As a local authority, there are regulations at a European, national and council level that need to be adhered to. A basic guide to these regulations follows. It is important, however, to note that when there is conflict between European, national or council rules, it is the European Union Directives that must be followed.
European Rules (EU Directives)
Where the estimated value of a contract is expected to exceed the relevant EU financial thresholds it must be advertised in the Official Journal of The European Union (OJEU), and rules that promote non-discriminatory and transparent competition must be followed. European Procurement Directives specify time scales that must be followed. These are intended to ensure that reasonable time to respond to adverts and prepare submissions is given to interested parties. There are different types of tendering procedures – ‘open’, ‘restricted’, ‘negotiated’ and competitive dialogue – which can be adopted under these directives.
A Prior Information Notice (PIN) may be placed in the OJEU providing basic details of the contract. This will be followed by a detailed contract notice, which gives information on proposed contractual arrangements, evaluation criteria, timescales, and asks interested suppliers to formally register their interest with the Council. The contract notice will be published on capitalEsourcing and may also be advertised in the local market and trade journals.
A pre-qualification questionnaire will be made available to all companies that have expressed an interest in tendering for a contract. Short listed companies will be sent contract documents inviting them to tender. These documents will cover the different areas of information that suppliers will be asked to provide to demonstrate the contract can be awarded on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender. This will normally consider both quality and cost.
Once the contract has been awarded, an award notice will appear in OJEU and on capitalEsourcing giving brief details.
The Council’s contract rules and financial regulations
There is no general requirement for local authorities to tender out any services. The Council, however, has a duty to ensure that our services are competitive and delivered by the best providers in that area.
Working towards achieving best value the Council must have regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness. This is not merely a statement of good intent, but involves specific legal duties.
The Council’s Constitution sets out the broad framework within which it operates. This includes the Council’s Procurement Procedure Rules and Contract Regulations, which set specific rules that all people involved in the procurement process must follow.
The Council's contract regulations can be found in the Procurement Procedure Rules and Contract Regulations [PDF file] (file size 88Kb)
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