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Tenders, contracts and procurement


Norfolk County Council spends over £900m each year with our suppliers. This is to ensure our communities and residents get the best possible local services. We work with businesses ranging from small local suppliers to international companies. We want to make it as easy as possible for any business interested in our procurements to bid and help us deliver excellent public services. 

The following content gives prospective and current suppliers the information needed to get involved in our procurement processes.  

Any open tender of ours valued over £25,000 (plus VAT) is advertised on Contracts Finder. Where the value of the procurement is above the UK Procurement Threshold, currently £214,904 for goods/services and £5,372,609 for works, our procurements are advertised on the Find a Tender Service

If you would like to find out more about our current contracts, please visit our Contracts and Grants register and our Open Data information.  

Procurement Strategy 

Our Procurement Strategy (PDF) [489KB] sets out our priorities to 2026. 

Support for Suppliers  

Submitting a bid 

When submitting a bid, please ensure that you: 

  • Submit your bid on time 
  • Ask clarification questions via the procurement portal if you are not sure about anything in the documents 
  • Read all the documents carefully to check you are capable of delivering the contract  
  • Answer all the questions clearly, providing the information asked for 
  • Be aware of any limitations on words and attachments 
  • Cost your tender as accurately as possible. 

Awarding a bid 

  • After each tender, we will give you feedback with full details of the scores achieved and the reasons for scoring. 

Post-award of a bid 

  • Never start work without a valid purchase order number: without this, we may delay or withhold payment.  

Getting paid on time 

  • Send your invoice directly to the address given in the purchase order by email 
  • Quote the purchase order number on the invoice 
  • Accept payment straight into your bank account by BACS 
  • Provide an email address for orders and remittance advices 

We try to minimise bureaucracy but we expect you to run your business competently. You must: 

  • Hold necessary insurance, licences and permits before the contract commences specified  
  • Comply with employment and immigration law 
  • Pay your employees and sub-contractors on time 
  • Comply with tax laws, regulations and filing requirements, including IR35  
  • Manage health, safety and environmental compliance properly 

Our standard terms and conditions (PDF) [515KB] apply to all purchase orders unless we have issued a different set of terms for that service. 

The contract lifecycle  

Once the contract is up and running, we will assign it to a contract manager. They will either be from the department from which the procurement originated or from the procurement team.

Each contract is different and some may involve Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) or a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to adhere to. KPIs and SLAs will be regularly reviewed.

The contract manager will be responsible for ensuring you supply the minimum requirements. This includes the delivery of any promises made in your bid above the standard specification. The contract manager should be the first point of escalation for any disputes or changes within the contract. 

The Procurement Act 2023 

The Procurement Act 2023 is intended to create a simpler and more transparent system that will deliver better value for money, reducing costs for business and the public sector. It comes into force on 28 October 2024. 

The Government Commercial Function has provided guidance videos:

The Knowledge Drops at the official Transforming Public Procurement site are designed "to provide a high level overview on the changes". They are presented in three parts for suppliers. There are a further three parts for Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs). In addition there are factsheets on the new regime. 


The Council uses the electronic tendering system In-Tend to manage its procurements.  

On the In-Tend system registered suppliers can:  

  • View a list of tenders/contracts/quotations 
  • View information on contracts we have already awarded 
  • Express interest in a particular tender or quotation 
  • Receive tender and/or quotation documentation 
  • Safely return your tender or quotation documents 
  • Send and receive correspondence 

You can find and register on In-Tend

Using other contracting bodies' agreements 

Some of the goods and services we buy are from contracts awarded by other contracting bodies like Crown Commercial Services and ESPO.  This can include things such as:

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • IT equipment
  • Office furniture
  • Tyres
  • Electricity

We don't buy enough of these things to justify running a full tender ourselves. Instead we make use of the greater buying power of those buying consortia to get the best value for money. 

If you are interested in supplying us with goods and services, it is worthwhile applying to the framework agreement contracts operated by Crown Commercial Services and ESPO too. 

Guidance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) 

We recognise the benefits that SMEs can make to the local economy and their vital contribution to delivering public services. 

If it is your first time bidding for a public sector contract, please take a look at the following guidance. They show you where to start and provides valuable tips, so you have your best chance: 

Social value  

The Council is committed to delivering additional value through its procurement activity.  

You can view our Social Value information.   

Climate change   

The Council has challenging Net Zero targets to meet. The Council itself is committed to achieving net zero on its own estate by 2030. The Council commits to using its powers, influence and partnerships towards supporting the county's low carbon development in line with the UK-wide target to reach net zero by 2050.   

The Climate Policy (PDF) [165KB] ensures that the council's approach to climate change is clear. It is comprehensively set out in our Climate Strategy that the Council will use its powers and influence to address climate change across seven key focus areas. 

Sustainable procurement 

Supporting our suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint will be a key part of delivering these targets.  

To achieve carbon reduction in our supply chain, we ask to see the carbon reduction plans of suppliers in the tendering process for larger contracts. We may ask suppliers to detail any specific steps taken to increase energy efficiency. This includes reducing any detrimental environmental impacts for the goods, works or services concerned. 

Norfolk County Council aims to source low or zero carbon energy wherever possible. We will not procure products that use peat-based materials. 

Modern Slavery  

The Council is committed to eliminating acts of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains. We will ask to respond to questions about their own modern slavery practice when they apply for contracts where there is a material risk. 

You can find and read our Modern Slavery Statement.  

Other information  

View our Procurement Service privacy notice. 

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