Tender process

Tender thresholds

Contract value Tender approach
Under £25,000 We get 3 quotations to make sure we get the best market rate.
Between £25,000 and less than £172,514 We seek at least 3 quotes, perform local sourcing or tender exercises supported by the Strategic Procurement Team.
Over £172,514 The Strategic Procurement Team follows compliant procurement procedures for tenders when the overall value exceeds the financial thresholds laid down in Public Contract Regulations. See the table below for more information.

 

EU procurement process

Type Example items Financial thresholds
Supplies Purchase, hire, lease or hire purchase of goods including equipment, commodities and manufactured products.

£164,176
(excludingVAT)

Services Procurement of a wide range of services including maintenance and repair, computer services, management consultancy, building-cleaning and property management. £164,176 (excludingVAT)
Works Procurement of civil engineering and building works, including major refurbishment projects.

£4,322,012
(excludingVAT)

 

Tender procedures

1. Open procedure

This is not commonly used. It's a 1-stage bidding process where suppliers respond to a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and are invited to submit a tender.

2. Restricted procedure

This procedure is applied when a large number of applicants are anticipated. It's a 2-stage bidding process where suppliers respond to a notice in the OJEU and undergo a prequalification stage (see below). A shortlist is created and the shortlisted suppliers invited to submit tenders.

3. Competitive dialogue procedure and competitive procedure with negotiation

This procedure is used for complex contracts where the open or restricted procedure would be inappropriate as the competitive procedures allow us to discuss potential solutions with suppliers. Suppliers responding to a notice in the OJEU are subject to a pre-qualification stage. A shortlist is created and the shortlisted suppliers are invited to participate in a competitive dialogue or negotiated procedure before submitting a final tender.

4. Negotiated procedure

Under certain limited circumstances we will negotiate directly with one (or occasionally) more than one supplier. This is a rare procedure and occurs either when another procurement procedure has failed or when one of the other exceptional reasons permitted by the procurement regulations applies.

5. Innovation partnership procedure

Innovation partnerships are a new concept in EU procurement law. They are intended to be long-term partnerships which allow for both the development and subsequent purchase of new and innovative products, services or works. 
 

Prequalification

You must demonstrate sound financial standing and the technical ability to meet our requirements. We will take note of your past performance and experience with contracts of a similar nature.

We may also look for a clear demonstration of commitment to equality & diversity in employment, to the environment and to health and safety. We may ask for references from previous customers, bankers and business information companies and we sometimes arrange inspection visits.

All contractors are encouraged to use Constructionline or CHAS or an equivalent Safety Scheme in Procurement. This allows you to submit all your prequalification data at once for all procurements across common commodities. This saves time and reduces costs.

If you're a small business, we make sure that the procurement process is competitive and transparent so that you're not disadvantaged and precluded from tendering exercises.

Evaluating tenders

This is undertaken objectively, consistently and without bias. Tenders are evaluated against a pre-determined set of criteria.

When procuring energy services, products and equipment that have, or can have, an impact on significant energy use, the procurement will be partly evaluated on the basis of energy performance.

It's unlikely that contracts are awarded on the basis of price alone. We usually award a contract that offers the best value for money. For this reason, the main evaluation criterion is usually the most economically advantageous tender.

The award criteria vary depending on the type of contract. An evaluation team of stakeholders, which may contain customers, examine each tender and make recommendations as to which tender is the most economically advantageous.

Awarding the contract

We notify everyone who tenders at the same time. If you're unsuccessful you'll receive a letter explaining the decision and the characteristics of your bid compared to the winning bid. The letter will also specify a standstill period of between 10 and 15 days. We will not sign the contract until the standstill period has expired.

A contract award notice will be placed in OJEU (if applicable) within 48 days of the contract being awarded.