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Contracts and Tenders

Contract and tender procedure is laid down in the Council’s standing orders as follows:-

(a) Every contract made by the Council shall comply with these regulations, and no exception from any of the following provisions of these regulations shall be made otherwise than by direction of the Council, provided that these regulations shall not apply to contracts which relate to item (i) to (v) below:

(i) for the supply of gas, electricity, water, sewerage and telephone services

(ii) for specialist services such as are provided by solicitors, accountants, surveyors and planning consultants

(iii) for work to be executed or goods or materials to be supplied which consist of repairs to or parts for existing machinery or equipment or plant

(iv) for work to be executed or goods or materials to be supplied which constitute an extension of an existing contract by the Council

(v) for goods or materials proposed to be purchased which are proprietary articles and / or which are sold only at a fixed price.

(b) Where it is intended to enter into a contract:

(i) for expenditure of £1,000 or less in value, the Town Clerk / Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) or duly appointed deputy shall have executive power in consultation with the Mayor or his / her duly appointed Deputy Mayor with a report on the expenditure being made for information to the next ordinary meeting of the Council.

(ii) for expenditure of over £1,000 but less than £5000, the Town Clerk / RFO or duly appointed deputy shall, in consultation with the Mayor or his / her duly appointed Deputy Mayor, invite three quotations to be approved by the full Council.

(iii) for expenditure of over £5,000 the Town Clerk / RFO or duly appointed deputy shall seek three tenders, details of which to be advertised in the local press with a 21 day notice period.

(iv) for expenditure of over £20,000, the Town Clerk / RFO or duly appointed deputy shall seek three tenders from the approved tenders list held by Cornwall Council.

(c) When applications are made to waive standing orders relating to contracts to enable a tender to be negotiated without competition, the reason shall be embodied in a recommendation to the Council.

(d) Every exception made by a committee to which the power of making contracts has been delegated shall be reported to the Council and the report shall specify the reason by which the exception shall have been justified.

(e) Such invitation to tender shall state the general nature of the intended contract and the Clerk shall obtain the necessary technical assistance to prepare a specification in appropriate cases. The invitation shall in addition state that tenders must be addressed to the Clerk / RFO and the last date by which such tenders should reach the Clerk / RFO in the ordinary course of post. Each tendering firm shall be supplied with a specifically marked envelope in which the tender is to be sealed and remain sealed until the prescribed date for opening tenders for that contract.

(f) All sealed tenders shall be opened at the same time on the prescribed date by the Clerk / RFO or the properly authorised deputy duly witnessed by a member of staff or a member of the Council.

(g) If less than three tenders are received for contracts valued above £5,000 or if all the tenders are identical the Council may make such arrangements as it thinks fit for procuring the goods or materials or executing the works.

(h) The Council shall not be obliged to accept the lowest or any tender.

Payments under Contracts for Building or Other Construction Works

  1. Payments on account of the contract sum shall be made within the time specified in the contract by the RFO upon authorised certificates of the architect or other consultants engaged to supervise the contract.
  2. Where contracts provide for payment by instalments the RFO shall maintain a record of all such payments. In any case when it is estimated that the total cost of work carried out under a contract, excluding fluctuation clauses, will exceed the contract sum by 5 per cent or more a report shall be submitted to the full Council.
  3. Any variation to a contract or addition to or omission from a contract must be approved by the Clerk in writing, the Mayor or Deputy Mayor being informed where the final cost is likely to exceed the financial provision.