We currently spend approximately £18 million annually on externally procured works, goods and services. Much of this spend is with small and medium-sized enterprises.
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.
Our Procurement Strategy explains how we approach the procurement of works, goods and services. We see procurement as playing a vital role in delivering efficient and effective services to the public and helping to support sustainable local communities.
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.
You can find out about planned business opportunities in:
We record current contract information on the South East Business Portal.
Any interested business or enterprise can express an interest in any of our advertised tendering opportunities. Since February 2003 we have used Constructionline as our selection method for construction related contracts. Constructionline is a national register of contractors jointly administered by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, and Capita.
The pre-qualification process for certain contracts that fall below European Union requirements includes a standard self assessment questionnaire. Where the pre-qualification process is used only those who pass the pre-qualification stage will be invited to submit a tender.
Above the European Union tender threshold, we have the choice of a number of procedures. We will choose the most appropriate one and make this clear when placing the notice. This may require the completion of a more formal and detailed Pre-Qualification Questionnaire.
All successful bidders will be contracted on our terms and conditions.
Our value thresholds fall into four categories:
Thresholds under the Public Contract Regulations 2006 applicable from 1 January 2014, for council contracts, are given below. Thresholds are net of Value Added Tax (VAT).
|Type of procurement||Pounds||Euros|
In summary our procedures are as follows:
Relevant contracts where the value meets or exceeds the threshold laid down by the European Union for goods, works and services must be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union. An advert will also be placed on the South East Business Portal.
One of the following procedures is used:
At least three competitive quotes are required with the goods, works or services being supplied or carried out by the contractor submitting the lowest quote unless considered and approved by the Corporate Head of Department.
Managers can identify suppliers and negotiate prices. Quotes can be obtained if the manager considers it would be advantageous to do so.
Under any of the above procedures it is not an absolute requirement that the lowest quote or tender will always be accepted. Quality, performance in the field of environment, health and safety, equal opportunities, financial management and other criteria can be used; the Council is always looking to secure value for money for its customers.
Our 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.
We have published information about our current contracts and tender opportunities on the South East Business Portal. Other contracts which have been let in recent months are shown below:
Non-Live Contracts List 2013 (0.01mb)
PDF: Concordat for small and medium sized enterprises
Concordat for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (0.07mb)
PDF: Procurement Strategy
Procurement Strategy (0.06mb)