Rules that the council must follow
As a local council, there are regulations at European, national and local levels which the council has to follow when procuring goods and services.
All public sector contracts within the European Union, no matter what their value, are covered by a treaty which incorporates the free movement of goods and services and which prevents discrimination against firms on the grounds of nationality.
The Council is required to follow detailed procedures for all procurement activity above financial thresholds.
The current thresholds are £164,176 for supplies and services and £4,104,394 for works.
Except in relation to certain services which are partly exempt, for all procurements above the financial threshold, the council must follow some basic principles:
- A specific tender notice must be placed in the supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union to give all suppliers in the EU an equal opportunity to tender. You can search for tender notices on the TED website
- Tenders must be invited in accordance with one of the prescribed procedures (open, restricted, competitive dialogue and negotiated - there are also two separate urgency procedures). Each procedure imposes minimum time-scales covering the tender activities to ensure that reasonable time is given to interested parties to respond to adverts and prepare submissions
- All unsuccessful contractors who either expressed an interest in submitting a tender, or submitted a tender, must be sent a notice informing them of the council's decision to award the contract, a minimum of 10 days before the council concludes a contract with the successful contractor
- A notice of contract award must be placed in the Official Journal of the European Union. Unsuccessful contractors must be debriefed if requested
Further information about the EC Procurement Directives can be viewed at the SIMAP website
The government's Value for Money (VfM) agenda requires councils to use their resources in the best possible way to deliver efficient and modern public services at the most reasonable cost practical.
We are committed to a VfM approach which improves economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
This does not just focus on the cost or performance of a service but the relationship between cost and performance to deliver ever improving service.
The council must also have regard to Part II of the Local Government Act 1988 that prohibits "non commercial considerations" being taken into account when awarding contracts.
Procurement activities must also comply with the council's own procurement procedure rules.
The council's Procurement Strategy is based upon fair, transparent and open competition and the procedures ensure that the process is reasonable and auditable.