Legal and procedural framework

Council procedures

Contract procedure rules govern tendering and contract award apply to orders valued at £100,000 or more.

Financial procedure rules deal with purchases valued at less than £100,000.

These internal procedures cover the following types of contract:

  • Goods, works and services, including disposals
  • Purchase Orders for goods, works or services
  • Grants given or received by the Council
  • Appointing consultants, and contracts managed by consultants
  • Partnership arrangements
  • Disposal or purchase of land and buildings
  • Lease agreements for property and goods

Our Code of Conduct is mandatory for all Officers, who must not invite or accept any gift or reward in respect of the award or performance of any contract. Corrupt behaviour will lead to dismissal and is a crime. The Council has a zero tolerance policy on fraud and has a confidential mechanism for reporting malpractice.

EU and UK law

The EU Consolidated Procurement Directive and UK Procurement Regulations govern all Council procurement activity. These regulations have three main principles:

  • advertising contracts throughout the European Union (EU) so that all firms in the member states have an opportunity to submit tenders
  • equal treatment of all bids so as not to discriminate on the basis of nationality
  • application of objective criteria in tendering and award procedures so as to achieve a high degree of transparency.

Strict procedures and timescales apply to most tenders which exceed the EU threshold values, though certain categories of service are partially exempted.

Current EU threshold values as from 1 December 2021:

  • £5,336,937 for Works
  • £213,477 for Goods and Services

As of December 2021, OJEU procedures have been updated and replaced with the new FTS UK e-notification service called Find a Tender.

See the Procurement Policy Note about the introduction of Find a Tender for more information.