East Suffolk Council currently spends around £28 million per year and we are keen to encourage a diverse range of suppliers, both large and small.
As a local council we are not just looking for the biggest companies to supply us, we encourage organisations of all sizes to bid on our tenders. There is something for everyone and we are shaping procurements for all kinds of bidders.
We are governed by many different regulations which ensure that the way we work is fair, open and transparent. These regulations can mean that the process is more complex than in the private sector so we have simplified our documents and processes, to work better for suppliers.
It is not all about money. We want the best value in our agreements and not simply the lowest price.
Low Risk You can be sure that we are a safe partner, having delivered services for over 45 years.
There are many other benefits to doing business with the council:
Social value is very important to the council. It is important that we get the most for our money. It is public money and we look to ensure that there are added benefits to the community with what we spend. This could be anything from having apprentices involved in the procurement process, therefore creating jobs for the younger generation, to ensuring that we incorporate local businesses with our work, to help improve the local economy.
We advertise all of our tenders, with a value above £5000, on our website. The process is managed through the In-Tend System. Suppliers can access In-Tend free of charge and will then be able to respond to all of the advertised opportunities.
From the In-tend System you can
All procurements must comply with Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and/or our own Constitution. These rules and regulations govern our procedures for obtaining quotations, issuing tenders and awarding contracts.
The procurement process depends on the value of the works, supplies or services sought and there are thresholds for when the council must obtain written quotations and issue tenders.
|Value of works, supplies or services
|Quotations or tenders required
£0 to £5,000
One quotation demonstrating value for money and confirmed in writing
£5,000 - £75,000
Usually three written quotations
£75,000 - EU threshold
Invitation to tender issued to at least three candidates
Over £214,904 including VAT (UK threshold for supplies and services)
Subject to UK regulations
Over £5,372,609 including VAT (UK threshold for works)
Subject to UK regulations
All documents issued will contain all the details necessary to submit a fully compliant bid. They typically include (but are not limited to):
The opportunity must remain open for a set number of days (appropriate to the specific tender). You must respond within this period in order to be included in the tender. All dates and instructions will be stated within the documents. Once the closing date has passed, the bids submitted will be scored and evaluated to produce a winning supplier. The contract will then be awarded via the In-Tend System.
We recommend you read all documents carefully and answer the opportunity based on our specific requirements with your best offer.
When preparing your bid or tender submission, ensure you make use of the clarification period to check anything that you may not be sure about. Clarifications should take place through the In-Tend System. Unless the question is considered commercially sensitive to your bid, questions and their answers will be circulated to all potential suppliers to ensure that no-one has an unfair advantage throughout the process.
All bid submissions, that meet the mandatory requirements stated within the tender documents, will be evaluated anonymously, by a panel of council officers with a good understanding of the requirement. E.g. the project leader. All bids will be assessed by the same criteria, contained within the tender documents. The scores are then moderated to produce an overall winning score.
The contract is awarded as soon as possible after the evaluation process has been completed and authorisation (if required) has been obtained. All suppliers will then receive feedback and a breakdown of the areas of their response relative to the advantages of the winning bidder.
Once the contract is up and running, it will be assigned a contract manager, either from the department that the procurement originated from or from the procurement team. Each contract is different and some may involve Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) or a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to adhere to, which will regularly be reviewed. The contract manager will be responsible for ensuring that the minimum requirements are supplied, including the delivery of any promises made in your bid above the standard specification. The contract manager should be the first point of escalation for any disputes or changes within the contract.
Supplier financial status and any relevant certificates will also be checked on an annual basis.
Our key principles for procurement are set out in our Procurement and Contract Management Strategy.
We support the national procurement concordat for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The concordat is a statement of principles to encourage effective trade between local authorities and small businesses:
Feedback on procurement process or contract management
Should you have any concerns or feedback regarding procurement processes or contract management within the Authority, please inform the lead procurement officer by completing our supplier feedback form.