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Commissioning and procurement


These pages provide our business partners and other interested parties with information and advice on our commissioning and procurement process. For more information or if you have any comments on their design or content, please contact the Procurement Team.

View our current tender opportunities which are available or visit the Pro Contract Portal.

Commissioning is the process that we use to decide how to spend our money and get the most appropriate services and secure the best outcomes for the local community. Our Commissioning Framework (PDF 156kb) describes this process and our Commissioning Forward Plan (Excel 16kb) shows potential future opportunities.

Our standard terms and conditions

The Council purchases its works, goods and services to standard Terms and Conditions of Contract. There are various standard terms and conditions as follows:

National Fraud Initiative

You are able to view information about this on our National Fraud Initiative page.

Contracts Store

Our procurement activity covers a wide range of spend types across the works, goods and service sectors. Our expenditure is market tested regularly to ensure we achieve our goals in delivering best value for money for the total life of the supply.

Procurement Strategy

You are able to view our current Procurement Strategy on our Strategies and Plans page.


View our Bribery Act Policy used in our procurement process. Invitations to Tender and Quote that you may have been issued or downloaded may refer to policies that may not be included in you tender pack.

Register of Interest

How to register interest in supplying the Council

We use the Pro Contract Portal to share information about future tendering opportunities. The Portal covers the 12 councils in Kent and offers suppliers the opportunity to:

The Council does not hold a select list of suppliers. If you are not registered you may miss out on council opportunities. Visit the Pro Contract Portal today and register your company details.

Estimated commissioning and procurement timescales

The table below shows the estimated amount of time it takes for a service to go through the commissioning and procurement process before it becomes an outsourced contract.

ActionTimescales Notes
Produce project plan 7 days
Undertake commissioning process using checklist 28 days The commissioning process might take considerably less than 28 days for a simple service, and possibly more for a large complex service.
Consultation 28 days Consultations may be longer if required by the Kent Compact (up to 12 weeks)
Draft a specification or produce a revised specification 7 days
Advertise for Expressions of Interest (EoIs) and issue Standard Suitability Questionnaire (SQs) 30 days An SQ will not be required under the EU threshold for goods and services.
Evaluate SQs 7 days
Inform deselected parties 1 day
Issue Invitation To Tender (ITT)

30 days

 This may be reduced if a restricted procedure is used but may also be increased by 5 days if a e-procurement is not used.

Evaluate ITTs 14 days  
Interviews 2 days  If applicable
If contract value over £75,000, write SMT / Cabinet report 7 days  
SMT approval 5 days
Cabinet Agenda Setting 1 day  
Cabinet approval 14 days These timescales will only apply to contracts over the value of £75,000 and will vary depending on the scheduled meeting dates.
Scrutiny call in period 7 days  
Inform potential providers of outcome of commissioning & procurement process. 1 day  
Alcatel standstill period  10 days Applicable to tenders above the EU threshold
Total Approx. 6.5 months

Tendering opportunities

Find out about tendering opportunities offered by Swale Borough Council.

Local first policy

We in Swale believe that power should be exercised at the lowest practical level, close to the people who are affected by decisions. Find our vision of what the Big Society means.

Community Right to Challenge

How to submit expressions of interest to the council to take over the running of council services, either across the borough or in particular areas.

Processing of invoices

Information on how we process invoices from suppliers.

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