How to do business with us
This page provides details of how to do business with Gloucestershire County Council.
How do we buy goods and services?
It is in the public’s interest to have as many as possible, suitably qualified people bidding for work with us. We especially welcome bids from local suppliers and those who can add Social Value by training local people.
We consider ourselves to be transparent and fair when conducting business with suppliers and contractors. We aim to give all interested parties an opportunity to tender on equal terms and aim to encourage a diverse range of companies to do business with us.
How do we advertise what we want?
Our tender and quote opportunities are advertised online, through ProContract, to ensure that as many firms as possible can apply and be considered for a contract.
You can register on ProContract via the Supplying the South West procurement portal. Once you have registered, your company you will get regular alerts about new tendering opportunities and supplier and market events with us.
For further help please visit our ‘further help for suppliers’ page
What we buy
The council spends money on a wide range of goods and services for people and businesses in Gloucestershire.
Some examples include:
- Care – this includes care for Adults, young people and children, domiciliary care, residential homes, community and school meals
- Corporate, Learning and ICT – this includes services that support our corporate function such as, stationary, printing, training, computers, Library services and coroner services.
- Construction and Maintenance – this includes services such as building works, highway repairs, highway maintenance, construction of buildings, bridges and roundabouts.
- Transportation and Waste – this includes, fire equipment such as fire engines, waste disposal services e.g. recycling contracts and public transport such as bus services.
If you would like to see a full list of what the Council buys please go to the spend over £500 page.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What happens if I decide to submit a tender or a quote?
Your tender is submitted electronically and then marked by experts in the council. We make sure each tender is evaluated fairly and we publish the way it will be marked as part of our advert.
Can I get feedback if I am not successful?
You will get feed back if you are not successful in writing to enable you to improve your future bids.
What's the difference between a tender and a contract?
The term 'tender' or bid means your company's offer to the Council setting out exactly what you are offering to do and at what price.
A 'Contract' is the legal agreement which details the terms of what has been agreed between you and the Council - who will do what, by when, for what money and how they will be paid etc.
What's the difference between a tender and a quote?
They are the same thing. A bid or tender for a lower value piece of business is usually called a quote. There simpler rules and contracts for quotes, but they are still advertised by the council through the online system and you submit your bids through the same system. At Gloucestershire County Council quotes are usually only used for a work with a value below £75,000.
What are the benefits of working with Gloucestershire County Council?
The Council is committed to being fair, honest, open, transparent and professional in the way they choose and deal with suppliers. We are reliable and timely in our payments and have 30 day payment terms for all our contractors. As for all local authorities we are less likely to be affected by market fluctuations and our requirements tend to be for longer periods of time.
All our business opportunities are publicly advertised wherever possible and we have strict legal requirements to ensure that we do so. We are willing to work with organisations to develop and improve services and are open to new or innovative solutions, actively encouraging local partnerships and social enterprises where possible. The council promotes ethical, environmentally sound and non-discriminatory approaches that benefit the whole county and those who live and work here.
What sort of things does the Council purchase?
To see a short list of types of things we purchase go to the ‘what we buy' section on the ‘how we buy goods and services’ page.
Where do I find out what contracts are coming up for tender?
All opportunities are advertised on ProContract software – via the Supplying the South West procurement portal. Once you’ve registered, your company you will get regular alerts about new tendering opportunities and supplier and market events with us.
You can find out more by visiting the current opportunities page.
How do I register with ProContract and Supplying the South West?
Go to the Suppliers registration area and start the free registration process. Once you have registered you will receive confirmation via e-mail that your registration has been submitted and is awaiting acceptance to the portal. Once accepted, you will receive two further e-mails detailing a welcome to the portal and your username and password. You will then be registered to use ProContract.
What is ProContract?
ProContract is the online site where Gloucestershire County Council will publish all of its tender opportunities. It is a fully electronic process for advertising and for suppliers to submit their tender documents or quotations
Supplying the south west is the portal – i.e. a gateway – that allows access to the ProContract site for tendering and quotations.
Why is the tendering process so formal?
The Council has a responsibility to spend public money professionally and effectively – we are committed to achieving best value for our residents and ensuring that contracts are offered as fairly and competitively as possible to suppliers.
There are strict rules and regulations – such as the Public Contract Regulations 2015 to help achieve this and we are required by law to abide by these rules. Using a formal process means we can maintain a consistent set of rules for every procurement, with a clear, open, transparent and auditable record of all the activity and contracts we award.
Our opportunities are advertised online, through ProContract, to ensure that as many firms as possible can apply and be considered for a contract. The process is clearly set out, all communications are recorded and every step can be audited to ensure that everyone gets the same information, at the same time and no-one has an unfair advantage.
Who decides whom to award a contract to?
Tenders and quotes are evaluated (scored) against the original criteria - usually a combination of quality and price considerations. The number of people evaluating depends on the value and complexity of a contract. For example, a team of at least three or more people with relevant knowledge will evaluate a tender, but usually only one or two people would be involved for a lower value quote.
When all the scores are collated and agreed, then a report will summarises the results, an award decision is signed off by the appropriate budget holder and the bidders are formally advised of the outcome.
Once you have a contract the council will normally issue a Purchase Order when it requires you to complete some work.
How do we pay our suppliers?
When you send us an invoice you need to make sure that it includes a valid purchase order number.
If you have not been provided with a valid purchase order number, please ask your contact to obtain one for you. You need to do this before you provide goods or begin any work for us.
Your invoice must include:
- The word 'Invoice' clearly written,
- An invoice date,
- Your company name and address,
- Your VAT number (if applicable) a nine digit code starting GB,
- A unique invoice number,
- Your vendor (supplier) number - you can find this on purchase orders we send to you,
- A valid Gloucestershire County Council purchase order number, and
- The details of goods/services supplied including quantity, unit price, net amount, VAT and total cost.
Your invoice must be addressed to:
Gloucestershire County Council,
How can I confirm my email address for your Purchase Order (PO)?
We are currently updating our Supplier database.
If you have received an email from Gloucestershire County Council asking you to confirm your details, please complete the supplier form.