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Guidance for Suppliers and Contractors

 

Melton Borough Council spends in excess of £5 million on supplies and services, providing businesses of all sizes with a wide range of commercial opportunities. The Council's priority is to secure the best value for money throughout a large and diverse organisation. To achieve this objective, businesses wishing to contract with the Council should have some understanding of the purchasing process that operates within the Council, in addition to where they can obtain advice if required. There is, of course, a great deal of competition for Melton Borough Council contracts and this guide cannot assure individual businesses of success. However it should provide sufficient information to allow businesses to present their products or services in compliance with the purchasing process.

 

Melton Borough Council purchases supplies and services which range in value from a few, to many hundreds of thousands of pounds. They must comply with European Procurement Directivies, UK Procurement Laws and our own contract procedure rules for the procurement process. There are several types of contracts entered into by the Council: these could be purchases for a given quantity or service by a specified date, regular requirements in part amounts over a given period, e.g. twelve months call off, or running contracts over a set period without any firm quantities.

 

Melton Borough Council is a partner of the Welland Procurement Unit who provide procurement capacity, advice and strategy for the Council. The Welland Procurement Unit may support or run contract opportunities on behalf of Melton Borough Council or its other partners which Melton may be party too.

 

The Welland Procurement Unit is a shared service for six councils:

Contract Decision Notification 

 

Contract Award

 

If you are successful in your tender submission you will be notified in writing, and may be requested to sign a form of agreement to signify acceptance of the contract award. The Contract may be made under seal where considered appropriate by the Head of Legal Services.

 

Debriefing Tenderers

 

If you are unsuccessful you will also be notified in writing. Please note that Melton Borough Council cannot breach contract confidentiality and disclose contract prices, however if requested, the Council can inform interested parties of the name(s) of the successful tenderer(s). The Council is subject to the Freedom of Information Act and will disclose information as requested under the obligations of the Act.

 

Information businesses may be expected to provide 

 

Before being invited to quote or tender, businesses must note that they may be required to provide specific details about their company.

 

Technical Information

 

Businesses may be required to demonstrate that they have a good track record of providing supplies and services to other local authorities or Government Agencies. Particular emphasis will be placed upon compliance with specifications and the ability to deliver and perform the contract in accordance with the terms of engagement. Businesses should note that references may be requested and checked by the Procurement Team or relevant Service Manager.

 

Financial information 

 

Businesses may be required to provide a copy of their last three years audited accounts or Bank reference. This is most likely to take place though a pre-qualification exercise for particular contracts or tenders. Failure to achieve the desired technical and financial criteria may result in a business not being invited to quote or tender.

 

Purchasing Policy 

 

The Purchasing Policy of the Council has been designed to provide a formal framework to be used by all the Service Units engaged in procurement on behalf of the Council. Its purpose is to ensure that all goods and services purchased are of the optimum quality, and obtained at the most competitive price to meet the needs for which they are required. The policy ensures that the requirements of the public and member accountability are met at all times and that the Council is seen to trade efficiently and fairly based on the principles of equal treatment, transparency and competitive procurement. To view the Council's Procurement Strategy, please click on the link below:

 

Melton Borough Council's Procurement Strategy

 

European Public Procurement Rules

 

Contracts for Supply of Good and Services over the value of £139,893 and Works  Contracts over the value of £3,497,311

 

All Local Authorities and Public Sector bodies are subject to European Procurement Directives (that are part of UK law) which govern how we may purchase goods, services and works over a specified value. Where the estimated value is expected to exceed the relevant European threshold, the requirements have to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). The threshold is reviewed every two years to commence on the following 1st January. The regulations stipulate that formal time scales that must be adhered to. These are intended to ensure that suppliers are given a reasonable time to respond to adverts. This includes responding to requests for expressions of interest as well as responding to invitations to tender. OJEU notices are published in electronic format and may be accessed via an electronic on-line service entitled Tenders Electronic Daily provided by OJEU. The website can be viewed by clicking here.

 

Reasons for non acceptance or disqualification 

 

Reasons for disqualification

 

There are sometimes obvious mistakes and errors that can lead to a tender being disqualified or not accepted. Most of these can be avoided if you avoid the following:

  • Putting an Identifying mark on the Tender envelope.
  • Late submission. Tender documents received after the closing date for the receipt of tenders will not be considered. You should return your tender documents no later than the time indicated on the closing date for the return of tender documents.
  • Incorrectly addressing tender submissions. Tender documents must be sent to the stated return address.
  • Incorrectly posting tender submissions. Tender documents returned in the open post but not in the Tender return envelope will not be considered.
  • Not signing the form of tender.

