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Selling to the Council - how to bid

Part of the selling to the Council guide - this page tells you how to bid.

In accord with the Contract Procedure Rules, the Council can obtain quotations or invite tenders for contracts of up to £75,000 in value, whichever is appropriate. However, for contracts of over £75,000, tenders are usually invited.


Quotations will be generally obtained from current suppliers, the Constructionline/Select Accredit pre-qualification service and other recommended sources. 


A contract notice or advertisement will invite companies to submit an Expression of Interest

Pre-Qualification Questionnaire

Following this, a Pre- Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) may be sent out. The purpose of a PQQ is to assess a potential bidder’s suitability to supply the Council and the ability to satisfy the contract before the tenders are issued. It saves time and effort being unnecessarily spent on compiling tenders. In general the information requested provides basic details about an organisation, verifies that it can be identified as a legitimate, discrete trading organisation, that it has acceptable levels of economic and financial standing and that it promotes good practice in areas of equal opportunities, environmental protection and health and safety. The areas assessed can be summarised as follows:

Financial information

In this section companies are asked for certain financial information. They may be asked to submit audited accounts and annual reports for the previous three years. This information is used to assess the financial position of the company in relation to the size of the contract.
Information is also required to check that a company complies with the Council’s insurance requirements.

Experience and technical ability

Further information requested seeks to ensure that a company has the relevant experience and technical ability to fulfil the requirements of contract. It may be necessary to provide references.

Health and Safety

Depending on the nature of the goods, services or works, organisations may be required to submit their Health and Safety Policy.

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010, S149 introduces a single public sector equality duty which applies to public authorities such as educational bodies, health bodies and local authorities. The duty also applies to other organisations who exercise public functions, which includes private bodies or voluntary organisations which are carrying out public functions on behalf of a public authority and applies to procurement.

The Equality Duty provides that those subject to the equality duty must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard to the need to: 

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not”.

Sustainability and environmental care

The Council is committed to protecting the environment and ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and in the future. Organisations will therefore be asked to provide details of their environmental policy

Quality assurance

This section is to enable the Council to assess whether or not an organisation has suitable quality assurance systems in place to undertake the contract. This will usually be demonstrated by certification by approved assessment companies.

Invitation to tender

Companies will be invited to tender; either in an “Open Procedure” where all companies Expressing an Interest are invited, or in a “Restricted Procedure” where, through use of a PQQ, only selected companies are invited to do so. In either case, the tender documentation sent out will usually include:

  • instructions to tenderers
  • a specification
  • a pricing schedule
  • terms and conditions of contract
  • a form of tender
  • a pre-addressed tender return envelope

Tender evaluation and contract award

Evaluation will focus on examining how the tender proposals will deliver the service (“quality”) and the price. The required balance between the two will depend on the nature of the contract.

Normally, the Council will award the contract of the basis of the ”Most Economically Advantageous Tender” (MEAT).
You should note that the Council is not bound to accept the lowest or any of the bids submitted.
The successful tenderer will be notified in writing.


The Council will always endeavour to provide unsuccessful tenderers feedback on their submissions to help them find out why their bid failed. This information can be used to help with any future bids, as being unsuccessful in one contract does not mean that a company will be unsuccessful in the future.

Contract performance

Contracts have to be performed in accordance with the requirements set out in the contract documentation. The Council is continuously striving to improve its own performance and expects its contractors to do the same.

Rest of selling to the Council guide



Last updated : 29/09/2014

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