How we buy goods and services

We spend in excess of £1 billion of taxpayers' money annually on works, goods and services for the benefit of the communities and citizens of Kent. It is vital that this money is spent well by minimising costs and getting the best value whilst meeting the goals set out in our commissioning framework.

Our commercial team provides a responsive procurement service and commercial advice and guidance to the council. This includes finding the most appropriate suppliers, running tendering exercises, negotiating and awarding contracts and providing a 'Purchase to Pay' service.

The commercial team are committed to helping Kent businesses grow and have achieved the target of 60% of our 1st tier (direct contractors) and 2nd tier (sub-contractors) business being with Kent based businesses by value.

As with other public sector organisations, we must comply with EU Procurement Directives embodied in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 when buying works, goods or services from external organisations to ensure that all procurement is carried out in a fair, open and transparent way. We also have our own policy, known as 'Spending the council's money' which has similar goals. The commercial team ensures we are compliant with these regulations.

Contracts for more than £181,302 of goods and services and more than £4,551,413 for works are advertised in the Official Journal for the European Union.

For transactions below £50,000, they may be advertised on the Kent Business Portal via a Request for Quotation (RFQ) process if we believe best or added value can be achieved by doing this.

For transactions of £50,000 or more, we will follow a formal tender process and seek at least 3 competitive tenders. We will make a decision on who can submit a tender, taking into account responses to the public notice and whether the company is on an approved list.

For transactions for more than £8,000 but less than £50,000, we will seek at least 3 written quotations (at least one of which should be from a Kent business where possible) before a formal contract can be entered into.

More information about our process for contracts and tenders:

GDPR

On 25 May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced. Our suppliers will need to ensure they are familiar with the changes and how they will affect their contract with us. Read more about GDPR.