How to tender for business with us
Where we advertise
All contracts over £25,000 in value are advertised in the Proactis Supplier Network. This is the main website for all council tenders.
The largest contracts are also advertised through Find a Tender:
For more about our advertising policy, see our section below on the tendering process.
How to contact us
Please contact the member of staff listed in the advertisement or visit the Proactis Supplier Network.
The tendering process
Companies applying to do business with the Council must follow the appropriate procedure.
The higher the estimated value of the business opportunity, the stricter the procedure. The appropriate procedure is based on the the value of the contract.
Ethical procurement and supplier conduct
Our 'Orbis ethical procurement statement' and 'Code of conduct for suppliers' formalise the standards of ethical behaviour we expect from our suppliers and the Council. These two documents are available on request by emailing our Procurement team.
Please note: we know these files might not be suitable for users of assistive technology. If you use assistive technology such as a screen reader, please contact us, and we will do our best to help.
Criteria for awarding contracts
We generally award tenders for contracts using a range of evaluation criteria including price and quality. This is known as the ‘most economically advantageous tender’. This allows us to take account of commercial and non-commercial considerations. We make the evaluation criteria available to suppliers so that the award process is completely transparent.
We normally award contracts to a single supplier. If the contract is available to multiple suppliers, we clearly state this in the invitation to quote or tender.
Companies applying for Council business must follow the appropriate tendering procedure. The higher the estimated value of the goods, services or works, the more rigorous the tendering procedure.
If the business opportunity is very straightforward and the value is below the Council’s threshold for inviting tenders, then a quotation will be requested as described below.
If the business opportunity is valued above the Council’s tender threshold, then the Council may ask suppliers to complete a pre-qualification stage. The pre-qualification stage helps the Council check that companies are legally, financially and technically sound. Only those who pass the pre-qualification stage will be invited to submit a tender.
For further information see our finance and insurance requirements.
Thresholds for goods and services
Goods, services and works between £0 and £24,999
The Council will normally obtain a written quotation from at least one supplier.
Goods, services and works between £25,000 up to the Public Contract Regulations threshold for Goods and Services (£189,330 as of 1 January 2020).
Interested suppliers will be asked to complete a quotation form. The Council requires written quotations from at least 3 suppliers.
Goods, services and works above the Public Contract Regulations threshold for Goods and Services (£189,330 as of 1 January 2020)
These contracts will be formally tendered and advertised on the SE Shared Services Portal, on Find a Tender - GOV.UK (only for works if they are above the separate threshold) and in the local, national and trade press if appropriate.
For contracts above the European tender threshold, interested suppliers will be required to complete an EU level pre-qualification questionnaire. Suppliers who pass this pre-qualification stage will be invited to tender or negotiate under Public Procurement regulatory procedures. We use the standard Crown Commercial Services Selection Questionnaire (SQ) template - GOV.UK.
To do business with the Council, companies and organisations have to pass assessments for financial stability and demonstrate adequate levels of insurance. This confirms that they are willing to obtain adequate levels of insurance.
The Council’s requirement for public liability insurance (or third party liability insurance)
All contracts for the provision of services and works, whether above or below the Council’s tender threshold, will contain a requirement for the contractor to provide public liability insurance. The Council’s standard requirement is for a minimum cover of £10 million for each claim. For activities which are fairly risk free or have little risk, the Council may lower the requirement to £5 million. If the activity represents virtually no risk at all, the requirement could be £2 million.
Any tenders using a pre-qualification stage will have the requirement for public liability insurance clearly set out in the pre-qualification questionnaire.
Download our Standard financial procedure appraisals and risk assessments (not accessible) [97.8 KB] [pdf]
Please note: we know this file might not be suitable for users of assistive technology. If you use assistive technology such as a screen reader, please email our Procurement team and we will do our best to help.