Procurement Rules and Strategy

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 2014/24/EU

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).  To view, please click here. 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 2016 are detailed below:-

Contract Type






'Light touch' contracts





Contract Standing Orders

The Council's Contract Standing Orders forms part of the Council's Constitution and compliance by all Council Officers is mandatory. To view, the Constitution, please click here (PDF, 1MB, 241 pages) .  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: 

Estimated total values

(i.e. for full duration of contract including any extension options)

Competition requirements

Advertising requirements

Below £25,000

No formal competition required, although quotations can be sought in order to demonstrate best value

No advert required

£25,000 to £100,000

At least three written quotations

Advertise on council, South East Business Portal and Contracts Finder websites

£100,000 to the relevant EU threshold

Invitations to tender

Advertise on council, South East Business Portal and Contracts Finder websites and consider one industry publication

£4,104,394 and above for works contracts

£589,148 and above for 'light touch' contracts

£164,176 and above for goods and services contracts

Invitations to tender process in accordance with requirements of Public Contracts Regulations 2015

Advertise on Council, South East Business Portal and Contracts Finder websites, the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and consider two industry publications


Procurement Strategy

The Council's Procurement Strategy was recently updated and approved by Cabinet.  To view the Strategy, please click here (PDF, 148KB, 18 pages).