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Procurement / tendering

Introduction

For contracts of over £25,000, where there is no in-house provider or Corporate Contract for what we want to purchase, a competitive tendering process should be followed. This means asking organisations to submit competitive bids (tenders) to us. By doing this we can ensure that public money is spent in a way that is fair, open, honest and accountable.

The only exception to this rule is where a reason not to competitively tender for a contract has been agreed and financial regulations have been waived, for example where there is only one supplier or timescales are very short.

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EU Regulations

Contracts over certain high values are also subject to a series of EU Procurement Directives. These directives require us to:

  • advertise and award contracts in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)

  • follow specified timescales and

  • award contracts, either on the basis of ‘lowest price’, or ‘most economically advantageous tender’ (a consideration of both quality and cost)

The EU directives apply to contracts that exceed the following amounts (as of January 2014) are:

  • service and supply contracts over £172,514

  • works contracts over £4,322,012

The thresholds vary from time to time and have traditionally been amended every two years on 1 January.

All public sector procurement, regardless of how much is being spent, is governed by an EC Treaty. The basic principles of this Treaty are the free movement of goods and services and non-discrimination against prospective bidders on the grounds of nationality.

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The Tender Process

There are four main ways in which we competitively tender contracts:

  • Open Procedure

  • Restricted Procedure

  • Competitive Dialogue Procedure

  • Approved List and Framework Arrangements

Definitions of what all these terms mean can be found on our Glossary page

These are well established procedures which we follow to ensure we get the best value for money. The process we follow will be determined by a range of factors, including:

  • value of contract

  • number of suppliers in the market

  • the complexity of our requirements

  • timescales

Regardless of the process followed, all bids are evaluated according to clear, pre-published criteria by a panel of experienced officers, and contracts will be awarded on the basis of value for money, which means a balance of quality and cost.

Standard Tender Documents

Our standard tender documents are available for your information.

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  • Modified: Mar 12, 2014 10:50:16 AM