Procurement

Castle Point Borough Council spend in the order of £12 million each year with the private sector of which on average £1.4m is spent with local businesses.  The following guidance is intended to help businesses identify work and contracts which they may be interested in competing for.

The Council awards contracts based on fair competition. Public sector spending is subject to stringent controls and accountabilities. The Government's procurement policy is that all public procurement of goods, works and services is to be based upon value for money, in addition the European Community Treaty principals of non- discrimination, transparency, equal treatment etc. apply to all public contracts.

Registering your interest

The Council does not operate an approved list of suppliers.  For construction and associated works, we use Constructionline as our main means of vetting contractors.  If you are a contractor interested in working with the Council, then we advise you to register with Constructionline.

Selling to the Council

For purchases up to £24,999, the Council uses a process of gaining competitive quotations.  It is usual with purchases of this value, for the respective Council department to hold details of companies, mostly who have been vetted through Constructionline, for the areas of work that they undertake. The Council may also choose to advertise the requirement via Contracts Finder.

When advertising contract opportunities of £50,000 upwards, the Council use Contracts Finder www.gov.uk/contracts-finder.

This government run site enables your organisation to view current contracts and opportunities for Castle Point, as well as for other public sector organisations across the UK.

You can use Contracts Finder to:

  • search for contract opportunities in different sectors
  • find out what’s coming up in the future
  • look up details of previous tenders and contracts

You can create an account to get email updates and save your searches. You can still search and apply for contracts without an account.

Whilst using the site is not a guarantee of success, it will provide your organisation with the ability to view / bid for quotations and tenders across the UK Public sector.

Frameworks

The Council will, wherever possible and practical, use established framework agreements and contracts to identify and invite appropriate suppliers, to compete for the supply of goods, works and services.  This is because, contractors and other suppliers appearing on frameworks have been required to undertake a competitive process before being accepted onto the framework.  As part of this process they have been checked and verified to ensure they meet our criteria.  This process also avoids the requirement to undertake a lengthy procurement process.

Framework providers which the Council regularly use include:-

  • Braintree Procurement Hub
  • Crown Commercial Services
  • Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation

e-procurement

The Council prefers to use electronic means of communication and processes wherever possible. This includes sending purchase orders and receiving invoices via email.  All payments are made using BACS.

The majority of Essex Councils, including Castle Point use BiP Solutions e-sourcing software to manage tendering electronically.  This ensures transparency, and facilitates the publication of notices immediately on this procurement portal www.bipsolutions.com, giving suppliers instant access to the contract opportunities.

Where can I view the current contracts the Council has?

The Council maintains a register of contracts with a value of over £5,000 or more.  The register is constantly being updated but if a contract is missing from the list, please let us know on procurement@castlepoint.gov.uk.

By publishing this information Castle Point offer suppliers the opportunity to identify future opportunities, respond to current opportunities and to view which suppliers have already been engaged along with the goods, works and/or services procured.

Selling to the Council

The Commissioning and Procurement Policy  sets out the Council’s commissioning and procurement policy objectives and principles which reflect our corporate objectives.  The Council also supports the adoption of sustainability principles in all procurement activities which it undertakes.

The Council complies with the Small Business Concordat Principles 2005.

The Procurement Alliance for Essex (PAE) provides a forum to share procurement practice and to promote and facilitate collaborative procurement across Essex. 

Other Relevant policies and links