Our procurement process

Selecting a contract

When selecting a contract, we will often consider the following:

  • previous experience and performance (quality assurance, references)
  • technical and resource capacity
  • 'whole-life' costs (not necessarily the cheapest at the time of supply)
  • social/community impact (benefits to local people, equality)
  • environmental impact (such as fuel efficiency and replacement lifetimes)
  • other factors to suit our needs.

When we have a regular need for goods, works and services, they are usually purchased through contracts that are in place for a period of time. This helps suppliers as it stabilises or increases the volume of business and cash flow. It gives us peace of mind that our traders are credible as they meet our requirements and will provide best value or value for money.

We set specific response times for suppliers to prepare and submit their offers. This is usually a minimum of 10 to 52 working days depending on procedure.

We also take into account:

Best value:

  • imposes a legal duty on all local authorities to continuously improve the services they provide, having regard to a combination of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness
  • having a duty to provide the optimum combination of ‘whole-life’ costs and benefits to meet the customer requirement.

Value for money:

  • a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness - having the right goods or services at the right quality, in the right place, at the right time
  • the combination of cost, over the whole life of a project, and quality which best meets an organisation’s requirements.

Whole-life costs:

  • considering quality, long-term cost, benefits as well as initial price, for example thinking about cost, environmental and social issues prior to a product’s inception and at the end of its lifeline. 

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