The value of a contract determines the procedure that Council Officers must follow when letting a contract. The value will dictate whether the Council must follow its own internal rules (Contract Standing Orders) or whether the EU Public Procurement Directives must be followed.
EU Public Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC
As a local authority, the Council has to comply with the European Union Public Procurement Directives. These rules can be quite complex, but essentially they are designed to ensure that any firm or organisation in any EU member country has a fair and equal opportunity to compete for any public sector contract in any EU country.
The rules themselves, with a few exceptions, require all invitations to tender for contracts above a certain value to be advertised in the supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). They also specify, for example, certain allowable criteria upon which contracts can be awarded, the designated tendering procedures and the minimum timescales to be allowed for the submission of tenders. The rules are backed up by substantial legal remedies for any non-compliance.
Contracts with an estimated value above the following thresholds are subject to the Regulations. The EU Procurement thresholds which took effect from 1st January 2012 are detailed below:-
Contract Type Threshold
Contract Standing Orders
The Councils Contract Standing Orders forms part of the Councils Constitution and compliance by all Council Officers is mandatory. These rules are applicable to the letting of any contract below the threshold for being caught by the European Union Public Procurement Directives.
The thresholds for tendering set out in Contract Standing Orders are:
Value Band Process
£1-£20,000 At least one written quote
£20,001 - £75,000 Request for Quotation process with adverts on iwight.com and SEBP
£75,001 - £150,000 Invitation to Tender process with adverts on iwight.com and SEBP and at least one publication
£150,001 + Invitation to Tender process with adverts on iwight.com and SEBP and at least two publications
and OJEU advertisment (if appropriate)