Reasons for non acceptance

  • Uncompetitive - failure to submit the most cost effective, best value offer.
  • Not quoting a price for the specified product (and the alternative submitted is not an equivalent).
  • Not quoting a price for the specified fixed price period.
  • Incomplete tenders - not completing the tender document in full.
  • Not supplying samples of products when requested.
  • Not supplying samples of management information, reports or COSHH data sheets with the tender documents.
  • Unsatisfactory references (performance) or financial history within the limits of commercial confidentiality.

The Officer of the Council responsible for the issue of the Tender documents will indicate to unsuccessful tenderers the reasons why their bid failed. This should be viewed as constructive feedback and used to ensure that unsuccessful tenderers are aware of areas for improvement to enable them to compete more sucessfully for future contract renewals.

 

Delivery 

 

Businesses must be capable of delivering the goods or services in the manner prescribed in the contract. Appointed firms will liaise with the Service Head should any unexpected failure occur. Businesses must be aware that Contract conditions will be strictly applied especially with regard to quality and general performance. There will be an annual contract review meeting, and where approiprate monthly and or quarterly meetings. From time to time, goods or services may be tested to ensure compliance with contractual requirements

 

Variations 

 

These may be needed from time to time throughout the contract. Variations will always be requested in writing, except in an emergency, where instructions may be requested verbally but will be retrospectively confirmed in writing.

 

Post Contract Evaluation 

 

General performance of a contract will be monitored and recorded for future reference. Businesses are strongly advised to keep their own records with regard to performance, especially since this might affect their opportunity to be invited to tender when the contract expires.

 

How to find out about contracts 

 

Where the council advertises for contracts will depend upon the legislation and the type and value of contracts.

 

Supply and Service Contracts between £15,000 and the European threshold - National and Local 

 

Melton Borough Council requires that, as a minimum, tenders worth over £15,000 and up to the EU threshold need to be advertised. Advertising should reach sufficient potential providers, and should not show bias. There are a number of free websites which meet this transparency requirement and are suitable for tenders of this value.

 

These include:

Melton Borough Council requires that an advertisement should be placed in a local newspaper circulating in the Borough. Advertising in appropriate trade press may also be used to attract bidders.

 

Supply and Service Contracts above the European threshold (£139,893) - European Directives 

 

These will be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union. Copies of this publication can be obtained from the following places:

Applying for contracts that are not advertised 

 

The Council does not normally advertise contracts for goods and services that fall below £15,000 in total. In these cases, the Council's Service Mangers have the delegation to choose the most appropriate businesses to be invited to give quotations. Melton Borough Council uses different methods to select suppliers. We use new suppliers, suppliers with previous experience, ESPO approved contracts, Framework contracts let by consortia, the Welland Procurement Unit and Government Contracts (http://www.ogcbuyingsolutions.gov.uk/), Catalogues and E Market places. It would be impossible in this guide to list the diverse types of supplies and services that the Council purchases.

 

The Council may go directly to appropriate Framework contracts to meet its procurement requirements without advertising. These Frameworks may cover values in excesss of the European thresholds.

 

Works Contracts below  £3,497,313

 

Works projects under the European Threshold value will be advertsied as per the Supply and Service contracts non-European threshold. Melton Borough Council has a stock of approximately 2000 properties. The Primary duty of the Repairs & Improvements Service is to maintain and improve the Council housing stock (Decent Homes) and garages. This includes day to day repairs, planned maintenance and major repair and improvement schemes. Aids and adaptations for disabled tenants and their families are also included in this service. Contracts for this type of work are likely to be awarded through the operation of a Framework Contract.

 

Works Contracts above European threshold (£3497,313) – European Directivies

 

Contracts of this value are rare but growing in frequency as contracts are being let by Welland Procurement Unit on behalf of the Partner Authorities. This is likely to be for Leisure and Sporting facilites or other projects of a community benefit.

 

Construction Industry Tax Scheme

Melton Borough Council is a contractor under the HMRC Construction Industry Tax Scheme. If your company comes under the CIS scheme you must supply full documentation to the Finance department when you commence any work with the Council.

 

If you do not provide all the required CIS information you may risk non-payment or a deduction of the full amount of 40%.

 

Submission of Invoices

When invoices are submitted to the Council they must include the following information:

  • Your company name must be clearly shown at the top of the invoice
  • Company address
  • VAT registration number
  • Order number (if applicable)
  • Clear description of goods/services supplied
  • Gross, VAT and nett amounts

How will you be paid?

Melton Borough Council's payment methods are by cheque or Bacs. We endeavour to pay invoices electronically (Bacs) where possible, and would appreciate your bank details to be included on your invoice where possible.

 

Payments are processed weekly on a Thursday. If being paid by cheque it should reach by the following Saturday, or if by Bacs it should be in your account the following Monday.

 

If you have any queries regarding payment of your invoice please call Customer Services on (01664) 502502

 

If you are not satisfied with the payment services provided for whatever reason please see our Complaints Procedure.

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