Constitution - Part 5H - Contract procedure rules



1.1 This part of the Constitution sets out the Council's ('Council') rules for buying goods, services and works on behalf of the Council and disposing of some types of property.  In this document they are referred to as the "Contract Rules".

1.2 The Council must have contract rules under section 135 of the Local Government Act 1972.

1.3 There is a glossary of terms at paragraph 8 of these rules.

1.4 Officers of the County Council ('officers') must have regard to the Council's Commissioning/Procurement Cycle and Process Mapping Guidance (including relevant internal mini gateway review procedures, where required) or any replacement of such Guidance from time to time in force. In these Rules this is referred to as "the Guidance."

2.1 The Contract Rules apply whenever the Council is commissioning or procuring Supplies, Services or Works, or disposing of Assets.

Officer Responsibilities

2.2 Subject to any overriding legal obligation, officers must comply with the Contract Rules when commissioning and/or procuring Supplies, Services or Works, disposing of Assets and making decisions about these matters.

2.3 Officers responsible for commissioning, procurement and disposal of Assets must in addition comply with other relevant parts of the Constitution, such as the Access to Information Procedure Rules and the Financial Standing Orders, and with all applicable laws. 

2.4 Officers must ensure that any person or organisation acting on behalf of the Council within the scope of the Contract Rules also complies.

2.5 Officers must take all legal, procurement, financial, technical and other advice that they need to ensure they comply with the law and the Council's rules and policies and that the procurement method and contract are fit for purpose.

2.6 Officers must comply with measures put in place by the Council to prevent, identify and remedy conflicts of interest which arise during the conduct of procurement.  In particular:

2.7 Officers must comply with the Officers' Code of Conduct when conducting procurement

2.8 Officers must comply with section 117 of the Local Government Act 1972 by declaring in writing any personal interest in a contract to the Section 151 Officer. 

2.9 Officers must not accept any gift or hospitality from any Candidate for any contract being procured by the Council and to do so is a disciplinary offence. Officers must inform the Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services if offered a gift or hospitality during a tender process.

Application of these Rules

2.10 These Contract Rules apply to all Relevant Contracts. A Relevant Contract is any arrangement, including Framework Agreements and other arrangements permitted under the Regulations, made by or on behalf of the Council for the carrying out of Works or for the supply of Supplies or Services, or the disposal of an Asset, unless the arrangement is subject to an Exception in these Rules - see below.

2.11 A Relevant Contract includes a contract for the appointment of consultants.

2.12 A contract procured on behalf of or by any organisation which is in receipt of funding for which the Council is the Accountable Body is also a Relevant Contract under these Rules.

2.13 Local Authority Maintained Schools are expected to comply with these Contract Rules.

Exceptions to these Contract Rules

2.14 The Contract Rules do not apply to the following arrangements, to the extent that this complies with the law:

(a) Contracts of employment which make an individual a direct employee of the Council.
(b) Agreements for the acquisition, disposal or transfer of land/buildings which do not form part of a wider transaction under which the Council also procures Supplies, Services or Works.
(c) Grants which the Council may receive or award, except as otherwise provided in the Contract Rules.
(d) Contracts for an educational or care placement for a specific individual where the relevant Executive Director considers such placement to be in the best interests of the individual.
(e) Contracts for care services to be provided to a specific individual household where the Executive Director considers such a contract to be in the best interests of an individual.
(f) Contracts with a third party where sections 184 and 278 of the Highways Act 1980 apply.
(g) Contracts for  representation by a lawyer in arbitration, conciliation, or judicial proceedings; legal advice given by a lawyer in the preparation of any such proceedings, or where there is a clear indication and high probability that the matter will become subject of proceedings and any other legal services which are exempt from the Regulations
(h) Contracts for financial services in connection with the issue, sale or transfer of securities or other financial instruments within the meaning of EU Directive 2004/39/EC as amended from time to time.

