May elections

You must register to vote in the upcoming May elections before Wednesday 17 April. If you cannot attend the elections, you can apply for a postal vote before 5pm on Wednesday 17 April. Find all the key dates on our election news page.


Procurement process

We use the MyTenders Portal for our procurement process.

Suppliers interesting in working for the council should register as a supplier.

For more information on how we purchase goods and services, you can read our procurement strategy.

We normally use either an open or a restricted process.

We may use an open tender when the market for the goods, works or services is very limited. In an open tender, we give the tender documents to all suppliers who respond to an advertisement.

We normally use a restricted tender when there are potentially a high number of suppliers who would be able to supply the goods, works or services. In a restricted tender, we first invite suppliers to express an interest, then we shortlist suppliers and give the shortlisted suppliers the tender documentation.


Tender documents

If you are shortlisted, or if you express an interest in an open tender, we will send you the tender pack.

This usually includes:

  • instructions and advice to tenderers – includes deadlines, how to return your tender, evaluation criteria and contact details
  • specification plus supporting documents
  • our terms and conditions

You will need to return your tender by the closing date specified. 

We may carry out a company search with a credit agency.


In a restricted procedure, we may ask suppliers to complete a questionnaire.

In the questionnaire, you will need to provide information about:

  • when your business was formed
  • your experience providing the goods or services
  • business insurance details
  • where we can get references on your company
  • your business’s finances

We will then invite shortlisted suppliers to tender (normally between 4 and 6 depending on the value of project). To make sure you are considered, you must:

  • provide all the information requested
  • make sure that you answer all questions accurately
  • return the information by the closing date

Procurement principles

We award contracts on the basis of the most advantageous tender. We consider, not only price but also:

  • evidence of qualifications and experience
  • how proposed procurements could make local improvements and how these could be delivered via the procurement process
  • how what is being procured may improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Harlow and the surrounding areas
  • equality, diversity and sustainability issues

The criteria must be relevant to the subject of the contract and proportionate to the value and potential impact that could be achieved.