Bidding for council contracts

We have a duty to spend public money wisely and to get value for money when we buy works, goods and services. We have robust and transparent rules to make sure that happens.

Most contracts are awarded on the basis of the 'most economically advantageous' combination of price and quality, rather than just the lowest price.

Details of the major contracts we have let are available on our transparency page.

Procurement in H&F

Our tendering processes and contractual arrangements have to comply with our Contract Standing Orders (pdf 709KB) and the UK's Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (pdf 706KB). These are based on European Union's Public Procurement Directive 2014/24/EU (pdf 2.3MB).

In addition, we may use our term-contractors for low value works, and we may use framework agreements awarded by other public bodies, such as the Crown Commercial Service (CCS). Collaborating with other local authorities and public bodies can help us get better prices by combining our buying power.

Terms and Conditions for H&F purchase orders can be found by clicking on the link below:

Purchase Order Terms & Conditions (pdf 301KB)

Our procurement options

For most work, we seek expressions of interest by advertising on the Capital-E-Sourcing website and the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

Some departments maintain approved lists of consultants, but these are only used where the total estimated value is below £164,176.

Value thresholds

  • Up to £5,000 - one quotation is required.
  • From £5,000 to be below £25,000: Normally three quotations are required. Officers may select organisations that advertise in trade journals or newspapers, rather than advertising a contract notice.
  • £25,000 or more: Contract advertised through capitalEsourcing and Contracts Finder or selection made from an approved list (mainly works). We would normally seek three tenders (sealed bids).
  • More than £164,176*: For all goods and some services we have to advertise a contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union.
  • More than £4,104,394*: For all works contracts we have to advertise a contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union.

For works and highways-related contracts where the estimated value is below £4,104.394 we may use:

  • existing term contracts for highways works and repairs to civic and educational buildings
  • the Constructionline website - our "approved list" for works contracts
  • a framework agreement set up by a public body.

Small businesses

We have signed up to the Small-Business-Friendly Concordat (pdf 271KB)

Before you bid

For further information and advice on contracts:

Equality and Human Rights Commission 

Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS)

Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP)