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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.

Contracts register

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. You can view the latest Contracts Register below:

January 2024 Contract Register [xlsx] 373KB

Financial thresholds

The financial thresholds listed below help guide us to choose the most appropriate procurement route.

Financial thresholds (Excluding VAT)
Estimated contract value Type of contract Procedure
Under £25,000 Works, supplies or services Obtain at least one written quotation
£25,000 to £179,086* Works, supplies or services

In line with Contract Standing Orders – Advert/Tender (advertised on Kent Business Portal/Contracts Finder)   

£179,086* or more Supplies and services

In line with Contract Standing Orders – Advert/Tender (advertised on Kent Business Portal/Contracts Finder/Find a Tender)   

£179,086* to £4,477,174* Works

In line with Contract Standing Orders – Advert/Tender (advertised on Kent Business Portal/Contracts Finder)   

£4,477,174* or more Works

In line with Contract Standing Orders – Advert/Tender (advertised on Kent Business Portal/Contracts Finder/Find a Tender)   

* Find a Tender Threshold (FTS)

 

Financial thresholds 

Contract Type

New Threshold (including VAT at 20%) as of January 2024

New Threshold (excluding VAT at 20%) as of January 2024

Supplies and Services

£214,904

£179,086

Works

£5,372,609

£4,477,174

Note:

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:

Goods and services bought by Ashford Borough Council
Goods Services Works
Clothing Accommodation Building maintenance
Computer hardware and software Banking services Construction
Sport and gym equipment Catering and hospitality Repairs
Litter bins Courier and postage Refurbishment
Stationery Printing Car parks
Play equipment Marketing and event management Property new builds
Vehicles HR services  
  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. View a list of historic contract registers.

Procurement Pipeline 

This pipeline covers procurement projects that we expect to undertake over the next 24 months.

All projects are subject to change, the pipeline is only an indication of potential tendering opportunities that may be published in 2023 and 2024. We cannot guarantee that the opportunity, contract value, and/or timeline will be as stated.  This pipeline will be refreshed quarterly.

Procurement Pipeline January 2024 [xlsx] 20KB

Procurement Strategy

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.

View Ashford Borough Council's Procurement Strategy [pdf] 197KB.

Social Value

Social Value allows us to obtain value from our supply chain and partners, to address some of the challenges and opportunities we face in our communities. As a result we are committed to prioritising the Social Value outcomes tied to each of the themes of social, economic and environmental, to ensure the greatest potential benefits in our Procurement and Contract Management Activities. We will trial our Social Value policy for 1 year and review how it is working before it is progressed to Cabinet.

Draft Social Value Policy [pdf] 189KB

Levelling Up Fund

Ashford Borough Council has been successful in bidding for a share of the UK Government's Levelling Up Fund. The council's bid and our allocation of £14.7m from this fund, aims to support the Ashford International Studios / Newtown Works project.

This will regenerate a 4.8 hectare brownfield site with five grade II listed buildings in the heart of Ashford town, into a dynamic Ashford International Film Studios along with commercial and residential development.

To find out more about the project please visit the Ashford International Studios website and to find out more about tendering for contracts within this project, visit the Quinn Estates website.

Transparency

We are committed to being open and transparent and we follow the code of recommended practice for local authorities on data transparency.

View the rules of procedure in our constitution.

View our Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement.

Procurement and contract related enquiries should be sent to procurement@ashford.gov.uk.