Page 3 of 9 03/04/2008 RulesFinRegApBContract StandingOrders.doc
3.1 Financial Categories and Competition Requirements
3.1.1 Under £20,000
There are no particular requirements for competitive quotations or tenders for goods, works andservices of these values. However, the general duty to obtain best value for the Council impliesthat competitive offers should be obtained wherever possible. These need not be in writing butyou should always record the basis of your decision in sufficient detail for the logic to beapparent to anyone subsequently reviewing the circumstances.Formal contracts are not required but may be useful, depending on the circumstances. Youshould always ensure that there is a written record of the agreement, although a simpleexchange of letters may often suffice.
3.1.2 Between £20,000 and £100,000
You must obtain at least three written competitive quotations before placing orders or creatingcontracts of this value. Formal contracts will normally be required and may be executed underseal depending on the nature of the work and degree of protection required.
3.1.3 Over £100,000
For all contracts in this range, a minimum of five formal competitive tenders are required, basedon a detailed specification and an invitation to tender setting out the terms and conditionsproposed.Formal contracts under seal are required unless the legal section deem them not to benecessary.
3.1.4 General provisions
Bidders for work of any size may choose to offer alternative solutions and prices to those setout in the bid documents. These can be advantageous and should not be discouraged unlessthe specific provisions of the bid documents are considered essential to the success of theproject concerned. Where there is a likelihood of such offers, it may be sensible to say so inthe invitation to tender and to specify the criteria which will be applied to any offers received.
3.1.5 Alternatives to Formal Quotations or Tenders
Regardless of the value of the supply concerned, in circumstances where the desired outcomeis clear but scope exists for alternative approaches to its delivery, a two-stage process,modelled on the Competitive Dialogue Procedure introduced by the EU’s ConsolidatedProcurement Directive (see Section 5 below) may be appropriate. Directors wishing to usesuch a process should first agree the details in each case with the Director of NeighbourhoodManagement and Democratic Services and Director of Finance, Property and IT.
3.1.6 Negotiations on Offers
Where any of the following circumstances prevail, a Director may, prior to the formal agreementof any contract, carry out negotiations to clarify offers received or otherwise to agree the pricesand other terms of the contract proposed:
Where one or more offers is accompanied by alternative proposals;
Where examination of offers reveals errors, discrepancies or misunderstandings whichwould affect the contract price;
Where the relevant Director considers that the best offer presented does not represent thebest Value For Money that can reasonably be obtained.In all cases, the following provisions shall apply:
All bidders shall receive fair and equitable treatment and shall be given equal opportunity toclarify their offers or to submit alternative proposals;
The relevant Director(s) shall ensure that all negotiations are fully documented and that thisdocumentation and all other evidence of negotiations is collated and filed so as to be readilyavailable for audit or other inspection as required. All such evidence shall be retained inaccordance with the Council’s Document Retention Policy;