For the purposes of paragraphs (d) and (e) contracts are only exempt from these Contract Rules if the aggregate value of contracts awarded to a single provider does not exceed the relevant EU threshold.

2.15 In addition to the above, the Contract Rules do not apply to:  

(a)  contracts below the relevant EU Threshold which are required in circumstances of extreme emergency such as an immediate danger to life or property and
(b)  contracts above the relevant EU Threshold which are procured using the negotiated procedure without prior publication under Regulation 32 (2) (c) of the Regulations, except insofar as to require compliance with the Regulations.

In both these circumstances Executive Directors are authorised to take appropriate action and must report such action and the expenditure incurred to the next meeting of the Cabinet.

3.1 The Responsible Officer must keep records pertaining to the procurement of any Relevant Contracts, including any contract for which an Exemption (see above) has been approved.

3.2 Where the Total Value of the Relevant Contract is less than £50,000 the following records must be kept for the contract:

(a) A unique reference number for the contract, the title of the contract and the parties;
(b) The method for obtaining quotes or tenders;
(c) Criteria for the award of the contract;
(d) The Contracting Decision and the reasons for it;
(e) Records of all communications with the Candidates; and
(f) The Contract.

3.3 Where the Total Value of the contract is £50,000 or more the following records must be kept in addition to those specified above:

(a) Business case (including details of pre-tender market research, options appraisal and risk assessments);
(b) Tender documents sent to and received from Candidates;
(c) The records of the evaluation of the tender;
(d) Records of all clarification and post tender discussion (including minutes of any meetings); and
(e) Record of consideration of the public sector equality duty, the (Public Contracts) Social Value Act 2012 and consultation.

3.4 The above records required under this Rule must be retained in compliance with the Council's corporate document retention policy.

3.5 In addition to the above requirements, within 30 days of award of the contract, the Responsible Officer must arrange for details of the award of any contract with a Total Value over £50,000 to be included in the Contracts Register. The details that must be included are:

(a) Start date and duration of the contract;
(b) Supplier;
(c) Title of the contract;
(d) Any contractual provision for extension; and
(e) Internal contact name and email address.

4.1 Part 2 'Decision Making' of this Constitution defines a Key Decision. 

4.2 The decision to commence a procurement exercise is not deemed to be a Key Decision unless the decision forms part of and is taken at the same time as a decision that will result in a change to service provision which will have a significant effect on two or more divisions of the Council.

4.3 The decision to award a Relevant Contract is a Key Decision if the total value of the contract exceeds the financial threshold for a Key Decision. The award of a Relevant Contract which is a Key Decision must adhere to the Access to Information Procedure Rules relating to Key Decisions set out in Part 5D of this Constitution.

Common Requirements

5.1 The Responsible Officer must check whether there is a suitable existing contract, Framework Agreement or collaborative agreement before seeking to procure another contract.  Where a suitable arrangement exists this must be used unless there is a compelling legal or financial reason not to.
5.2 Subject to [5.1] the Responsible Officer may use any appropriate procurement procedure which is permitted by these Contract Rules or by the Regulations.  Where the Regulations apply, the Responsible Officer must use a procurement procedure which complies with the Regulations.

5.3 The Responsible Officer must consider the implications of the public sector equality duty under the Equality Act 2010; and (in respect of Services ) of the Public Contracts (Social Value) Act 2012; and whether the proposed contract requires prior consultation under the "best value" requirements of the Local Government Act 1999 or for any other reason.

5.4 The Responsible Officer must consider whether, and if so how, social, economic or environmental issues could be addressed through the contract. Social, economic and environmental issues may be addressed through procurement where what is sought to be achieved is relevant and proportionate to the subject matter of the contract. 

Market Consultations

5.5 Before commencing a procurement exercise, the Responsible Officer may consult with the market with a view to preparing the procurement exercise and informing contractors of the Council's procurement plans and requirements. 

