How to tender for work, goods and services

How to tender for intermediate value contracts (£5,000 to £50,000)

For contracts between £5,000 and £50,000, our standing orders state that we must obtain at least 2 (for contracts valued between £5,000 and £30,000) and 3 (for contracts valued between £30,001 and £50,000) written quotations.

This means that you are likely to be in competition with at least 1 or 2 other providers. The various stages in the quotation/tender process are outlined below.

However, for contracts at the lower/intermediate end of the range, not all the stages or all the information will necessarily be required. You will be told quite clearly in the advertisement, and in any information that is sent to you, what exactly it is that you need to do.

Checking your viability

Following receipt of the expression of interest you may be asked to complete a standard selection questionnaire (SSQ) so that we can satisfy ourselves that you are capable of carrying out the work. You will be allowed to 'self-declare' on a range of available information. However, you should note that if a contract is awarded you will be expected to provide all relevant further information.

For high value and/or high risk procurement, this will also include a risk assessment.

Invitation to tender

As part of a two stage procurement process (such as a restricted process) and following receipt of the SSQ a decision will be made by the officers involved in the contract as to whether they wish to invite you to submit a final tender. We will normally set the number of shortlisted providers we wish to take forward to tender. However, if this not prescribed, at least 4 (where available) will be chosen by the evaluation panel to be invited to tender. Where less than 4suitable providers express an interest all will normally be asked to tender.

Supplying information

If you have been selected to tender, you will be sent the tender documentation which may contain the following information:

  • a procurement timetable
  • financial reference request
  • insurance details request
  • health and safety checklists
  • acceptance of our draft contract terms
  • a specification that describes clearly our requirements in sufficient detail to enable the submission of competitive offers
  • pricing mechanism and instructions for completion

The information you supply will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act and you should review these requirements, as contained in the tender documentation.

There will also be supplementary questions specific to the contract. Usually these questions will be the ones that determine whether you have the necessary skills and capacity to fulfil the contract in relation to other firms who may be tendering.

Please note: it is vitally important that you answer all questions. You may contact the project manager through the e-tendering portal to ask supplementary questions or seek clarification. However:

  • we reserve the right not to answer certain questions
  • there is a requirement to make the answers to any questions available to all shortlisted providers involved in the tendering process, this will be undertaken automatically through the e-tendering portal, keeping anonymity.

Decision making

You must complete and return all the required tender documents by the given time and date.

We can only accept tenders that are returned through the e-tendering portal.

Due to the requirements to conduct an open and honest process we cannot accept tenders that arrive late, whatever the reason. Please make sure that you are conversant with the e-tendering portal and how to add your tender return to the portal. After the receipt date has passed, the tenders are opened and recorded at one time via the e-tendering portal.