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Tendering Advice


We usually run two types of tenders:

  • Open
  • Restricted

Under an open tender procedure all suppliers who respond to an advertisement are supplied with tender documentation which they can return as appropriate. This approach is usually followed when purchasing standard items such as goods.

The restricted procedure can best be described as a two-stage approach in which the Council invites interested suppliers to undergo a pre-qualification stage before inviting them to tender. The restricted route is normally used for specialist or major service requirements.

The tender documents you will receive usually consist of the following:

  • Invitation to Tender (ITT) - this document details important administrative procedures relating to the tender e.g. dates and times, method of tender return, evaluation criteria to be used in the selection of the successful supplier, details of where tender enquiries should be directed.
  • Suitability Questionnaire - this document covers basic financial and technical information about your company e.g. accounts, insurance levels etc.
  • Specification - this details the Council's requirements so must be read carefully and complied with.
  • Contract Conditions - this document gives details of the terms under which the Council wishes to do business. These should be read carefully, since it is our policy to contract only on our terms and conditions of contract.


A framework agreement works similarly to an approved list. It is a group of suppliers that have already gone through a competition in order to be on the framework. These are then active for a number of years as stated in the original competition.

Frameworks provide a number of suppliers who can provide specific items to a Council or a buying consortium. Depending on the terms and conditions of the framework mini-competitions can then be run from suppliers on the framework in order to obtain best value for money.

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