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Supplier information - procurements and contracts

Information about procurement and contracts with our Council.

What is public procurement?

Public procurement is the process by which public bodies buy goods, services and works from third parties to meet customer and service user needs. Procurement covers all activities from identifying a need through to the end of the useful life or disposal of an asset.

The council procures a diverse range of supplies, services and works. For example, stationery, electricity and even the construction of a new school. The council spends on average over £250 million a year from external organisations.

A category management approach is used to organise its spend. This groups together related products and services and organises the resources of the procurement team. This means we can focus on the council's spend in specific categories.

There are 9 categories of spend grouped into 3 overarching categories:

  • social care (adult social care, education and child social care)
  • environment (construction materials, construction services)
  • corporate resources (corporate needs, facilities management, ICT, transport and fleet, professional services).

Why do business with Swansea Council?

The council is committed to making sure its procurement activities are carried out efficiently, legally and ethically. They should also contribute to the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of the residents of Swansea. Generally, decisions are made not just on the basis of lowest cost but on value for money. All suppliers are treated equally and assessed on the merits of their tender by evaluating it against the award criteria.

Finding out about contract opportunities Finding out about contract opportunities

What rules, regulations and procurement procedures does the council follow?

The way in which the council purchases goods, services and works is governed by European Union (EU), UK law and by the council's own internal Contract Procedure Rules (CPR).

Swansea Council has a legal requirement to meet the EU procurement directives, which govern the way in which public sector procurement is conducted for contracts over the thresholds set out below.

The EU thresholds (values effective from 1 January 2020 for two years) are:

Current EU thresholds
Type of contractThreshold
Service and supply£189,330
Social and other specific services£663,540

The purpose of the EU procurement directives is to encourage open and transparent competition delivered through competitive tendering across the European Union. All public sector procurement, including any below EU thresholds, must abide by the EU Treaty principles of equal treatment, non-discrimination, mutual recognition, proportionality and transparency.

The council's contract procedure rules set out how we make sure public spending shows clear value no matter how much the contract is for.

Before sourcing external suppliers the council will identify whether what's needed can be met through a contract or framework already in place. If this can't be done either a request for quotation (RFQ) or tender process will be carried out depending on the contract value.

Local suppliers

The council is committed to developing the local economy and supporting local suppliers. Wherever possible, local suppliers are invited to quote for low value contracts and are encouraged to bid for tenders. All suppliers are encouraged to register on Sell2Wales and eTenderwales to make sure they receive notifications of upcoming procurements. The council cannot discriminate in favour of local suppliers. Contracts are awarded based on the evaluation criteria set out in the invitation to quote/tender. However, we do encourage local organisations to bid for contracts with the council.

Business Wales

The Welsh Government's Business Wales service supports new and established businesses in Wales.

Their tendering support service gives free practical help to small and medium-sized businesses in Wales to understand the procurement process. They will give support in preparing pre-qualifying questionnaires and tenders.

For help and guidance, the Business Wales Tendering Support can be contact by phoning 03000 6 03000 or via the Business Wales web portal.

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