The usual route to become a supplier is via a competitive procedure (quotation or tender) which varies depending on the value and the type of contract on offer. This is governed in accordance with our Constitution for Standing Orders on Procurement and Contracts.
How we buy
Total contract value above threshold
For contracts over the relevant threshold values as set out in Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015) or Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 (CCR2016), a formal competitive procurement procedure will be carried out via the West Sussex e-Sourcing portal. This is in accordance with the respective Regulations. Via the portal, the opportunity will be advertised and award notice communicated on the new Find a Tender Service (FTS) and on Contracts Finder.
Please note that as at 31 December 2020, FTS replaced the role of Tenders Electronic Daily, the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU/TED). Notices for opportunities started before 31 December 2020 can still be found via the TED portal.
Total contract value from £100,000 up to threshold
For contracts of £100,000 and up to the PCR2015/CCR2016 threshold, a formal competitive procurement procedure will be carried out, via the West Sussex e-Sourcing portal. The opportunity will also be advertised via the portal and award notice communicated on Contracts Finder.
Total contract value from £5,000 up to £100,000
For contracts between £5,000 to £100,000 we seek value for money by inviting at least three quotations via a 'Request for quotation'. This will be based on WSCC terms and conditions. For contacts over £25,000, the award notice will be communicated on Contracts Finder.
Total contract value up to £5,000
For contracts up to £5,000 we will select an appropriate supplier based on value for money, and issue a purchase order based on WSCC standard terms of purchase.
Contracts are developed to meet the needs of the requirement, will seek balanced risk and ensure value for money and performance throughout the contract life.
Threshold values reflect the ‘total contract value’ and are set out in PCR2015. As of 1 January 2020, the total contract threshold values for the requirement being contracted are:
- Goods and services - £189,330
- Health, Social Care and other specific services (defined in Light Touch Regime for Services) - £663,540
- Works - £4,733,252
For more detail, see GOV.UK's Procurement Policy Note 06/19: New Thresholds 2020.
We encourage potential suppliers to review our Procurement strategy.
We also access suppliers through consortia arrangements. The most common consortia that we access are:
- Central Buying Consortium (CBC)
- Crown Commercial Service (CCS)
- Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO)
You will need to contact the consortium directly to become a supplier.
Purchasing powers are vested in each school's governing body and they control their own budgets.
Schools have a duty to ensure fair and transparent competitive procedures and may have contracts large enough to require tendering.
Schools are subject to European Union (EU) public procurement requirements and where individual contracts exceed the EU thresholds, they must comply with the EU directives for purchasing.
The Procurement and Contract Services helps schools source their requirements.