zzzTendering Procedures

The Council's procurement and contracting procedures are designed to ensure that we achieve best value from all the money we spend. The value of a contract determines the procedures that all Council officers must follow with respect to how many quotes they need to obtain, or whether a tender process must be entered into. Below is a table outlining the procedures all Council officers must follow:

Overall Contract Value for
whole contract (excludes VAT)


0 - 29,000


30,000 - 79,000

3 Written Quotes

80,000 - 139,999

5 Tendered Quotes

over 140,000 (and non-EU applicable)

6 Tendered Quotes
(non EU applicable)

EU applicable, over 139,893 (Supplies and Services)
over 3,497,313 (Works)


Advertising of contracts

All our contracts that need to be advertised will appear in one local newspaper and if appropriate a trade or professional journal. Where the value of the contract exceeds the EU threshold there will be a publication in the supplement of the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

In the near future it is also intended to advertise contracts on the South East Business Portal. In addition, to ensure that our suppliers reflect the area's diversity, copies of tender adverts may be sent to a number of minority organisations for onward circulation to their members.

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Tendering procedures

There are 3 main ways of tendering:

Open procedure

Under an open tender procedure all suppliers who respond to an advertisement are supplied with tender documentation, which they can return as appropriate.

Restricted procedure

The restricted procedure can best be described as a two-stage approach in which the Council invites interested suppliers to undergo a pre-qualification assessment to draw up a shortlist before inviting those on the list to tender. This is the most common approach used by the Council when tendering.

Negotiated procedure

This is when the Council, under certain limited circumstances, negotiates with one or more suppliers of their choice. For example, it may be used in cases of extreme urgency that could not be foreseen by the Authority or where there is only one supplier in the market. It would not normally be used when either open or restricted tendering is considered more appropriate.


The Council will advise the tender process timescales for each contract which is let as appropriate. However, it is worth noting that for larger contracts especially, contract letting requires internal approvals via written reports. Also, contracts to which the full EU regulations apply have set minimum timescales within the tender process. Please click on this link to see Key Steps for EU Tendering, which illustrates the timescales in a typical EU tender process.

Tender submission - tips

Whichever procedure the Council follows, you should nevertheless read the advertisement or tender/quotation documents carefully and submit or request the information required by the dates stipulated by the Authority.

The Council normally requires all suppliers to complete a questionnaire detailing information about their financial/economic standing and their technical capability. This usually covers information about when you started business or your organisation/company was formed, what experience you have in providing the goods/services/works being tendered for, details of where the Council may obtain references on your company, and details of your company's finances.

To ensure your bid is considered, you must:

  • Provide all the information requested
  • Make sure that you answer all questions accurately
  • Return the information by closing date specified
  • (For tender responses only) Ensure that there are no identifying marks on the envelope in which your tender response is submitted to the Council as this may lead to your bid being rejected

Sometimes the information the Council receives from suppliers is unclear or in need of further clarification. Once again you should provide any additional information sought by the closing date set.

The tender documents we send out to suppliers contain details of our requirements. The documents, particularly the specification, should be read carefully and all information completed fully and accurately. If you do not understand any part of the specification you should ring the Council officer named in the tender documentation and request further information. This must be done before the tender period closes.

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Evaluation of tenders

In order to preserve the integrity of the competitive process, it is imperative that the evaluation of proposals is undertaken objectively, consistently and without bias towards particular suppliers. Accordingly evaluation of tenders is undertaken by an evaluation panel, comprising a minimum of three members, to ensure a fair and objective decision is reached. Because of the nature of our contracts it is unlikely that they will be awarded on the basis of price alone. The Council will award the contract to the supplier it considers offers value for money. For this reason our main evaluation criterion will be the "most economically advantageous tender" (MEAT) as determined by the criteria set out in the tender documents. The award criteria will vary depending on the type of contract. Examples of award criteria are experience, technical merit, financial viability, flexibility to future changes to our requirements, speed of project delivery etc.

Where to go for help

Unsuccessful tenderers may request feedback. Such requests should be made to the Council Officer of the specific contract for which they tendered. Where such requests are made the Council will endeavour to provide information that will assist the tenderer to improve on their next tender submission.

Key Steps for EU Tendering

Table to download showing key steps and timescales

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Modified: 2012-10-12
Published: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 09:53:34
Author: Allison Helyer
Editor: Allison.Helyer
RDCMS ID: 7844