Procurement process

We use MyTenders procurement portal for our procurement process.

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

We use a restricted tender when there are potentially a high number of suppliers who would be able to supply the goods 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.

Process

Questionnaire

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

Tender documents

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

These usually include:

  • covering letter
  • instructions and advice to tenderers – includes deadlines, how to return your tender, evaluation criteria and contact details
  • specification detailing our requirements
  • council’s procurement terms and conditions

You will need to return your tender by the closing date to make sure we consider it.

Procurement principles

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

  • 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.