5.6 In carrying out market consultations, the Responsible Officer may seek advice from independent experts, authorities or from market participants and use this in planning and conducting the procurement exercise provided that it does not have the effect of distorting competition, result in discrimination or breach the principle of transparency. The prior written approval of the Assistant Director - Strategic Commissioning, must be sought before seeking advice from anyone who may have a commercial interest in the contract to which the procurement exercise relates.

Approved Lists

5.7 Approved Lists are lists of suppliers who meet the Council's minimum technical and financial standards for the types of contract.

5.8 The Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services, following consultation with the Assistant Director - Strategic Commissioning and the Head of Legal and Democratic Services, may establish an Approved List of suppliers of Supplies, Services or Works, where the Council requires to make recurrent, low value, transactions of a similar type which must be priced individually and cannot be aggregated into a single procurement exercise. 

5.9 Any request for approval must specify:

(a) The business case for establishing an Approved List;
(b) The proposed duration of the Approved List;
(c) The maximum spend using the Approved List; and
(d) The method of procurement of and from the Approved List.

5.10 In line with 'Identifying Potential Contracts' rule 5.4 above, all Approved Lists must be openly advertised to potential suppliers and must remain open for their duration to permit new suppliers to join.

5.11 An approved list may not be used to procure Supplies, Works or Services with an aggregated value in excess of EU Threshold.

Framework Agreements

5.12 Framework Agreements are agreements with one or more suppliers for the provision of Supplies, Services or Works on agreed terms for a specified period, for estimated quantities against which orders may be placed if and when required.  Once established "Call Offs" from the Framework Agreement may be conducted by mini competition or by direct call off, according to the terms of the Framework Agreement.

5.13 Where a framework is established with a Total Value exceeding the EU Threshold the Regulations must be followed to establish the Framework Agreement and the maximum term of the Framework Agreement may not exceed  four years, except in exceptional circumstances, following consultation with the Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services and the Chief Legal Officer, with full reasoning for the recommendation provided in the report seeking authorisation to start a procurement exercise.

Collaborative Procurement Arrangements

5.14 The Council may enter into collaborative procurement arrangements with other local authorities, government departments, public bodies or public service purchasing consortia and may use framework agreements or lists of pre-qualified contractors established by such bodies.

5.15 Responsible Officers proposing to use such arrangements must ensure that they have been established in a way which complies with the law. In particular where the Regulations apply the collaborative agreement must comply with them, the Council must be among the bodies named in the OJEU notice as having access to the arrangements and there must be scope in the arrangement to permit its lawful use for the purposes proposed.  
Partnership Arrangements including Shared Services and Joint Commissioning

5.16 Where the Council enters into a Partnership Arrangement with another organisation or other organisations, agrees to act as Accountable Body, or enters into a shared service arrangement, the governance arrangements must include procurement and contract arrangements if any procurement will be undertaken.

5.17 Where the Council is the Lead Body or the Accountable Body for any arrangements, these Contract Rules should be included in the arrangements and followed as a minimum. 

5.18 Before the Council agrees to enter into a contract on behalf of another organisation, the Responsible Officer must obtain written agreement from that organisation that it will provide sufficient funding and take any other action necessary for the Council to meet its obligations under the contract on behalf of that organisation.

5.19 Where the Council is not the Lead Body or the Accountable Body, the other organisation's tendering rules should be followed provided that they comply with the law. 

Rolling Contracts

5.22 Where it is proposed to procure a Relevant Contract on terms which will provide for renewal on a "rolling" basis, the Responsible Officer must make a reasonable estimate of the term of the contract in order to estimate the Total Value. 

5.23 If during the term of the contract it appears that the estimated Total Value may be exceeded by anticipated further renewals of the contract, the officer responsible for managing the contract must refer the matter to the Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services, who must review the position in consultation with the Chief Legal Officer.

Exemptions from these Contract Rules

5.24 The Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services is authorised to approve Exemptions from the Contract Rules, following consultation with the Senior Manager Legal and Democratic Services.

