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Selling to the Council: Common terms and phrases

Here are some common terms or phrases that you may need to be aware of:

Procurement is the process of acquiring goods, works and services from third parties. Procurement includes the process by which requirements are defined and contracts are awarded, as well as the management of contracts once established. Effective procurement seeks to evidence and achieve value for money - which is not simply about the cheapest possible option, but an optimum balance of quality and sustainability for the entire contract duration.

Procurement is distinct from purchasing which is the transactional process of ordering, receiving, and paying for goods and services. A related process is commissioning - this is the strategic process by which needs are identified and assessed, desired outcome(s) are defined, and solutions designed to achieve those outcomes.

Selection questionnaire (SQ) focuses on information about the company, and may include aspects such as financial information. Suppliers who are successful at the selection questionnaire stage will then be invited to tender.

Invitation to tender (ITT) is a document that is sent to businesses to invite them to tender for the contract. 

Request for quotation (RFQ) is used to invite suppliers into a bidding process to bid on specific products or services.

Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) is the gazette of record for the European Union.  New notices are advertised when an opportunity arises, these include invitations to tender, prior information notices and contract award notices.


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  • Corporate Procurement Service
  • Hawthorne
    Rolling Mill Road
    Viking Industrial Park
    Tyne & Wear
    United Kingdom
    NE32 3DP

  • 0191 424 7008

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