Council Procurement

Lewes District Council currently spends almost £20 million annually on externally procured works, goods and services. Much of this spend is with Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.

Doing business with us

We want to encourage SMEs to tender or quote competitively to supply us because we recognise the positive contribution they can have in the local economy.

In April 2006 we signed the Concordat for small and medium-sized enterprises aimed at encouraging trade between local authorities and small business. The Concordat sets out what small firms and other community and voluntary organisations supplying us can expect when tendering for contracts.

Business opportunities and current contracts

You can find out about planned business opportunities in:

The Council also records contract award information on Contracts Finder.


Any interested business or enterprise can express an interest in any of our advertised tendering opportunities.

It is unusual for our contracts to be awarded on the basis of price alone. We will usually award the contract to the supplier that offers the best overall value for money based on a combination of cost and quality.

The tender documents contain full details of our requirements. To maximize your opportunity to be successful you should:

  • Be clear about how, when and where to return your bid and comply with these requirements
  • Don’t leave it until the last minute to submit your bid
  • Answer all questions succinctly but thoroughly with sufficient detail and examples to demonstrate your capabilities
  • If you are an existing supplier to the Council, don’t assume that we know your capabilities. We will assess your tender based on what it includes so tell us how good you are
  • Be aware of the questions that will gain you the most marks. Our tender documents will normally include a breakdown of our evaluation criteria including how we will allocate scores and the marks available for each question
  • Provide all information and supporting evidence requested and don’t send us things we don’t ask for
  • Distinguish yourself from the competition
  • Be innovative and offer us creative solutions which meet our needs, add value to our customers and reduce our costs

All successful bidders will be contracted on our terms and conditions.

E Procurement

The Council has purchased the In-Tend e-procurement system and will be rolling out its use over the coming months.


Constructionline is a national register of pre-qualified local and national construction and construction related contractors and consultants. It is owned by Capita PLC and endorsed by the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (formerly the DTI). The Council uses this register as its selection method for construction related contracts. Firms or contractors who are not registered on Constructionline can apply to join it. Information on how to register, application rules and forms can be found at

European Union Thresholds

Thresholds for application of the European Union Public Contract Regulations applicable from the 1 January 2016 for council contracts are given below. Thresholds are net of Value Added Tax (VAT).

Supplies:  £164,176
Services:  £164,176
Works:   £4,104,394

Procurement Procedures

All procedures relating to the purchase of works, goods and services are established in our contract procedure rules. The purpose of these rules is to ensure probity, competition and openness in our procurement.  These form part of our constitution.

In summary our procedures and thresholds are as follows:

Procedures and Thresholds
Estimated Value of the Contract (excluding VAT) Service and Supplies Estimated Value of the Contract (excluding VAT) Works Minimum Requirement Advertisement
Contracts Below £25,000 Contracts Below £25,000 Obligation to consider best value but no obligation to go out for a particular number of quotes. However consideration should always be given to whether three quotes should be sought. Officer discretion. Reason for direct award should be agreed with Accountable Officer and recorded by Designated Officer. No requirement to advertise.
IF advertised then NO requirement to also advertise in Contracts Finder.
 Contracts exceeding £25,000 and not exceeding £100,000  £25,000 and not exceeding £1,000,000 Seek minimum three written quotes.
Must use constructionline to select those to be invited to quote for Works contracts unless waiver given.
No requirement to advertise.
IF advertised then MUST also advertise in Contracts Finder.
Contracts exceeding £100,000 but under Applicable Threshold Value (EU) Contracts exceeding £1,000,000 but under Applicable Threshold Value (EU) Seek minimum four written tenders. No pre-selection stage for services/supplies contracts (so number of contractors invited to tender cannot be limited in this way) but suitability questions can be asked. Use of constructionline optional for PQQ process for works contracts. Requirement to advertise in all cases. Advertise in Contracts Finder in all cases.
Above Applicable Threshold Value (EU) Above Applicable Threshold Value (EU) EU regulated process to be followed unless an exception or waiver applies. Requirement to advertise in all cases.
Advertise in Contracts Finder.

Where appropriate, any contractor properly nominated under section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 must also be invited to tender.

Procurement Strategy

The Council is currently in the process of updating its Procurement Strategy.

Payment Terms

The Council’s payment terms in respect of works, goods and services are 30 days or other agreed terms from receipt of invoice. We strive to pay all undisputed invoices within this timescale.