5.25 The Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services may not approve a request for an Exemption that would result in a breach of the Regulations in respect of a contract to which the Regulations apply.

5.26 The Exemption must be approved before any alternative procedure not wholly in accordance with these Contract Rules is followed.

5.27 The request for Exemption must state from which of the requirements of the Contract Rules Exemption is requested and give reasons for the request.

5.28 Examples of circumstances in which it may be appropriate to request an Exemption include but are not limited to:

(a) Supplies of goods where the Council's best interests will be served by purchase through auction and the Executive Director has agreed an upper limit for bids.
(b) There is only one contractor in the market relevant to the Supplies, Services or Works who is suitable to provide the Supplies, Services or Works required.
(c) The Council's need for the Supplies, Services or Works is so urgent that compliance with these Rules would in the judgement of the Executive Director prejudice the Council's interests. (Rule 2.15 automatically dis-applies these Contract Rules in circumstances of extreme emergency such as an immediate danger to life or property).

5.29 The Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services will keep a record of all Exemptions approved.

Authorisation to Start Procurement

5.30 The persons or bodies authorised to approve the start of a procurement exercise are set out in the table below:

Estimated Total ValueDecision Maker
£0 - £500,000Executive Director
£500,001 and aboveExecutive Director, written consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member
Call offs of any value from an approved Framework AgreementExecutive Director
Contracts the budget for which has been wholly included in the Capital ProgrammeExecutive Director
Establishment of an Approved ListExecutive Director
Procurement from an Approved ListExecutive Director

The Responsible Officer must ensure authorisation to procure is obtained and is responsible for ensuring that the Contract Procedure Rules have been complied with and that the proposed procurement documents (business case, advertisement, invitation to tender, contract terms and conditions, etc.) have been approved by the Assistant Director with commissioning responsibility in respect of the contract.


Common Requirements

6.1 In conducting any procurement exercise, the Council must treat all Contractors equally and without discrimination, and must act in a transparent and proportionate manner.

6.2 Electronic procurement using the e-tendering portal must be used for all tenders and quotations unless authorisation to use an alternative method has been given by the Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services. 

6.3 The Responsible Officer must consult the Corporate Commissioning, Procurement and Contract Management Team on the appropriate procurement procedures.   The Responsible Officer must have regard to the Guidance.

Identifying Potential Candidates

6.4 Where a Relevant Contract is being procured the minimum procurement process and rules for inviting Candidates are as follows. The table is subject to the requirement that a contract of any value which is likely to have "cross - border" interest (i.e. to be of interest to Contractors in other member states) in the European Community must be advertised.

Estimated Total Contract ValueMinimum ProcessMethod of Invitation
Up to £2,000Responsible Officer must use a process which obtains best value for money.One oral quotation (confirmed in writing where the quotation exceeds £500)
£2,001 - £50,0002 written quotationsInvitation to submit a quotation in writing to at least 2 candidates
£50,001 - £100,0003 written quotationsInvitation to submit a quotation in writing to at least 3 Candidates
Exceeding £100,000 but below relevant EU ThresholdWritten TenderOpen advertisement of contract appropriate to the relevant market
EU Threshold and aboveWritten TenderOpen advertisement of the contract in accordance with the Regulations

"Call offs" from relevant framework or Collaborative agreement

Procurement from an Approved List

In accordance with the terms of the Framework Agreement,  Collaborative agreement or Approved ListIn accordance with the terms of the Framework Agreement,  Collaborative agreement or Approved List
Contracts the budget for which has been approved in the Capital Programme

Quotes or Tenders as described above depending on the estimated Total Value; or

Call off from an approved  a Framework Agreement/Collaborative agreement

As appropriate to the procurement method used
Establishment of an Approved listIn accordance with the terms of approval under rules 5.5 to 5.8

6.5 Where a contract with a value above £25,000 is advertised the Responsible Officer must also publish information on Contract Finder, in accordance with the procedure in Part 2 Chapter 8 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

Selection and Award Criteria for Tenders

6.6 The Responsible Officer must use appropriate criteria to select Candidates (where a two stage tender process is used) and award the contract.  Where the Regulations apply, these must comply with the Regulations.

