Procurement policy

Procurement activities, strategy and policy including the role of DfI Roads & Rivers and where procurement opportunities are advertised.

NI Public Procurement Policy

DfI is guided by clear definitions from Northern Ireland Public Procurement Policy and has adopted the following:

Public procurement is the process of the acquisition, usually by means of a contractual arrangement after public competition, of goods, services, works and other supplies by the public service.

Best Value is defined the most advantageous combination of cost, quality and sustainability to meet customer requirements.

DfI Roads & Rivers

DfI Roads & Rivers is one of the Centres of Procurement Expertise (CoPE) in Northern Ireland and is required to maintain a professional influence on all procurement activity, to maximise value for money and ensure compliance with EU and UK legislation.  

Procurement is at the core of our business, with good procurement practice and working relationships with our supply chains being essential to the effective delivery of high quality services to users of our roads and other networks.

DfI Roads & Rivers CoPE procures the majority of its contracts which consist of construction related works, supplies and services. Construction & Procurement Delivery (CPD) CoPE is the normal delivery route for procuring other supplies and services contracts.  Refer to CPD procurement pipeline for further details.

Approximately 500 contracts are operational for use across the Department including DfI Roads & Rivers or CPD CoPE awarded Contracts, Direct Award Contracts and Low Value Contracts from £5k to £30k.

Construction Procurement Strategy

DfI Roads & Rivers has developed a procurement strategy, in line with current best practice and the principles of the Achieving Excellence Initiative. The strategy meets the needs of DfI Roads & Rivers in respect of value for money and best industry practice, whilst endeavouring, wherever possible, to take account of the needs of the Northern Ireland Construction Industry.

Single stage 'open' tender competitions are normally used for one off contracts of value up to £2m or for more specialist term contracts. Two stage 'restricted' competitions consisting of prequalification and tender processes are generally used for term contracts or for one off contracts of values exceeding £2m.

Methods for the delivery of capital and maintenance works are as follows:

  • Integrated Delivery Team
  • Design Build Finance and Operate
  • Design and Build (Schemes valued greater than £5m)
  • Traditional Client Design Contracts
  • Term Contracts (Works Order Value less than £350k)

For further information on the procurement methods used for Supplies and Services please contact the CoPE Manager.

Procurement activities

Across DfI Roads & Rivers activities the contracts are managed in the following discrete categories:

  • Major Works/Strategic Road Improvements
  • DfI Roads Design & Consultancy Services
  • Street Lighting
  • DfI Roads Operations & Maintenance
  • Transport Projects
  • Parking
  • Strangford Ferry
  • Traffic Information Control Centre
  • Line of Business IT
  • Headquarters 
  • DfI Rivers
  • Network Services (Maintenance and Works)

Procurement activities range from small-scale, routine purchases using contracts put in place through our Service Level Agreement with Central Procurement Directorate, to road maintenance and high value construction projects using DfI Roads & Rivers CoPE.  Procurement Branch is the central hub for CoPE activity and responsible for procurement competitions of value exceeding £30k for roads related contracts.  The Branch also monitors CPD and low value procurement activity authorised within internal Business Units, and direct award contracts

Procurement Branch is managed by a CoPE Manager and Contract Procurement Manager, reporting to the Head of Engineering, Head of Procurement (Director of Engineering) and Head of CoPE (Deputy Secretary).

Publishing procurement contract adverts

For all Roads & Rivers related procurement, contract adverts are published on the eTendersNI website, the DfI website and if applicable on the Official Journal for the European Union. All prequalification or tender documents are now only available on the eTendersNI electronic tendering portal: -

Further information

For further information please contact the CoPE Manager

Tel: 028 9054 0405

Related to Procurement policy

Access to information

How to request information from the Department for Infrastructure including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme.

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