Contracts, Procurement and Tenders
Kent Business Portal
If you're interested in doing business with us you are required to register with the Kent Business Portal. Tenders and quotations over £25,000 are advertised on the site. It's free to register and you will get email notifications of any new opportunities. Any bid for a tender or quotation opportunity must be submitted through the portal.
For contracts under £25,000 we use existing suppliers or identify relevant companies.
Subject to financial thresholds, advertisements are also placed on Contracts Finder. These adverts will also appear on the Find a Tender website, which is the UK’s alternative to the OJEU and will be the site for all high-value notices.
These adverts will instruct suppliers to register on the Kent Business Portal, download, and submit tender documents.
Under the Local Government Transparency code 2015, any commissioned activity, purchase order, framework agreement and any other legally enforceable agreement with a value that exceeds £5,000 must be published. We comply with this code and the contracts register is published on a quarterly basis. View our latest contracts register.
The financial thresholds listed below help guide us to choose the most appropriate procurement route.
|Estimated contract value||Type of contract||Procedure|
|Under £25,000||Works, supplies or services||Obtain at least one written quotation|
|£25,000 to £177,897*||Works, supplies or services||In line with Contract Standing Orders – Advert/Tender – Kent Business Porta/Contracts Finder|
|£177,897* or more||Supplies and services||In line with Contract Standing Orders – Advert/Tender – Kent Business Portal/Contracts Find/Find a Tender|
|£177,897* to £4,447,447*||Works||In line with Contract Standing Orders – Advert/Tender – Kent Business Portal/Contracts Finder|
|£4,447,447* or more||Works||In line with Contract Standing Orders – Advert/Tender – Kent Business Portal/Contracts Find/Find a Tender|
* Find a Tender Threshold (FTS)
|Contract Type||Previous Threshold (net of VAT at 20%)||New Threshold (including VAT at 20%) as of January 2022||New Threshold (excluding VAT at 20%) as of January 2022|
|Supplies and Services||£189,330||£213,447||£177,897|
1. Some specific services are subject to a 'light-touch' regime under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
What we buy
We buy a wide variety of goods and services for use by all departments within the council. Some examples include the following:
|Computer hardware and software||Banking services||Construction|
|Sport and gym equipment||Catering and hospitality||Repairs|
|Litter bins||Courier and postage||Refurbishment|
|Play equipment||Marketing and event management||Property new builds|
|Training and development services|
Who does the buying?
We have a procurement and contracts team that help us to spend public money better. The team provide procurement and contract advice, support and guide council officers through the process of appointing a supplier. This includes helping with specifications, advice on how to gain quotes or tenders and monitoring the contract effectively. Every officer of the council must comply with the contract procedure rules whenever they take part in procurement.
The government has produced a comprehensive guide called 'Sell goods or services to the Public Sector'. This guidance provides practical advice on the procurement process, procurement regulations and helps suppliers understand the tendering process for public sector contracts.
Community Right to Challenge
Under the community right to challenge (included within the Localism Act 2011) a broad range of alternative service providers can submit an expression of interest to run a service, with the potential to trigger a council procurement exercise.
We will consider expressions of interest that are submitted and that meet the statutory criteria as set out in the relevant regulations. These submissions must be received in line with the following dates set out in the report Amendments to the Councils Community Right to Challenge Procedure [pdf] 70KB.
For multi-year contracted services of two years or more
The time frame during which Ashford Borough Council will accept the submission of an Expression of Interest will be a one month period ending 18 months before the date of the end of the contract (ignoring any extension to the contract granted under its terms).
For contracted services where the contract term is between 10 months and one day to two years
The time frame during which Ashford Borough Council will accept the submission of an Expression of Interest will be a one month period ending nine months before the date of the end of the contract (ignoring any extension to the contract granted under its terms).
The end dates of our contracts can be found in our Contracts Register, which is updated quarterly. You can download the latest below, or view a list of historic contract registers.
Latest contracts register
In 2012 the council identified the need to establish a specialist procurement function and procedures within the authority. The aim is to promote effective procurement across the whole organisation, using innovative, sustainable, consistent and modern procurement methods.
We are committed to being open and transparent and we follow the code of recommended practice for local authorities on data transparency.
Procurement and contract related enquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.