6.7 The Responsible Officer must ascertain the standards necessary to properly define the subject matter of the contract, having regard to any relevant British, European or international standards. The Corporate Commissioning, Procurement and Contract Management Team must be consulted if it is proposed to use any standards other than European Standards.

6.8 The Responsible Officer must define the award criteria that are appropriate to the procurement in order to secure value for money.  The criteria must be one of the following:

(a) Lowest Price;
(b) Highest Price: where payment is to be received by the Council); or
(c) MEAT (Most Economically Advantageous Tender): where considerations other than price also apply. This is the only award criteria permissible under the Regulations.

Invitations to Tender

6.9 An invitation to tender must state that the Council reserves the right to reject a tender that is not received by the date and time stipulated in the invitation to tender.  A tender which contravenes the requirements as to date and time for submission must not be considered without the prior approval of the Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services and Chief Legal Officer and must not be considered in any circumstances if it is received after the other tenders have been opened.

6.10 All invitations to tender must include the following:

(a) A specification to describe the Council's requirements in clear sufficient detail to enable the submission of competitive offers.
(b) The contract terms and conditions unless emphatic market practice is that supplier's terms are used, in which case the requirement is that they are supplied as part of the tender.
(c) A requirement for tenderers to declare that the tender content, price or any other figure or particulars concerning the tender have not been disclosed by the Candidate to any other party (except where the disclosure is made in confidence for a necessary purpose).
(d) A requirement for Candidates to complete fully and sign all tender documents including a form or tender and certificates relating to canvassing and non-collusion.
(e) Notification that tenders are submitted to the Council on the basis that they are compiled at the Candidate's expense.
(f) A description of the Award Procedure and unless defined in a prior advertisement a definition of the Award Criteria. Where the criterion of MEAT is used, it must be further defined by reference to sub-criteria which may only refer to considerations relevant to the award of the contract.  Award criteria must be defined in objective terms and wherever possible in descending order of importance. 
(g) Unless the tender is sought in accordance with an electronic procurement process approved by the Corporate Commissioning, Procurement and Contract Management Team, a statement that tenders submitted by fax or other electronic means will not be considered.
(h) A notice stating that the Council is not bound to accept any tender.
(i) A notice stating that the Council is not obliged to enter into a contract as a result of a tender.

Contract Documents

6.11 All Relevant Contracts must be in writing.

6.12 All Relevant Contracts must as a minimum specify in writing:

(a) The Works, Supplies or Services to be supplied.
(b) The price and when it will be paid, including any arrangements for additional expenditure, disbursements etc.
(c) The time or times within which the contract is to be performed.
(d) The provisions for the Council to terminate the contract.
(e) A clause prohibiting the Supplier from transferring or assigning, directly or indirectly, any portion of his/her contract without the written permission of the Council, or sub-letting any portion of his/her contract other than that which is customary in the trade or profession concerned.
(f) A clause empowering the Council to terminate the contract and requiring the Supplier to provide an indemnity to the Council to cover all losses suffered by the Council resulting from fraud or an offence under the Bribery Act 2010 (or any statutory modification or replacement of this Act) in relation to a contract, committed by a Supplier or one of his/her employees or agents
(g) A clause providing for payment of undisputed invoices within 30 days by the Council, Contractors and Sub-Contractors which complies with Regulation 113 of the Regulations
(h) For Contracts procured using the Regulations any specific terms required to be included in the Contract under the Regulations. 

6.13 All transactions must use an appropriate form of contract approved by a suitably qualified officer in Legal Services.

6.14 Legal Services must be instructed prior to the start of a tender exercise to produce an appropriate form of contract where:

(a) The Total Value exceeds £100,000; or
(b) The arrangement is for leasing arrangements; or
(c) The Responsible Officer is proposing to use a Contractor's own terms; or
(d) The contract is unusual or complex in any other way.

