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The council must follow the law and its own rules when it buys or commissions goods, services or works.

The council will usually buy through a consortium or framework if a suitable one is available. If there is not a suitable framework, the council will choose from the procedures set out in the table below that are available for a particular contract.

ProcedureDescription
Qualified informal procedureThe procedure is that the relevant director must be satisfied that the arrangements made secure the best available terms to the Council commensurate with the contract risk and value and provide adequate protection against fraud and collusion and must report the circumstances to the next available meeting of the relevant committee.
Informal procedureThe procedure is that the buying officer must be satisfied that the arrangements made secure the best available terms to the Council, commensurate with the contract risk and value and provide adequate protection against fraud and collusion.
Request for quotationThe procedure is the buying officer must invite at least three quotations using an approved procurement portal in accordance with rule 6.
Open tenderingThe procedure is that the buying officer must advertise the opportunity on the approved procurement portal, including a link to express interest to the opportunity and allow for at least 14 days to submit a tender, in accordance with rule 6.
Restricted tenderingThe procedure is the same as open tendering, except that tenders are only to be invited from at least three, but no more than six, prospective tenderers who have been pre-qualified in accordance with rule 5, and:
(i)                      If the list contains less than three prospective tenderers, all must be invited to tender;
(ii)                    If the buying officer, after consulting the Procurement Officer, considers a prospective tenderer unsuitable they need not be invited to tender and the Procurement Officer must record in writing the reasons why they were not so invited.
Framework agreementThe procedure is that the buying officer must satisfy himself that the framework agreement has been let in compliance with all relevant legislation and can lawfully be accessed by the council.
Goods, services or works supplied through a framework agreement must be ordered in compliance with the specific rules and procedures for accessing that framework.

Detail of the procedures referred to in the table above

Type of contractDefinitionAvailable procedures
Exempt contractA contract where the estimated value of goods and services to be supplied is £25,000 or more and other procedures cannot practicably be followed because:Qualified informal procedure
(i)                      the contract is an extension of an existing contract;
(ii)                    the goods, materials or works desired are of a proprietary or special character or for other reasons there would be no genuine competition; or
(iii)                   in the opinion of the Chief Executive the need for the goods materials or works is urgent.
Small contractA contract where the estimated value of goods and services to be supplied is less than £25,000.Informal procedure;
Request for quotation
Open Tendering
Restricted Tendering
Framework agreement
Mid-range contractA contract (other than an exempt contract) where the estimated value of goods and services to be supplied is £25,000 or more, but less than £100,000.Request for quotation
Open tendering
Restricted tendering
Framework agreement
Large contractA contract (other than an exempt contract) where the estimated value of goods and services to be supplied is £100,000 or moreOpen tendering
Restricted tendering
Framework agreement
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