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Procurement and contracts

Information about procurement and contracts with the City and County of Swansea.

What is public procurement?

Public procurement is the process by which public bodies acquire goods, services and works from third parties to meet customer and service user needs. Procurement covers all activities from identification of a requirement 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 on from external organisations.

The council has implemented a category management approach to organising its spend, this is a strategic method of procurement by means of grouping together related products and services and organising the resources of the procurement team to focus on organisations spend in specific categories.

The council has 9 categories of spend and these are grouped into 3 overarching categories:

Corporate resources

  • Corporate needs
  • Facilities management
  • ICT
  • Professional services
  • Transport and fleet

Environment

  • Construction materials
  • Constructions services

Social Care

  • Adult social care
  • Education and children's social care

Why do business with Swansea Council?

The council is committed to ensuring that its procurement activities are undertaken efficiently, legally and ethically whilst contributing 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; taking into account quality factors and whole life costs for example. All suppliers are treated equally and assessed on the merits of their tender by evaluating it against stated award criteria.

Finding out about contract opportunities

In order to view current contract opportunities and to respond to tender opportunities published by the council you will need to register your organisation on Sell2WalesOpens new window and eTenderwalesOpens new window. The council use this method of publishing contracts per the Wales Procurement Policy Statement.

Sell2WalesOpens new window is a free online service to help you find information about contracts and opportunities with the council and other Welsh public sector bodies. You can use Sell2Wales to:

  • search for current contract opportunities
  • receive alerts for new opportunities and RFQ's (requests for quotes)
  • link to other procurement portals to conduct your tenders (see eTenderWales below)
  • view PIN's (Prior information notices) and future opportunities
  • find contact information and profiles of other public bodies

During the registration you will be asked to select categories, it is essential that you select the categories that are relevant to the goods, works or services that your organisation provides in order to receive relevant alerts.

eTenderwalesOpens new window is used by the council for the submission of all electronic tenders. This is an electronic tendering system which allows suppliers who are registered on the site to download tender documentation and submit tender responses. You will need to be registered if you wish to access and download a tender that has been advertised.

If you require any assistance with registering or have any queries about the site, please contact the Helpdesk on Bravo Solutions Helpdesk: 0800 368 4850 or email help@bravosolution.co.uk. Alternatively, please contact Business Wales for free help and support (funded by the Welsh Government).

Please note that there is no charge for registration on either of these websites.

What rules, regulations & 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 comply with EU Procurement Directives, which govern the way in which public sector procurement is conducted for contracts over the thresholds set out below.

The current EU thresholds (values effective from 1st January 2018 for two years):

Type of contractThreshold
Service and supply£181,302
Works£4,551,413
Social and other specific services£615,278

The purpose of the EU Directives is to encourage open and transparent competition which is delivered through competitive tendering throughout the European Union. All public sector procurement, including 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 provide the framework for ensuring that public money is spent with demonstrable probity and accountability regardless of value.

Before sourcing external suppliers the council will identify whether the need can be met through an existing contract or framework. If the need cannot be met through an existing contract or framework agreement, a Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Tender process will be carried out depending on the value of the contract.

Local Suppliers

The council is committed to developing the local economy and supporting local suppliers and this guide forms part of that work. 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 Sell2WalesOpens new window and eTenderwalesOpens new window to ensure that 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.

The 'Business Wales Tendering Support' strand provides free practical assistance to small and medium-sized businesses in Wales to help understand the procurement process, and provide support in preparing pre-qualifying questionnaires and tenders.

For help and guidance, the Business Wales Tendering Support strand may be contacted either on 03000 6 03000 or via the Business Wales web portalOpens new window.

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