6.15 Legal Services must also be consulted on the terms of any Collaborative agreement or external framework agreement in which the Council is proposing to participate with a view to procuring Supplies, Works or Services.

Bonds and Parent Company Guarantees

6.16 The Responsible Officer must in consultation with the Director of Finance, determine whether any additional security such as a bond or parent company guarantee may be required from the contractor who is awarded the contract.
If additional security may be required, this must be highlighted in the tender documents, using an appropriate form of words approved by Legal Services.


6.17 Any shortlisting must have regard to the financial and technical standards relevant to the contract.  For contracts above the EU Threshold the Regulations must be followed.

6.18 Where Approved Lists are used the Responsible Officer must shortlist in accordance with the shortlisting criteria approved for procurement from the Approved List.

Submission, Receipt, and Opening of Tenders

6.19 Candidates must be given an adequate period in which to prepare and submit a proper quotation or tender consistent with the complexity of the contract requirement and the law.  Officers should have regard to policy commitments made in relation to procurement including the Third Sector Compact. Where the Regulations lay down minimum timescales these must be complied with.

6.20 The Responsible Officer is responsible throughout the procurement process for safeguarding its security, confidentiality and integrity.

6.21 The Responsible Officer is authorised to open tenders that have been received on the Chest or by other authorised electronic method. 

6.22 Where the Responsible Officer is carrying out a procurement using a physical tender document, Officers must not disclose the names of Candidates to any staff involved in the receipt, custody or opening of tenders.

6.23 The Responsible Officer is responsible for the safe keeping of tenders where they are submitted in hard copy until the appointed time of opening.  Each tender must be:

6.24 Suitably recorded so as to subsequently verify the date and precise time it was received.

6.25 Adequately protected immediately on receipt to guard against amendment of its contents.

6.26 Recorded immediately on receipt in a Tender Receipt Log.

6.27 The Responsible Officer must ensure that all tenders are opened at the same time when the period for submission has ended. Tenders must be opened in the presence of one officer independent of the Responsible Officer.

6.28 Tenders and quotations received after the specified closing date should be held unopened until the award has taken place.  Once an award has taken place the Responsible Officer must inform the Candidate that their tender or quotation was disqualified for being received after the closing date or time.


6.29 Apart from the debriefing required or permitted by these Contract Rules the confidentiality of tenders and quotations and the identity of Candidates must be preserved at all times.

6.30 Tenders must be evaluated strictly in accordance with the Award Criteria. During this process the Responsible Officer must ensure that submitted tender prices are compared with any pre-tender estimates and that any discrepancies in tenders are examined and resolved satisfactorily.

6.31 The arithmetic in compliant tenders must be checked.  If arithmetical errors are found they should be notified to the Candidate.  A Candidate who has made an arithmetical error must be permitted to correct the error if they choose to.  A Candidate who has made an error of omission must not be permitted to amend their tender and must be asked to confirm their tender or withdraw it.

Clarification of Tenders

6.32 These Contract Rules permit officers to provide clarification in writing of an invitation to tender to potential or actual Candidates.

6.33 Where a Candidate raises a question about an invitation to tender any response should be provided to all Candidates provided that the anonymity of the Candidate who raised the query is protected.

Post Tender Discussions

6.34  Discussion with Candidates after the submission of tenders with a view to obtaining adjustments in price, delivery or content must only take place in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services, following consultation with the Chief Legal Officer. Discussion must be conducted by a team of at least two officers.

6.35 Post tender discussion of a contract procured under the Regulations may only be undertaken on the grounds permitted in the Regulations. 

6.36 Where any post tender discussion would result in a material modification to a Relevant Contract (including to the specification) the contract must not be awarded but must be re-tendered.

