Our tendering process

Learn about the tendering processes we use, how we evaluate tenders, and the free training we provide on the tendering process.

We use two types of tendering process.

Open tender

The tender document is made available to anyone who is interested in the tender opportunity.

Restricted tender

Everyone who's interested in a tender opportunity is asked to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) and return to us to evaluate. Only the businesses who're shorted-listed will be invited to tender.

If the contract is above the European Union (EU) thresholds then the EU regulations will apply - these set out the timeframes of each stage in the process.

Tender open events

Depending on the complexity and nature of the tender, we may sometimes hold an open event giving you the chance to: 

  • meet the team involved in the procurement
  • hear our aims and objectives for the contract
  • ask any questions you may have about the timetable, the specification or the process 

Getting started

Use the sections below to understand the tendering process.

We’ll answer any questions of clarification and share this information with all bidders.

A date is set before the tenders are due to be returned, by which you must have submitted any points of clarification.

 

Tenders are evaluated against the criteria, using the model and methods stated in the tender document.

A panel of officers usually conducts this evaluation against price and quality. If we spot something in your bid that needs further clarification to assist the evaluation, we’ll ask you.

presentation as part of our evaluation process may be included; and you’ll be told in the invitation to tender if this applies to your particular tender.

We cannot provide answers to all parts of our evaluation process as it's specific to each tender. However here's a summary of our evaluation process.

Capacity

We will require you to have the ability to sustain the contract over its lifetime.

We would expect you to be able to maintain a regular supply of goods, services or works that are not adversely affected by fluctuations in demand by us or by your other customers.

For example, we need to be satisfied that spare parts would be readily available during the useful life of a product. In some areas we may also expect that you are able to adapt your supply to meet changing regulations and standards.

Compliance with our policies and adding Social Value

We have a number of corporate policies with which we seek to align our contracts.

We want to deal with you if you can help us to achieve our policy objectives and to add Social Value (Economic, Environmental or Social Benefits) through the delivery of goods and services in our contracts.

Compliance with Specification

We check for compliance with national, European and international standards but also make every effort to ensure our specifications are flexible enough to allow you to offer your range of products and alternative methods of production.

Specifications for services will ask you to tell us how you will meet the outcomes we require and how well you understand our priorities and objectives. Here we would expect you to provide a detailed method of work, written statements and possibly a timed project plan.

Cost

This is the cost of the goods or services to us. We’ll consider the net cost including, where appropriate, the life cycle cost of the product - which includes the cost of acquisition, operation and disposal.

Insurance

We will require you to have certain minimum amounts of insurance cover (such as public liability, employers liability and professional indemnity) dependant on the nature of the contract (see general terms and conditions for more information).

Quality

We expect you to tell us which relevant quality approvals you hold and the systems you operate to ensure supplies of goods or services are maintained to the standards agreed in the contract.

Where appropriate, we’ll also be looking for your understanding and management of health and safety issues and in particular how you ensure safety in production methods or service delivery.

This free training is provided to support local organisations to tender for service contracts with Suffolk County Council, and is available to charities and non-profit making organisations, as well as limited and non-limited companies.

'Understanding the Tender Process'

 The aim of this course is to:

  • Increase your understanding and knowledge of the tender process
  • Increase your confidence in your ability to complete the tender process effectively

Training dates

  • Monday 22 January 2018: 10am to 4pm in Ipswich. To book a place, please complete this booking form (Word, 669KB).

'Understanding the Tender Process: Master Class - Responding to Evaluation Criteria'

The aim of this course is to:

  • Increase your understanding and knowledge of how to respond to evaluation criteria.

Training dates

  • Monday 13 November 2017: 10am to 1pm in Ipswich. To book a place, please complete this booking form (Word, 672KB).

Last update: 11 September 2017

We will notify all bidders of the outcome of the tender process.

For all public sector tenders over the EU threshold, we're required to apply a minimum ten days mandatory 'Standstill Period' before entering a contractually binding agreement.

The notice of our award decision that we send to all the unsuccessful bidders includes:

  • The Award Criteria
  • The reasons for the award decision including the:
    • characteristics and relative advantages of the winning bid
    • scores of the winning bid
    • scores of the unsuccessful bid
    • any reasons why the unsuccessful bid did not meet the technical specification
  • name of the bidder to be awarded the contract
  • date when the Standstill Period will end and any reasons why it may not end when envisaged

During the period of the Standstill, you may seek further written information on the award. At the end of the standstill period, the contract will be formally awarded.

Call the Procurement helpdesk on 01473 260266 Monday - Thursday 9am - 5pm or Friday 9am - 4.30pm; or email rmcommbusinesssupport@suffolk.gov.uk.