Doing business with Cheshire East Council
This section will give you guidance on how you can become a supplier to the Council, details of our contracts and current tender opportunities.
The Authority has a devolved procurement structure and as such the sourcing, tendering and purchasing, of goods and services are decentralised. Cheshire East does not operate an approved supplier list; however some services do operate select lists.
The Authority has to follow its Financial procedure rules, which regulate how it conducts its business. In addition as a public sector body we are bound by the EU Procurement Directives for those contracts exceeding the thresholds above which we are obliged to publicly advertise our contracts throughout the European Union.
Depending on the price of the purchase the council's procurement procedure varies:
Purchases below £10,000
The Council will require at least 3 emailed or telephone quotations. (May be requested via our e-tendering portal the ‘Chest’).
Purchases below £50,000
The Council requires at least 3 competitive written quotations. (May be requested via our e-tendering portal the ‘Chest’).
Purchases above £50,000
The Council has introduced a risk based sourcing approach to Procurement above £50,000 and below the relevant EU threshold. A minimum of 3 quotations shall be sought via the Councils etendering portal, subject to a risk assessment being carried out by the Corporate Procurement Unit. This will determine the route to market using an appropriate Request of Quotation (RFQ) and appropriate terms and conditions.
Quotation / tender opportunities
Details of current procurement opportunities with a value of £10,000 or more (where formally advertised) can be found on The Chest website. Tenders with a value that exceeds the current EU threshold will also be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union.
For further advice and guidance on tendering to the public sector, please visit the GOV.UK website.
All details of contracts can be found on the North West Contracts register.
National - central government contracts finder system
On Friday 11th February, the Prime Minister and the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, announced a radical package of measures to open up the way that Government does business and to make sure that small companies, charities and voluntary organisations are in the best possible position to compete for billions of pounds worth of contracts, including:
- A new National Contracts Finder web site has been launched. The new online facility will become the place to find public sector contracting opportunities over £10,000 and will make the Government’s procurement process totally transparent.
- The appointment of Stephen Allott as a new Crown Commercial Representative (CCR) for SMEs. His task will be to build a more strategic dialogue between HM Government and smaller suppliers – giving those suppliers a strong voice at the top table.
- The launch of SME (Small Medium Enterprise) product surgeries. These events will be led by the new CCR and will give SMEs the opportunity to pitch innovative products and services direct to a panel of senior procurement and operational professionals from central government and the wider public sector.
- A completely new approach to assessing companies and organisations who want to do business with Government, so that SMEs are not disadvantaged including:
- Seeking to eliminate PQQs (Pre-Qualification Questionnaires) for all central government procurements under £100,000. This represents a radical change in the way pre-qualification is carried out and means that from now on procurers will be free to choose the best route to market for their individual circumstances.
- Allowing firms to submit their prequalification data once for all procurements in common commodities. This will put an end to companies having to submit the same data time and time again, saving time and money for the suppliers and for government.
- Publication of the findings of the Cabinet Office’s LEAN Review into procurement processes. This will show the Government is doing all it can to reduce waste, tackle bureaucracy and lower the cost of doing business with government.
At the event Baroness Eaton, Chair of the Local Government Group announced her support for the new measures and the intention that Local Government will also make their opportunities available on Contracts Finder and use a simplified pre-qualification questionnaire.
Local Authorities may be able to make their tender opportunities available on Contacts Finder through their existing e-procurement provider, as many are developing interoperability links to automatically post opportunities held on their sites into Contracts Finder.
Please Note: Cheshire East Council are currently using 'The Chest' as described above and no link has been developed currently to this new Government Contracts Finder system.
More information on all the new measures designed to open up government procurement to SMEs can be found on the Cabinet Office's information on small business contracts page.
Guide to suppliers
The Selling Goods and Services to the Council Guide (PDF, 116KB) sets out how we work, what we buy and how who to contact. Also, please refer to the Supplier guidance on completing procurement documentation (PDF, 220KB).
Cheshire East Council is keen to help businesses learn more about tendering for public sector contracts and has helped develop a range of Procurement Toolkits.
Fraud and corruption
Fraud within the public sector costs the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds each year. Detected cases of fraud and corruption are on the increase especially in the current economic climate. Cheshire East Council is committed to fighting fraud and corruption and actively encourages reporting by anyone who suspects fraud or who has any concerns about any aspect of the Council's work.
Where to find help
If you know of anyone committing any kind of fraud, whether an employee of the Council, a member of the public or a company who may be contracted to work for the Council then you need to report your suspicions. Referrals will be treated in the strictest confidence. Please refer to the Whilsteblowing Policy below for further information and contact details.
The Council's Whistleblowing policy covers all employees of the Council, contractors, agency staff and the Councils partners.
The policy enables both providers and staff of the Council to report, confidentially, serious concerns about any aspects of the Council's work in which you may suspect criminal, fraudulent behaviour or other forms of malpractice.
For further information and guidance along with details as to how to make such a disclosure, please refer to the Whistleblowing Policy (PDF, 122KB) or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Payment to suppliers
Automated payment direct into your bank account (e.g. payment by BACS - Banker Automated Clearing Services) is the Council's preferred method of payment as it is cost effective, efficient and secure. To apply for payment by BACS please submit your banking information on your organisation’s letterhead, signed (with an original signature) and dated by an authorised officer.
NB. We do not accept scanned/photocopied/computer generated or faxed signatures.
This must be ink.
Please send these details to:
Cheshire East Council
PO Box 3655
Please note from the 1st January 2012 Cheshire East are implementing a No Purchase order No Pay policy.