Awarding contracts

Evaluating bids

Bids will be evaluated in accordance with the award criteria stated in the Invitation to Tender. Where appropriate, whole-life costs will be taken into account.

Service Departments will consult Commercial Hub concerning more complex contracts, and where bids are based on the supplier’s own contract terms.

If it seems that one or more bidders have misinterpreted the specification, Service Departments will consult Commercial Hub on whether all bidders should be provided with a revised specification and invited to revise their tender.

Awarding contracts

We are not bound to accept the lowest, or any, bid. If a contract is awarded, this will not necessarily go to the lowest-priced bid, but to the most economically advantageous bid.

All bidders will be notified in writing via the e-tendering portal, simultaneously and promptly, of the result of the award process.

For contracts with a value of over £100,000, a period of 10 days will ordinarily apply between notifying unsuccessful bidders and the successful candidate signing the contract.

All contracts will be in writing and will clearly state:

  • the general conditions of contract which apply (usually the Council’s Standard Conditions of Purchase)
  • any special conditions which apply
  • the specification of the goods, works or services to be provided
  • the agreed programme of delivery
  • price and terms of payment
  • termination procedures, for when the contract comes to its natural end
  • provisions for early termination if the contractor fails to fulfil his contractual obligations.

Bonds and parent company guarantees

A bond is an insurance policy, under which the Council can claim for losses if the contractor does not fulfil a contract. Generally a bond will be required if:

  • the total value of the contract exceeds £500,000
  • it is proposed to make stage or other payments before the contract is complete.

A parent company may be required to guarantee a contract if:

  • the subsidiary is unable to obtain a bond
  • the contract is awarded based on evaluation of the parent company
  • there is concern about the financial stability of the bidder.

Appointing consultants

Before engaging a consultant, a business case must be prepared for the Director or Assistant Director, specifying the required results or deliverables, and the schedule of fees to be paid.

Consultants will be selected in accordance with Contract Procedure Rules. The terms of any appointment shall be confirmed in a formal contract incorporating the agreed scope of the services to be provided. Consultants shall be briefed on the need to observe Contract Procedure Rules.

Consultants shall be required to provide evidence of, and maintain, professional indemnity insurance.