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Suppliers and Contracts - FAQ

If none of the below answers your question, please email your query through to us on transparency@poole.gov.uk. Please note - we will not answer any questions or enquiries by email that have already been covered in the FAQ.

 

What is ‘Supplying the South West’?

Supplying the South West allows local authorities and other public sector organisations to post their contracts in a single online location and enables a wide range of suppliers to gain easy access to new business opportunities and contracts.

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What is ‘Spotlight on Spend’?

Spotlight on Spend is a standard online enquiry tool and is being used by many local authorities to publish details of spending and related information to the general public in an easy and accessible format.  We have chosen to use the tool to ensure we are as transparent as possible and make it feasible for the user to compare us with other Local Authorities that use Spotlight on Spend.

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How do I download the monthly spend reports?

If you wish to download and to use the data then select the CSV files which can be easily read in a variety of applications.

Please note: The CSV format uses a standard column width and not all entries may be completely visible. To view all the data you will need to expand the columns. If you have any difficulty in downloading and reading files on your system then please contact us on the email above.

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Why in some cases do monthly spend items in the downloadable reports seem to be classified differently to the previous annual years spend analysis in Spotlight on Spend?

This can appear to be the case in some instances because the historic annual spend analysis (used in Spotlight on Spend) is based on the national trade classifications scheme to indentify a suppliers’ core business whereas the monthly in-year spend is categorised by local cost codes within the council’s financial ledger system.

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Why have payments been made to Pizza Hut, Off Licences, Exeter Golf Club, Sainsbury’s, Cross Channel Ferries and others of that kind?

The Spotlight on Spend classification has to use the national trade classification scheme to identify a suppliers’ core business.  This will lead to some apparent anomalies in the nature of the transaction which can be misleading in some instances, for example:

  • Pizza Hut is trade classified as Restaurant Pizzeria. As a result any payments to Pizza Hut will subsequently be classified as Restaurant Pizzeria even though the payments are for rental payments for offices above the restaurant.
  • Happy Tippler Off-Licence is trade classified as Wines Spirits and Beer Retail, when in reality the spend to Happy Tippler is for newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
  • Exeter Golf Club is trade classified as Golf Courses and Clubs, whereas this is the venue of the regional European Regional Elections Conference which is co-ordinated by the Council, funded by the election grant.
  • Sainsbury's is an example of a Facilities Management (FM) contract. This is where the council manages and collects the car parking income for the Sainsbury's car park. The council will then deduct a management fee and reimburse Sainsbury's, quarterly, the income for the car park.
  • Cross Channel Ferries is another FM contract, so the money spent to Cross Channel Ferries is where the public can book and pay for ferry tickets through the Tourism Visitor Centre. The council receives the income from the ticket bookings and then, to offset the ferry company, will bill the council for the tickets with the council receiving/making a small income % for arranging the ticket sale.

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Why is there spend for the controversial illuminated cone Christmas tree from 2009?

The data in Spotlight on Spend relates to the financial year 09-10, so this does relate to the Cone Christmas tree. The tree was purchased by Town Centre Management through the council's accounts but is funded from contributions of town centre businesses, market trader fees and a subsidy from the council.

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Can I have more detail on a specific payment?

The Council makes purchases in pursuit of its objectives which are outlined in our Corporate Strategy and the statutory duties we are obliged to fill. The process by which we manage our business is set out in our Financial Plans and delivered in accordance with our Financial Regulationsand Constitution.

Should you have any concerns about the legality or constitutional justification for any specific payments, these can be raised by emailing transparency@poole.gov.uk or through the District Auditor .

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