Procurement rules and strategy

The value of a contract determines the procedure that Council Officers must follow when letting a contract. The value will dictate whether the Council must follow its own internal rules (Contract Standing Orders) or whether the Public Contract Regulations 2015 (PCR15) must be followed.

Public Contract Regulation 2015

As a local authority, the Council has to comply with Public Contract Regulation 2015. These rules can be quite complex, but essentially they are designed to ensure that any firm or organisation has a fair and equal opportunity to compete for any public sector contract.The regulations themselves, with a few exceptions, require all invitations to tender for contracts above a certain value to be advertised on the Find a Tender Service website. They also specify, for example, certain allowable criteria upon which contracts can be awarded, the designated tendering procedures and the minimum timescales to be allowed for the submission of tenders. The rules are backed up by substantial legal remedies for any non-compliance.Contracts with an estimated value above the following thresholds are subject to the Regulations. The thresholds which took effect from 1st January 2022 are detailed below:-

Contract typeThreshold
Services £213,477
Supplies £213,477
'Light touch' contracts £663,540
Works £5,336,937

Contract standing orders

The Council's Contract Standing Orders forms part of the Council's Constitution and compliance by all Council Officers is mandatory. These rules are applicable to the letting of any contract below the threshold for being caught by the Public Contract Regulations 2015.

The thresholds for tendering set out in Contract Standing Orders are: 

Estimated total values (i.e. for full duration of contract including any extension options) including VAT
Competition requirements
Advertising requirements
Below £10,000
No formal competition required, although quotes can be sought in order to demonstrate best value
No advert required
£10,001 - £25,000
Seek a minimum of 3 written quotes identified following market research or use a suitable/compliant Framework Agreement as per competition rules of Framework or seek a minimum of 3 written quotes from an Approved Supplier List
No advert required
£25,001 to £100,000
Formal Request for Quotation process using the open procedure, or use a suitable approved/compliant Framework Agreement or seek a minimum of 3 written quotes from an Approved Supplier List
Advertise through the council's e-tendering system and on Contracts Finder website.
£100,000 to the relevant PCR15 threshold
IWC Invitation to Tender or use of a suitable approved/compliant framework or seek a minimum of 5 written quotes from an Approved Supplier List.
Advertise through the council’s e-tendering system, Contracts Finder website and consider one industry publication

£5,336,937 and above for works contracts

£663,540 and above for 'light touch' contracts

£213,477 and above for goods and services contracts

These thresholds apply between 1st January 2022 to 31st December 2023

Invitation to tender process in accordance with requirements of Public Contracts Regulations 2015
Advertise through the council’s e-tendering system, Contracts Finder website, Find a Tender Service and two industry publications

Procurement Strategy

The Council's Procurement Strategy 2022-2025 was approved by Cabinet in October 2022. The Procurement Strategy maps out the initiatives to be addressed in the forthcoming three years through the 'Action Plan' which contains objectives against which progress can be measured and reported.