Our tendering process

All tender opportunities can be viewed on our e-tendering portal. Those below the thresholds stated in the Public Contract Regulations 2015 can also be viewed on Contracts Finder on Gov.uk or may be published on CSW-JETS as a request for quote.

You can also view our current contracts.

The bidding process

Various types of tender process may be used for selection, including:

  • Open tender

    • a single stage process where interested parties respond to a tender opportunity
  • Restricted tender

    • a two-stage process where we invite interested parties to complete a Selection Questionnaire (SQ). A useful process where large numbers of responses are expected, for non-standard items or high value tenders.

      The purpose is to "pre-qualify" tenderers based on their financial standing and technical or professional capability so as to narrow the number permitted to submit bids. Those tenderers meeting the criteria will be invited to provide a tender submission.

  • Competitive Dialogue Procedures

    • allows flexibility around negotiation. The procurement documents will identify the subject-matter of the procurement, minimum requirements and specify the contract award criteria.

      Unless otherwise provided for, contracting authorities shall negotiate with Tenderers the initial and all subsequent tenders submitted by them, except for final tenders which are on a “best and final offer” basis.

  • Dynamic Purchasing System

    • procedure available for contracts for works, services and goods commonly available on the market. As a procurement tool, it has some aspects that are similar to an electronic framework agreement, but where new suppliers can join at any time. The DPS is a two-stage process.

      First, in the initial setup stage, all suppliers who meet the selection criteria and are not excluded must be admitted to the DPS. Unlike framework agreements, suppliers can also apply to join the DPS at any point during its lifetime.

      Individual contracts are awarded during the second stage. In this stage, the authority invites all suppliers on the DPS (or the relevant category within the DPS) to bid for the specific contract.

  • Frameworks

    • an agreement with suppliers to establish terms governing contracts that may be awarded during the life of the agreement. In other words, it is a general term for agreements that set out terms and conditions for making specific purchases (call-offs).

      There are a number of frameworks available for the Council to use and there are specific organisations (Central Purchasing Bodies) that set up frameworks specifically for that purpose. If the Council elected to use a framework the “further competition” or “direct award” would be limited to the suppliers on the framework agreement.

The opening of tenders

Electronic tender responses will be automatically opened by the system when the closing date and time are reached.

The evaluation of tenders

The “most economically advantageous tender” is the best tender in terms of cost, quality and social value. The evaluation criteria will be published in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) documents.

Submissions will be evaluated against these criteria by individuals or teams, and score moderated where appropriate.

We may invite short-listed bidders to a tender clarification meeting. This will be detailed in the tender documentation. These sessions will be used to clarify the submissions and could lead to modification of evaluation scores where appropriate.

Feedback on tenders

We will let you know whether your bid is successful or not and are happy to provide feedback when asked, without breaching commercial confidentiality.

Contract management

Contract management is the process that enables both parties to a contract to meet their obligations in order to deliver the objectives required from the contract. It also involves building a good working relationship between Solihull MBC and the service provider.

It continues throughout the life of a contract and involves managing proactively to anticipate future needs as well as reacting to situations that arise. One of the key aims of contract management is to obtain the services as agreed in the contract and achieve value for money.

This means optimising the efficiency, effectiveness and value for money of the service or relationship described by the contract, understanding risks and available opportunities for added value through the contract management activity, and actively managing Solihull MBC and service provider relationship.

Contract management must also involve aiming for continuous improvement in performance over the life of the contract and make cost savings if appropriate. The Council is continually developing, testing and rolling-out a corporate approach to Contract Management.

Some of the benefits of a corporate approach to contract management are:

  • Opportunity to identify and share good practice
  • Assist contract managers to identify the appropriate level of contract management focus and effort required in managing individual contracts
  • Strengthened governance and control
  • Making the best use of contract management resource

Effective contract management is important because:

  • Cost is understood and managed within budgets - Audit Commission Report in 2013 identified typical savings of 3-5% through effective contract management
  • Service delivery is achieved at required standards
  • Impacts of any changes to scope are understood and formally agreed
  • Performance issues and corrective actions are made visible to governance structure
  • Risks and mitigating actions are made visible to Governance Structure