How our procurement processes work

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Each opportunity (tender or request for quotaion) is advertised separately on Suffolk Sourcing and has a unique IBC reference number.

The process and timetable for the opportunity will be set out in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) or the Invitation to Quote (ITQ).

The ITT or ITQ will describe how you can ask questions about the documentation and, how we will deal with any questions or clarifications and how we share this information, where appropriate, with all bidders.

The ITT or ITQ will also explain how bids will be evaluated. A panel of officers usually conducts this evaluation If we spot something in your bid that needs further clarification to assist the evaluation, we will ask you.

How we evaluate your submission

All submissions (quotes, tenders, bids) will be reviewed for completeness and compliance with the specification and our stated requirements. We may reject incomplete or non-compliant submissions. We are looking for the supplier who will provide the greatest economic advantage, this is usually done by considering both price and quality. Quality will be assessed using a set of evaluation questions. The price and quality scores will then be adjusted according to the weighting stated in the documentation and added together to give an overall score. The highest scoring compliant bidder or bidders will be selected.

Price evaluation

Price or cost may be addressed by requesting a lump sum, a schedule of rates or a pricing adjustment percentage. Prices will be checked for accuracy and completeness and the lowest price will be allocated the full weighted % score, with other tenders being allocated a pro-rata score.

Quality evaluation

Evaluation of quality is by questions to which suppliers will be required to submit responses, evidence and/or method statements. The questions seek to identify how the supplier will address the specification, and the skills and experience it will bring to the contract. The statements given in your submission become part of the contract, and failure to deliver is treated as a material breach of contract. Each question will be given a value to show its importance to the contract, as a percentage. You are advised to consider these values when submitting a tender.

Additional checks and requirements

We will ask for evidence of compliance with IBC policies e.g. Living Wage, with any regulatory requirements e.g. GDPR, and accredited skills and experience as required by the subject matter of the proposed contract. We reserve the right to carry out credit checks on suppliers bidding for contracts and to seek further details where credit scores are below the threshold set out in the procurement documents or suggest high risk. Where the financial concerns are deemed serious enough we will not award a contract to that supplier. Things to consider when completing the documentation. Please review the ITQ or ITT carefully, and if anything is unclear ask questions – how to do this will be described in the documents.

Please read the instructions carefully, including how to return your bid and the deadline. It is important that you follow the instructions provided and ensure that your bid is returned by the specified closing date, time and method as late submissions will not be considered.

Make sure you:
• Complete all the required schedules as shown in the procurement documents
• Use the criteria (evaluation questions) and evaluation model (% weightings allocated) as a guide to developing your response. We use these criteria to assess the bids we receive
• Contact us if there is any further information you need to help you put your bid together. We will be happy to provide it if we can (where we provide information in response to a request from a bidder, we will normally provide the same information as a clarification to all)
• Review the terms and conditions of contract. If you wish to comment on our terms and conditions, or have any questions, this should be done during the clarification window detailed in the procurement documents
• Check your submission to make sure you are happy with it before you upload and return it to us on the system. We will question what we believe may be genuine mistakes, but it may not be possible to spot everything.
• Ensure you have signed documents where required and upload all the documents requested.

Please note, the evaluation model will indicate if we will accept supporting information with a bid, but it is vital that you complete your bid in full as required. Unless the specification does not allow the use of alternatives, we will consider other viable options provided they satisfy our requirements. Any variant bids will be evaluated using the criteria set out in the procurement documents. If your bid is successful, the terms and conditions of contract, together with schedules, become the principal contract between you (the Supplier) and us.

Contact Details

Ipswich Borough Council,
Finance and Procurement,
1C Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 433903