Authorisation to Award a Contract

6.37 The Persons and bodies authorised to award Contracts are set out in the table below.

Total ValueDecision Maker
£0 - £500,000Executive Director
£500,001 - £5000,000Executive Director in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member (written record to be kept)
£5,000,001 and aboveCabinet except as provided below
Call offs of any value from an approved Framework AgreementExecutive Director
Contracts the budget for which has been wholly included in the Capital ProgrammeExecutive Director
Utilities ContractsExecutive Director
Award of contracts procured from an Approved ListExecutive Director

6.38 With the exception of Call Offs from Framework Agreements the award of any contract which is a Key Decision must include within the report to the decision maker the following information:

(a) The price and details of the budgetary provision.
(b) The number of tenders received.
(c) The tendering process used.
(d) The award criteria.
(e) A risk assessment and risk management arrangements.
(f) TUPE implications.
(g) Recommendation of award.
(h) Contract monitoring and management arrangements.
(i) Any impact on the local economy, suppliers based in Cumbria and the third sector.

6.39 Where a number of similar contracts are recommended to be awarded on or around the same time a composite report may be used.

Contracts for Legal Advice and/or Services

6.40 Contracts for the instruction of counsel or the procurement of external legal advisers may only be awarded by the Chief Legal Officer or a solicitor authorised by the Monitoring Officer to award such a contract.

Providing Services to Other Organisations

6.41 Where an Executive Director proposes to apply to provide services to another organisation Legal Services must be consulted about the terms and conditions on which the services are to be provided and regard had to the advice received.

6.42 As set out in Part 5G 'Financial Standing Orders' of this Constitution, any indemnity required to be provided by the Council must be approved by the Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer before a contract is entered into.

Notification of Award

6.43 All contract award decisions taken by Cabinet and Key Decisions taken by Executive Directors are subject to scrutiny under the Council's procedures for call in set out in Part 5C 'Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules of this Constitution.

6.44 The successful Candidate must be notified that contract award is subject to call in and award must not be confirmed until the call in period has expired, or if the decision is called in the procedures following call in have been completed.

6.45 Where the award of a contract or Framework Agreement is subject to the Regulations the procedures for notification of Candidates and a standstill period must be followed in respect of the award.

6.46 If an award decision is challenged in any way the Responsible Officer must not proceed with the award the contract and must refer immediately to Legal Services.

Contract Formalities

7.1 Contracts must normally be completed as follows:

Total ValueMethod of CompletionAuthorised Officer
£0 - £50,000SignatureOfficer authorised by relevant Executive Director
£50,001 - £250,000

Signature by two officers

Sealing (strategically or politically important contracts or those requiring a 12 year limitation period)

Officers authorised by relevant Executive Director

Officer authorised by the Chief Legal Officer to witness the seal

£250,001 and aboveSealingOfficer authorised by the Chief Legal Officer to witness the seal

7.2 Any arrangement which is strategically or politically important or requires the Council to have the benefit of a twelve year limitation period for taking legal action on the contract must be completed under seal regardless of value.

Nominated Sub-Contractors

7.3 Where a sub-contractor or supplier is to be nominated by the Council to a main contractor the Responsible Officer must invite tenders for the nomination in accordance with these Contract Rules.  The invitation to tender should include the requirement for the sub-contractor to enter into a collateral warranty in favour of the Council.

7.4 It must be a condition of the engagement by the Council of any person (not an employee of the Council) to supervise a contract that in relation to such contract he shall comply with the Contract Rules as if he were an officer of the Council.

Contract Management

7.5     Executive Directors are responsible for ensuring that all contracts relating to functions for which they are responsible are managed in accordance with a risk and contract management framework appropriate to the risk, value and impact of the contract.  Corporate Directors are responsible for ensuring that these arrangements are kept up to date for the life of the contract.

7.6     For every contract managed in their directorate Executive Directors are responsible for appointing a Responsible Officer, at an appropriate level for the risk, value and impact of the contract, to manage the contract.

7.7     In preparing the risk and contract management arrangements for a contract, and managing the contract, the Responsible Officer should follow the procedures set out in the Guidance.

