Fire and Emergency New Zealand has contracts with suppliers that set out how both parties have agreed to do business. These include provisions covering commercial terms, obligations, the nature of the goods or services being obtained and, of course, pricing.

It is essential that we have contracts for our goods or services because – unlike when we buy that new fridge or TV – we are not protected by laws such as the Consumer Guarantees Act. Our contract terms and conditions are the only way we can agree with a supplier to cover us for risks we might be exposed to when buying goods or services.

We have had feedback from suppliers that:

  • they are receiving requests for pricing when there is already a contract in place
  • goods are being purchased from suppliers who are not contracted for those goods.

Why we have contracts in place

When we put a contract in place with a supplier it essentially becomes a promise that we will buy the goods or services set out in the contract only from that supplier, for the period that the contract is in place. In exchange for that promise, the supplier commits to a host of obligations; for example, to warrant the goods or services, to deliver them to a certain place by a certain time, and compliance with standards.

Therefore, it is important that we buy goods or services from the respective contracted suppliers and not purchase from other suppliers. In some circumstances, you may think that the unit price is less with a different supplier, but decisions aren’t just based on unit price and the organisation will likely be getting additional value from a supplier by means other than unit price.

Example of what can happen when buying outside a national contract

A good example of the problems that can be caused by buying outside of the national contract is the potential for electronic products to interfere with the LMR. Such products can give out electromagnetic emissions which can interfere with radio transmissions. This is the sort of issue that is addressed during the tender process for national contracts.

What you need to do

For goods and services where we have a contract supplier, do not purchase from other suppliers or request quotations. The Region Equipment Coordinators have access to all the required information for purchasing goods and who we have contracts with, so get in touch with them and they will assist you.

Procurement is working on putting all the active contracts online so you will be able to find them for yourselves. We will let you know when this work is completed.

 

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