This page is designed to provide potential suppliers with an outline of the procurement process and examples of what is required when bidding for a contract. The following information is simply an overview to provide examples of the type of information that is required when submitting Pre-Qualification Questionnaires and Tender Documents, and is not an exhaustive list.
East Staffordshire Borough Council is committed to providing a high quality service to meet the needs of local residents, and seeks to attain Best Value in everything it purchases in order to make best use of public funds. The principles of Best Value mean that the Council will look to obtain the best balance of quality and price and not just the lowest price.
When procuring works, goods or services the Council must adhere to its own internal regulations, The Contract Procedure Rules. However, the tendering process may also be subject to the European Union procurement rules. This is dependant on the nature and contract value of the goods, works or services.
This procurement process will start with the works, goods or services being advertised by the Council as widely as possible. This will be done using the East Staffordshire Borough Council Buyer Profile as well as in the local press / media and external websites such as supply2.gov.uk
If the estimated total value of the contract is:
Less than £50,000 then potential suppliers will be invited to provide a written quotation for the works or services advertised.
Excess of £50,000 then competitive tendering will normally be invited.
Exceeds the European Union (EU) threshold then the potential contract will also be advertised in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
There are a number of different procurement options open to the Council. These are as follows:
Approved Supplier Lists - East Staffordshire Borough Council will use its approved suppliers lists for contracts with an estimated value of less than £50,000. However we currently only operate an approved suppliers list for the following categories of work:
If the works or services required can be met by using the approved list, the firms on that list will be invited to tender on the basis of rotation and performance. Further information on approved suppliers lists can be found on the Procurement Approved Supplier List page.
Open Procedure – The tendering opportunity will be advertised as widely as possible. This will be done using the East Staffordshire Borough Council Buyer Profile as well as in the local press / media and external websites such as supply2.gov.uk and OJEU, where applicable. The tender will be open to anyone who expresses an interest. This procedure is normally followed when the goods, works or services are of a particularly specialist nature and the number of suitable suppliers is limited.
Restricted Procedure - The tendering opportunity will be advertised as widely as possible. This will be done using the East Staffordshire Borough Council Buyer Profile as well as in the local press / media and external websites such as supply2.gov.uk and OJEU, where applicable. Companies who express an interest will be required to complete a Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) – see below. The Council will evaluate the questionnaires and produce a shortlist of suitable companies who will then be invited to tender.
Competitive Dialogue - The tendering opportunity will be advertised as widely as possible. This will be done using the East Staffordshire Borough Council Buyer Profile as well as in the local press / media and external websites such as supply2.gov.uk and OJEU, where applicable. Companies who express an interest will be required to complete a PQQ. The Council will evaluate the questionnaires and produce a shortlist of suitable companies who will then be invited to participate in the dialogue before a call for final tenders. This procedure is for use when awarding complex contracts.
PQQs are used as a means to create a shortlist of potential providers. Returned PQQs will be evaluated and a shortlist drawn up. In addition to a completed PQQ, supporting documentation will be requested to enable us to evaluate the suitability of potential suppliers in terms of:
Economic / Financial standing of the company – The PQQ will establish what type of organisation the bidder is (such as a sole trader, partnership or a subsidiary of a larger group) and how long the organisation has been trading for. It will also establish if the company has sufficient financial capacity / stability. The PQQ will normally request accounts information which must be submitted with the completed PQQ, along with signed confirmation that we are authorised to approach the company’s bankers for references if necessary.
Ability and capacity to provide the works or services to the required standard - The PQQ will also establish whether the company has the technical and professional ability as well as the capacity to provide the works or services required under the contract. It will look at the internal structure of the organisation as well as the suitability and competence of the staff allocated to the work. In addition to this the PQQ will ask for examples of similar works / services provided by the company in the past, as well as details of any previous contracts that have not been renewed or terminated due to failure to perform to the terms of a contract.
Request for references from previous customers - In order to obtain customer references, the tendering company will be asked to supply the names and addresses of recent clients for which they have carried out similar works. This information must include a contact person and telephone number. References will be obtained by telephone for each applicant.
Legal Status – The PQQ also looks at whether or not a potential contractor adheres to applicable health and safety or equal opportunities legislation. Copies of any relevant policies will be requested with the completed PQQ. In addition to this potential suppliers will need to demonstrate that the have sufficient insurance cover. The PQQ will request certificates to show Employers Liability, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurances.
The tender documents will look more closely at the specific details of the proposed contract. It is designed to look at the proposals made by each tendering company, and will evaluate against a number of criteria, including the proposed cost of the goods, works or services and compliance with the contract specification. The tender documents will normally contain:
Tendering Guidelines – It will contain detailed instructions on how to complete the tender, including deadlines for return of the documents, and what supporting documentation should also be enclosed. It will also contain details of the evaluation criteria, such as how the importance of quality, price or other factors is weighted. For example, 50% quality, 50% price and any applicable sub-criteria.
Specification - The tender document will include a specification of the contract requirements. Tendering companies will be required to provide sufficient details to identify the critical activities associated with the execution of the proposed contract. This may include drawings of proposed works if applicable. Timescales will also need to be outlined, for example commencement and completion dates of the contract delivery.
Pricing Schedule – Candidates will be asked to detail in full the cost of the contract activities. The Council is not bound to accept the lowest price, but will look to achieve the best balance of quality and price.
Terms and Conditions - The documentation will include the terms and conditions and general obligations that both East Staffordshire Borough Council and the successful company must adhere to during the contract term.
An example of a tender document.
Once the return date for tenders has passed, all the tenders received on time will be opened / downloaded in the presence of a Deputy Leader of the Council. A member of the Procurement and Legal teams will also be present. Any tenders received after the deadline will not be considered unless there is clear evidence that the delay was outside the control of the tendering company.
The tenders will then be evaluated using a pre-specified scoring mechanism and in accordance with the weighting detailed in the tender documents. Tendering companies will normally be invited to attend an interview to conduct a presentation to representatives of the Council’s procurement team and answer any questions.
Once all tenders have been evaluated, the successful candidate will be notified. The other candidates will also be informed that they have not been successful and who the contract is being awarded to. The unsuccessful candidates will then be given the opportunity to request feedback from the Council as to why their bid was not successful and what points were lacking. This encourages companies to improve and increase their chances for success in the future.