensure they remain vigilant and informed on how to identify suspicious communications.
If you are ever unsure about a quotation request sent by email and purporting to come from University of Kent, or the subsequent purchase order, please contact the Procurement Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.