Selling to the Council


The information published on this page will help guide you through the procurement process.

Selling to the Council - procurement - accordion

1. How to become a supplier

We award contracts using a formal procurement process.

We commit to being:

  • fair
  • open
  • transparent
  • non-discriminatory

We expect our suppliers to act in the same way.  

We try to ensure we do not impose unnecessary requirements on bidders. 

We provide opportunities for suppliers of all sizes.

When we re-tender contracts, existing suppliers must tender in the same way as other suppliers to make sure it's fair.

The procurement process is regulated by the Public Contract Regulations 2015 and our Contract Procedure Rules.  These ensure that we spend public money properly.  

The contract value determines the process we follow:

  • below £5,000 per annum - we buy using a Council purchasing card (P-Card)
  • between £5,000 per annum and £49,999 per annum - we ask potential suppliers for quotations, or we advertise on East Mids Tenders
  • above £50,000 per annum - we advertise tenders on East Mids Tenders

We do not operate an approved supplier list.

2. The quotation process explained

We ask for at least one written quotation for contracts valued between £5,000 per annum and £24,999 per annum. We do not usually advertise these - we approach potential supplier(s) direct.

Quotations for this value must be returned by email, and we'll tell you the closing date and time.

We ask for at least three written quotations for contracts valued between £25,000 per annum and £49,999 per annum.  We'll give you all the information you will need to submit an accurate quote. We'll tell you how to return your quotations, and the closing date and time.

3. The tender process explained

We have to follow the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 so it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with these.

We tender all contracts valued over £50,000 per annum using East Mids Tenders portal.  You must register on East Mids Tenders to be able to bid.  You can register your interest in specific business areas using the supplier registration form, and you'll receive notifications about tender opportunities as they arise.

When you register, the East Mids Tenders portal has a helpdesk service if you have any issues: ProContractSuppliers@proactis.com.  Please do not contact us.

If you want to bid for a contract, you must register an expression of interest to access the tender documents.  You can express an interest if you meet the stated evaluation criteria for the procurement.  We give you details of how to register your interest in a tender in the Contract Notice.

When the tender opens, you must submit the required documentation and supporting information to the East Mids Tenders portal before the closing date and time.

We evaluate all bids against the award criteria set out in the tender documents. All tenderers will be notified of the tender outcome at the same time.

4. How to respond to a tender opportunity

It's your responsibility to make sure you bid is fully uploaded on the East Mids Tenders portal before the closing date and time.

We must reject any bids that are not correctly uploaded or uploaded after the closing date and time.

5. Understanding the tender documents

You'll be issued with various tender documents - it's really important to read them thoroughly, taking special notice of the:

  • specification - this describes what we want to buy. We give you enough information so you know if you can supply what we need
  • bidder instructions - this provides important information such as the deadline for your bid, how to respond and how we'll evaluate your bid. The evaluation criteria all have a specific weighting to show their importance
  • contract terms and conditions - you'll be required to enter into a contract with us. We include this with the tender documents. Some contracts will be our standard terms and conditions, some will use specialist industry specific terms and conditions. Make sure you've read them thoroughly and understand the risks and benefits
  • bid response - you'll need to answer a series of questions and give us a price for the goods, works or services required. If you don’t respond in the way that we ask, we may not be able to find the information we need to evaluate your bid, or we may have to exclude your bid (non-compliant bid)

You'll need to complete a suitability questionnaire or standard selection questionnaire for contracts over £50,000 per annum. We ask a set of questions to make sure your company's suitable to deliver our contract.

Tips to help you when you bid:

  1. Register on the procurement portals
  2. If we invite you to participate in market testing, please do so. We listen to suppliers so we can ensure what we are buying is fit for purpose. It’s also a really good way of getting to know us as a potential customer!
  3. Read all the tender documents thoroughly and don’t be afraid to ask questions - our answers might help you submit a better bid.
  4. Make sure you understand how we are going to evaluate your bid, take account of the award criteria and the weightings. This will help you allocate your time and effort to the most important parts of the bid.
  5. Don’t underestimate the time it takes to complete and submit a bid.  Plan your resources early.
  6. Make sure that you respond in the way we have asked and by the closing date and time. We cannot accept your bid if it is late or submitted incorrectly.
  7. Remember that we aren’t allowed to negotiate your price with you. Make sure the price you submit is your best.  Provide the price in the format requested – we ask for the price in a specific format so we can compare all bids on a like-for-like basis.

Always be honest in your response. Remember that your quotation or bid will form part of the final contract with us.  We will hold you accountable for the promises you have made in your bid.

6. Understanding our procurement function

Our commissioning team work with Welland Procurement Unit.

If you have any questions about or procurement or how to sell to us, please email us: commissioning@rutland.gov.uk

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