We have contracts at all levels of spend. These range from high value fully tendered contracts to those governed by the terms and conditions of our purchase orders.
Contracts are to protect both us and the supplier in the event of a dispute, and also to manage expectations on service quality and revision of any service issues. It is important for us to develop relationships with suppliers who can help us deliver excellent services.
Our officers use a collection of standard contract documents. Exceptions to this may include the use of industry standard contracts for architects, construction etc. These contracts are then amended to reflect the particular needs of the council.
Contractors may be required to comply with a wide range of legislation including equalities, health and safety, freedom of information etc. Further details of these legislative requirements will be provided during any tendering process. You should make yourself familiar with these if you wish to do business with us. Where appropriate also refer to our implementation of safety policies.
Our service departments manage the majority of contracts themselves, with support from legal and corporate procurement where required.
To ensure that we are getting the best value, we may take advantage of contracts that have been set up by other public sector bodies. This includes other councils, purchasing organisations, and central government entities. This means that we do not need to conduct a full tender process but can take advantage of the contracted prices agreed within in a framework.
It is our policy to conduct competitions within framework agreements to deliver value for money.
Public sector purchasing organisations
As a supplier you will need to keep abreast of tendering opportunities across all of the public sector. These may give you access to a much greater market within the wider public sector.
Examples of public sector purchasing organisations include:
- Crown Commercial Service (CCS)
- London Contracts and Supplies Group (LCSG)
- Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO)
- Central Buying Consortium (CBC)
Once contracts have been awarded, they will be monitored and reviewed to ensure that best value is maintained. Output performance and quality will be monitored to ensure that the goods are fit for purpose and that levels of service are maintained.