The Council usually run two types of tenders - open and restricted.
Under an open tender procedure all suppliers who respond to an advertisement are supplied with tender documentation which they can return as appropriate. This approach is usually followed when purchasing standard items such as goods.
The restricted procedure can best be described as a two stage approach in which the Council invites interested suppliers to undergo a pre-qualification assessment before inviting them to tender. The restricted route is normally used for non-standard or large service requirements because the amount of work involved in preparing a tender can be considerable. In some cases, it is therefore better for all concerned to limit the number of parties who are invited to bid for the work.
In all cases, the Council normally requires all suppliers to complete a questionnaire detailing information about their financial/economic standing and their technical capability. This usually covers information about when your company was formed, what experience you have in providing the goods/services/works being tendered for, details of where the Council may obtain references on your company, and details of your company's finances. To ensure your submission is considered, you must:
- Provide all the information requested make sure that you answer all questions accurately
- Return the information by the closing date specified
- Sometimes the information the Council receives from suppliers is unclear or in need of further clarification. Once again you should provide any additional information sought by the closing date set.
If invited to tender, the tender documents you will receive usually consist of the following:
- Covering letter
- Instructions to Tenderer - this document details important administrative procedures relating to the tender eg. dates and times, method of tender return, evaluation criteria to be used in the selection of the successful supplier, details of where tender queries should be directed.
- Specification - this details the Council's requirements and must be read carefully and complied with.
- Contract Conditions - This document gives details of the terms under which the Council wishes to do business. These should be read carefully, since it is our policy to contract only on its terms and conditions of contract.
The tender documents the Council sends out to suppliers contain details of our requirements. The documents, particularly the specification, should be read carefully and all information completed fully and accurately. If you do not understand any part of the specification you should ring the Council Officer named in the tender documentation and request further information. This must be done before the tender period closes.
Whichever procedure the Council follows, you should ensure that you submit or request the information required by the dates stipulated by the Council, if you wish to be considered.
The Council’s tenders are often advertised on the South East Business Portal and/or Contracts Finder website. Visit these websites and register as a supplier to receive relevant tender alerts.
The Contracts Procedure Rules (99KB - PDF) form part of the Council’s Constitution and provide more detailed guidance on the way we procure goods and services.