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Category Finance
Type Policy
Approved by Vice-Chancellor, 8 June 2015
Date Policy Took Effect 8 June 2015
Last approved revision 29 November 2019
Sponsor Chief Financial Officer
Responsible officer Procurement Manager


The aim of this policy is:

  1. to ensure that the University obtains, where possible, the best value for its expenditure; and
  2. to ensure that the University obtains, where possible, purchases made in an sustainable manner; and
  3. to ensure purchases are made in an open, fair and transparent manner.

The Procurement Procedures elaborate on the Procurement Policy. Compliance with the associated Procurement Procedures is mandatory.

Organisational scope

This policy applies to all University employees, contractors or consultants acting on behalf of the University in procuring goods or services (including consultant services) by any contractual means.

The policy does not apply to employment contracts or funding agreements (e.g. sponsorship, memoranda of understanding, deeds).


Broader Outcomes
The New Zealand Government's expectations that procurement can be leveraged to achieve broader outcomes promoting public value and require agencies to incorporate or consider the priority outcomes as part of their procurement planning. The priority outcomes are:
  • increase New Zealand businesses' access to government procurement;
  • increase the size and skill level of the domestic construction sector workforce;
  • improve conditions for workers in government contracts; and
  • support the transition to a zero net emissions economy and assist the Government meet its goal of significant reduction in waste.
All the business processes associated with purchasing goods and services.
Sustainable Procurement
means consideration of the long-term economic viability, minimising environmental impact and being socially responsible when procuring goods, services or works at all stages of the purchase.
Total Cost of Ownership
The full cost of a good or service across its life span.



  1. The University will specify and secure required goods and services of appropriate quality, on economically-favourable terms, in a timely and efficient manner adhering to the principles laid out in clause 2 of this policy.
  2. All purchases must adhere to the University's financial delegation policy and be approved prior to the goods/service being ordered.

2.Procurement Principles

  1. Accountability – the University is accountable to the New Zealand Public to deliver University priorities and objectives in a manner that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
  2. Sustainability – The University will ensure the selection of products and services that provide value for money on a whole life cycle basis and achieve wider economic, social and environmental benefits. To that end, the University will give balanced consideration to social, ethical, environmental and economic impacts throughout the procurement process
  3. Openness – the University will be transparent when conducting the procurement function, both to support accountability and to promote clarity and shared understanding of respective roles and obligations between the University and external parties entering into contractual arrangements.
  4. Competitiveness – the University will look to seek responses from Industry when requesting for goods and/or services that serve to foster sustainable competition within the marketplace.
  5. Value for Money – the University will look to use its resources effectively, economically, and without waste with due regard for the total cost and benefits of the outcomes to be achieved. To that end, the University may not necessarily select based on the lowest price, but rather on the best possible outcome for the Total Cost of Ownership or Public Value.
  6. Lawfulness – the University's procurement process will be conducted within New Zealand legal requirements.
  7. Fairness – the University will act fairly and reasonably.  It will be impartial in its decision-making, and will pay due regard of its ability to influence the marketplace in its relationships with its trading partners.
  8. Integrity – the University will conduct its procurement activities with the upmost integrity and honesty.
  9. Impartiality – the University will be impartial in its procurement decisions.  A staff member's behaviour must not be influenced by a gift, benefit or consideration to show favour or disfavour to any person. No gift or consideration should be accepted.
  10. Confidentiality – the University shall ensure all commercially sensitive material will be kept in confidence.

3.The basis for Procurement Principles

This policy is based on the recommended procedures and principles outlined in the following publications:

  1. Government Procurement Rules (“the Rules”) 4th edition – published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ( MBIE ) and endorsed by Cabinet and effective from 1 Oct 2019;
  2. Procurement: A Statement of Good Practice – published by the Office of the Auditor-General (June 2008);
  3. Government Procurement in New Zealand: Policy Guide for Purchasers – published by the Ministry of Economic Development (August 2007);
  4. New Zealand Public Sector Syndicated Contracts Review and Endorsement Terms of Reference – published by the Ministry of Economic Development (August 2007);
  5. Sustainability Strategic Framework 2017-2021 – Bringing Otago's sustainability commitment to life – Published by the Office of Sustainability, University of Otago (n.d.).

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact:

Stephen Hall
Procurement Manager

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