Potential suppliers will be assessed in the following areas, to find out if they are likely to meet contract requirements:
We will usually ask to see a company’s audited accounts for the last two financial years. We use this to judge a company’s financial capability, considering the value of the contract. Of course, we realise that some businesses may struggle with this, particularly if they are relatively new. We will not discriminate against new or smaller suppliers and will review the potential risks.
We will ask what public liability and employers’ liability insurance a business has in place. In the majority of procurement exercises, the council’s minimum cover for public liability is £5 million and for employers’ liability it is £10 million. Of course, this may vary depending on the actual contract. We won’t rule out a business if the value of their insurance cover is below our requirements. Should a business be successful in the procurement process, we would expect the policy cover to be increased to the level we need.
The council will require details of similar work undertaken previously and potential suppliers will also be expected to provide references. Information will also be requested on experience and technical ability of the supplier and its staff. This is to ensure potential suppliers meet the needs of the contract. In certain circumstances (depending on the nature of the contract) method statements may also be required from suppliers to state in detail how they would carry out the contract requirements and what measures they would take to continuously improve services.
The council is committed to the equality of opportunity in the contracts it lets. We takes a proactive approach to our obligations in the Equalities Act 2010. The procurement team makes reference in tender documentation to the need for suppliers to adhere to the council's equal opportunities policy. This ensures that (during performance of the contract) there is no discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, age, sexual orientation or disability etc. This duty will also apply to any sub contractors that the main contractor may employ to carry out any part of the works or services.
In addition, the council's approach is to encourage potential suppliers to demonstrate a commitment to equalities by providing its own formal written equal opportunities policy. Effective measures of contractors' performance on equalities will be incorporated into the post contract monitoring system. Suppliers may well be requested to evidence how they will ensure they meet equal opportunity obligations in the performance of the contract.
The council has a strong commitment to getting long term unemployed residents back into work. It also wants to tackle the problem of young people not in education, employment, or training (NEET). Allied to this is the wish to regenerate our local economies and reduce poverty.
We want potential providers to tell us how they can add value to the contract in helping to regenerate our communities (particularly those most deprived) by addressing the above issues.
The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 places a requirement on the council to consider the economic, environmental and social benefits to procurement before the process starts. Consequently providers should detail the wider benefits to the community in providing a service. Weightings of between 5 and 10% will be given to social value during evaluation.
We encourage potential suppliers to take seriously their legal and ethical responsibilities e.g. in connection with recycling, emissions, reducing waste, conserving energy etc. Each contract is assessed on this.
Potential suppliers are asked whether they have an environmental policy and to submit this with their application. Requirements specific to individual tenders may also be included within a tender specification. For example, it could be a requirement that construction companies show how they minimise waste and maximise recyclable materials for a building works contract.
The council is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its employees, service users and those affected by its operations. The tender documents or pre qualification questionnaire will specifically request for a copy of an up to date health and safety policy and specific information dependent upon the nature of the contract being tendered.
The council will follow guidelines outlined by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). This covers criminal background checks for staff that would have access to children or vulnerable adults.
When the council decides on a preferred supplier, we conditionally accept their tender subject to satisfactory DBS checks for all employees involved in the delivery of the service.