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Public sector procurement rules and regulations

European rules

All public sector contracts, no matter what their value within the European Union are covered by a treaty which incorporates the free movement of goods and services and which prevents discrimination against firms on the grounds of nationality.

The Council is obliged to follow some basic principles:

For supplies and specific services over a specific contract cost, a Tender Notice must be placed in the supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) to give all providers within the EU an opportunity to tender.

Tenders must be invited in accordance with one of the prescribed procedures (open, restricted, negotiated - there are also two separate urgency procedures). Each procedure imposes minimum time scales covering the tender activities to ensure that reasonable time is given to interested parties to respond to advertisements and prepare submissions.

A notice of contract award must be placed in the OJEU, and unsuccessful contractors must be debriefed if requested.

The thresholds are reviewed every two years.

Local rules

Procurement activities must also comply with the Councils own Standing Orders and Corporate Procurement Strategy.

Where required, contracts will be advertised and will be subject to competitive tenders being obtained. Tender documents will provide details of the requirements. Tenders can be restricted and invited from some or all respondents to advertisements providing they comply with the selection criteria.

All tenders must be submitted in a plain sealed envelope endorsed with the title of the specific tender and without any mark which could reveal the tenderers identity.

Application Forms

Questionnaires are often used as a means of assessing and shortlisting applicants for select tender lists for supplies and specific service contracts.

The forms are not limited as to what information is requested but will usually include the following:

  • General Information: The general information requested provides basic details about a prospective tenderer and verifies that it can be identified as a legitimate, discrete trading organisation.
  • Financial Information: Companies will be asked for certain financial information relating to the recent historical performance of the company, normally the last two years. Private and Public Limited Companies must submit fully audited accounts as registered at Companies House. Other applicants will be requested to submit copies of financial statements, business plans and/or a certified statement of turnover.

This information is used to assess the financial position of the organisation in relation to the size of contract. Information is also required to check that an organisation is registered (if appropriate) for tax purposes and complies with specific insurance requirements.

  • Technical Resources and References Information is requested to enable the council to assess the resources a prospective tenderer has at its disposal to carry out the contract. By taking up references the council will be able to make an assessment of past performance.
  • We strongly support equal opportunity, equal access and positive outcomes for all sections of the community We aim to ensure that organisations that provide services on behalf of Warwick District Council comply with equal opportunity legislation and promote equality opportunities.
  • We also aim to encourage those organisations with which it does business to observe and adhere to the councils principles contained within the councils Race Equality Scheme. Questions will be asked about how race equality issues are included in any potential suppliers of employment practices.
  • Health and Safety Depending upon the nature of the goods and/or services, prospective tenderers will be required to submit a health and safety policy which refers to health and safety legislation signed by a senior representative. Historical data may also be requested which indicates their record and performance in health and safety issues.
  • Declaration The prospective tenderer will be required to sign a declaration that the information supplied is accurate and that there has been no collusion in preparing the tender.