Chelmsford City Council

Doing business with us

If you want to supply goods or provide us with a service costing more than £20,000, you will need to follow our procurement process.

You can view our current contract opportunities on:

If the contract has a value above the EU financial threshold, we also will advertise it in the Official Journal of the European Union.

You can register for alerts on our Procurement Portal, if you want to receive automatic updates about contracts you may be interested in.

If you want to become one of our suppliers, you may find it useful to read our Equality in Procurement guide.

We use a different application process depending on the value of the contract.

We do not always award contracts based on the lowest price. We will also consider factors such as previous experience, innovation, environmental impact and quality of goods.

Where the value of the contract is between £20,000 and £100,000, we will ask you to submit a written quotation.

Where the value of the contract is over £100,000 but below the EU financial threshold, we use a request for tenders process. We manage these opportunities using an e-tendering system.

When the value of the contract exceeds the EU financial threshold, we use the Public Procurement process.

For contracts between £20,000 and £100,000, the contract advert will tell you:

  • what the contract is for
  • how to submit your quotation
  • the deadline for submitting your quotation

You will need to use our e-tendering system to submit your quotation.

You can submit your quotation early, but if you miss the deadline we cannot consider it.

We will not consider any quotations until after the deadline, when we will review all submissions at the same time.

Once we have considered all quotations, we will notify any suppliers that have been unsuccessful.

If we award you the contract, we will:

  • notify you that you have been successful
  • issue the contracts for to you to sign
  • discuss how and when we will implement the contract
  • appoint a manager to monitor the contract
  • work with you to ensure that:
    • we meet your expectations as a customer

    • you meet our expectations as a supplier 

For contracts over £100,000 and lower than the EU threshold, the contract advert will tell you:

  • what the contract is for
  • where to find the tender documentation, which includes qualification questions to help you decide if you are suitable for the contract
  • how to submit your tender
  • the deadline for submitting your tender

You will need to use our e-tendering system to submit your tender.

You need to review and complete all documents on the e-tendering system to submit your tender. The documents include:

  • instructions on how to complete your tender
  • an official form of tender
  • a non-collusion certificate, which confirms:
    • that the tender is truly competitive

    • no one has attempted to fix the outcome of the process

  • the specification document, which describes our requirements in detail
  • the contract conditions, which we  will use to monitor the contract with the successful supplier
  • a scoring matrix showing how we will evaluate the information in each tender

You can submit your tender early, including the qualification questions, but if you miss the deadline we cannot consider it.

We will not consider any tenders until after the deadline, when we will review all submissions at the same time.

Once we have considered all tenders, we will notify any suppliers that have been unsuccessful.

If we award you the contract, we will:

  • notify you that you have been successful
  • issue the contracts for to you to sign
  • discuss how and when we will implement the contract
  • appoint a manager to monitor the contract
  • work with you to ensure that:
    • we meet your expectations as a customer

    • you meet our expectations as a supplier

For contracts over the EU threshold, the contract advert will tell you:

  • what the contract is for
  • how to register your interest
  • the date for registering your interest

Once we have received your expression of interest, we will send you a selection questionnaire (SQ) and the date for returning it.

You will need to use our e-tendering systemto submit your SQ.

The SQ will ask for:

  • company details, including registration information and parent company details
  • information about any legal proceedings against the company
  • financial turnover
  • technical resources available
  • customer or trade references for similar service provision
  • health and safety policies
  • equality policies
  • insurance cover
  • quality, training and environmental systems

On most occasions, we use a one-stage process where the SQ is part of the tender pack, which is described below.

If we are using a two-stage process, we evaluate any completed SQs to create a shortlist of suppliers. We will then invite all qualifying suppliers to complete the tender process.

Whichever process we use, you will need to submit a tender (if you qualify under the two-stage process). 

You will need to use our e-tendering system to submit your tender. You can submit your tender early, but if you miss the deadline we cannot consider it.


Documentation

You need to review and complete all documents on the e-tendering system to submit your tender. The documents include:

  • instructions on how to complete your tender
  • an official form of tender
  • a non-collusion certificate, which confirms:
    • that the tender is truly competitive

    • no one has attempted to fix the outcome of the process

  • the specification document, which describes our requirements in detail
  • the contract conditions, which we  will use to monitor the contract with the successful supplier
  • a scoring matrix showing how we will evaluate the information in each tender

We will not consider any tenders until after the deadline, when we will review all submissions at the same time.

Once we have considered all tenders, we will notify any suppliers that have been unsuccessful.

If we award you the contract, we will:

  • notify you that you have been successful
  • issue the contracts for to you to sign
  • discuss how and when we will implement the contract
  • appoint a manager to monitor the contract
  • work with you to ensure that:
    • we meet your expectations as a customer

    • you meet our expectations as a supplier

We comply with all laws and regulations and promote the highest standards of probity, integrity and fairness in the conduct of business.

If you know the employee making or influencing the decision about the contract award, they will declare their personal interest to the head of service.

 

Offering gifts

Our basic rule is that you should not offer gifts or money to our employees and that they should not accept these offers. This does not include inexpensive or seasonal gifts such as diaries, calendars or pens.

Our employees will report any gifts or inducements a supplier has offered them to their head of service or to the Procurement Manager.

 

Offering hospitality

You can offer modest hospitality to help develop your business relationship with us. However, the scale and frequency hospitality should not be significantly greater than any hospitality we would offer in return.

We can only accept offers of free travel or invitations to conferences and events in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of a member of our senior management.

 

Freedom of information

You must not divulge details of any contractual or pricing information to external sources unless it is part of a Freedom of Information request.

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Last updated: 23 August 2019

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