7.8     Executive Directors are responsible for identifying significant contracts in their Directorate and ensuring that they are maintained in a corporate register of significant contracts.

Significant Contracts are defined as those few, but important contracts critical to the Council's business objectives, financial stability and/or reputation, such as:

  • contracts critical to the Council's delivery of statutory duties;
  • contracts that pose significant risk (reputation and/or financial) and/or would have a significant impact in the event of relationship breakdown or supplier failure;
  • contracts that, in the context of the Directorate budget and its ordinary contracts, are of significant value.

7.9     Executive Directors are responsible for ensuring that Significant Contracts managed in their Directorate are regularly reviewed in the Directorate Management Team and for making an exception report with an action plan to the Corporate Management Team on at least a quarterly basis.

7.10   The Director of Finance is responsible for making a report at least annually to the Corporate Management Team of the issues raised with Significant Contracts during the year and an assessment of the implementation of actions included in Directorate exception report action plans.

Modification of Contracts during their term

7.11 On the application of an Executive Director, the Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services in consultation with the Chief Legal Officer is authorised to approve modifications to contracts during their term.  For the avoidance of doubt, a modification includes an extension to the term or any other variation to the contract that has been provided for in the terms and conditions.

7.12 Where the contract has been procured under the Regulations a contract may only be modified if the modification may be made under the Regulations and is made in compliance with the Regulations. 
7.13 All modifications of contract must:

(a) Be recorded in writing and a record retained in line in accordance with the Corporate document retention policy;

(b) Be signed or sealed in accordance with the terms of the contract.  Modifications of contracts where the Total Value of the contract exceeds £100,000 must be referred to Legal Services.

Accountable BodyThe arrangement whereby the County Council has agreed to accept responsibility for the obligations set out in the terms of any funding granted to a third party organisation.
AssetRefers to any property of the County Council, but does not include, for the purposes of the Contract Procedure Rules, land and buildings or rights relating to land and buildings.
Award CriteriaHas the meaning given in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015
CandidateHas the meaning given in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
ConsultantAn individual or firm (not being a firm of solicitors or a solicitor or barrister) procured to provide professional services, including advice.
ContractorHas the meaning given to the definition "economic entity" in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015
Contracts RegisterThe County Council's database of contracts.
EU ThresholdThe financial threshold at which contracts must be procured using the Regulations.
ExemptionA disapplication of the Contract Procedure Rules.
Framework AgreementHas the meaning given in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (notwithstanding that a framework arrangement can be established for Supplies, Services and Works below the threshold applicable to the Regulations.
GuidanceThe County Council's Commissioning/ Procurement Cycle and Process Mapping Guidance (including relevant internal mini gateway review procedures, where required) or any replacement of such Guidance.
Lead BodyThe arrangement whereby the County-Council is the applicant and/or recipient of an external grant or other funding for a special purpose.
Partnership ArrangementsNon-contractual arrangements between the County Council and one or more third parties to deliver common functions in collaboration with each other.
The RegulationsMeans the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 as modified from time to time including by decisions of the Courts.
For public concessions contracts Regulations means the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 as modified from time to time or replaced.
Relevant ContractAny arrangement, including Framework Agreements made by or on behalf of the County Council for the carrying out of Works or for the supply of Supplies or Services, or the disposal of an Asset, unless the arrangement is subject to an Exception in these Rules.
Responsible OfficerThe Officer who has the lead responsibility for the commissioning, procurement and/or management of a Relevant Contract.
ServicesHas the meaning given in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015
Social and Other Specific ServicesHas the meaning given in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015
SuppliesHas the meaning given in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015
Tender Receipt LogThe formal record of tenders received by the County Council.
Total Value

Is the financial value of a Relevant Contract as more particularly defined in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015

The Total Value of a Relevant Contract always includes the value of any modification to a Relevant Contract.

WorksHas the meaning given in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015