Tender Procedures

A tender process is required under the Council’s contract regulations for all contracts with a value over the EU services threshold (currently £172,514). There are exemptions, however, to when these tendering procedures are used.

The Council will always comply with the EU directives where they are applicable. There are currently four different tender procedures the Council may use:  Restricted tender, open tender, negotiated tender and competitive dialogue.

Restricted tender

Suppliers who respond to advertisements expressing an interest in tendering are required to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire to show that they have sufficient experience and resources to meet the needs of the procurement opportunity.

Only suppliers who are subsequently short-listed can be invited to submit a tender.

Open tender

All suppliers who request tender documentation will be invited to submit a tender. There is no pre-qualification questionnaire or short-listing stage prior to invitation to tender.

This information is requested as part of the tender itself. The open tender procedure is normally only used where the known market place is limited.

Negotiated tender

A negotiated tender is similar to the restricted tender procedure in that it uses a pre-qualification stage. A negotiated tender procedure, however, allows the Council to negotiate the terms of the contract within strict guidelines prior to awarding the contract.

For contracts advertised within the EU this process is only used in exceptional circumstances, for example when a supplier is the sole source of the good or service required, in cases of extreme urgency, or when the precise specification can only be determined by negotiation.

For non-EU contracts, however, negotiated tender may be used more widely.

Competitive Dialogue

A competitive dialogue procedure may be used for “particularly complex contracts” where an open or restricted tender procedure will not allow the award of a procurement contract.

Suppliers will respond to advertisements by submitting an expression of interest in the tender and complete a pre-qualification questionnaire.

Suppliers who are short-listed will be invited to participate in a competitive dialogue with the Council. The dialogue is flexible and may include written or verbal submissions and interviews.

The dialogue may take place in successive stages to reduce the number of potential suppliers, and at the conclusion of the dialogue the Council will ask potential suppliers to submit their final tender.

capitalEsourcing logo

To find opportunities to tender for contracts with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and other London boroughs, visit capitalEsourcing.

Construction and property maintenance sectors

Kensington and Chelsea Supply Chain is a business support project for small and medium size local businesses in construction and property maintenance sectors. The project:

  • offers free business support
  • helps local businesses pitch to major property developers in the borough

Read more about RBKC Supply Chain.

Last updated: 9 March 2023