Our rules for buying

Our rules for buying

The procedure which Redbridge Council follows is determined by the value of a contract:           

  • up to £10,000 – minimum one written quotation required
  • £10,001 to £50,000 – we obtain at least 2 written quotations
  • £50,001 to less than £181,302 (lower European threshold) – we obtain at least 3 written quotations
  • Above £181,302 - all contracts must be exposed to a formal competitive tendering process and advertised accordingly

View the European thresholds


Advertising of contracts and Prior Indicative Notices

All our contracts that need to be advertised will appear on our website and via the central governments Contracts Finder

Where the value of contracts exceed the EU thresholds there will be a publication in the Supplement of the Official Union Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

We may also publish in OJEU a Prior Indicative Notice (PIN). This gives advance notice of contracts to be advertised in OJEU throughout the year, which are known to us at the time of publishing. By including a tender in the Prior Indicative Notice, the subsequent tendering timetable can be reduced.

All our contract notices and advertisements will clearly state the response times that bidders must keep to. Depending upon the size and type of contract, some of the timescales will be in accordance with European Procurement Regulations, others will conform to our requirements.


Supplier Selection Policy

Supplier selection is based on overall value for money. Whilst price is important, we will always consider:

  • quality
  • reliability
  • safety
  • good design
  • timely delivery
  • maintenance
  • after sales support

We consider the above before arriving at a decision which is the most economically advantageous to us.

Where the value is high enough to justify the cost to both parties, contracts are placed after inviting individuals/companies to submit tenders in competition.

The number of individuals/companies invited to tender will vary with the nature of the order and the availability of suitably qualified suppliers. We comply with national and European regulations on public procurement. These can be found at the Public Contracts Regulations 2015  and the European Procurement Directive 2014.

Potential suppliers must demonstrate their financial, commercial and technical capability to fully meet the contractual requirements under tender. We will also take into account a company's past performance and look for a clear demonstration of commitment to equalities in:

  • employment
  • the environment
  • safe systems of working

For high value service contracts, we evaluate suppliers on a set of pre-determined factors. These criteria will be set out in both our advertisements and our tender documents.

We may ask for references from previous customers, bankers and business information companies and, in some cases, arrange inspection visits to the company and its work sites.


Above EU Threshold Tendering Procedures

There are a number of procedures available to us under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015:

  • open procedure
  • restricted procedure
  • competitive procedure with negotiation
  • competitive dialogue
  • innovation partnership
  • use of the negotiated procedure without prior publication

We usually use open or restricted tendering however various procurement are run following the other procedures listed above as well.

Open Tendering

Open tendering is a single stage bidding process, where all interested service providers responding to an advertisement will be invited to submit a tender. The advertisement and contract notice will state where interested parties may obtain tender documents and the last date when tenders will be accepted.

Restricted Tendering

This is a 2 stage bidding process in which potential contractors expressing an interest in bidding are evaluated first. A shortlist is drawn up following an evaluation exercise for the sole purpose of inviting bids. The advertisement and contract notice will give details on the information required to be submitted by the supplier and where the tender documentation can be obtained.

Evaluation of Tenders

In order to preserve the integrity of the competitive process, it is vital that the evaluation of proposals is undertaken objectively, consistently and without bias towards particular suppliers.

We will award the contract to the supplier we consider will offer the best value for money. For this reason, our main evaluation criterion will be the "most economically advantageous tender" (MEAT) as determined by the criteria set out in the tender documents.

The award criteria will vary depending on the type of contract. Examples of award criteria, in addition to price, are experience, technical merit, financial viability, flexibility to future changes to our requirements, speed of project delivery, quality etc.

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