Purchasing Rules

The Council is bound by European Union and UK Government purchasing rules and by its own specific Financial Regulations of the Council's Constitution.

  • European Union Public Purchasing Directives - the Council must also comply with European law as it relates to purchasing. All contracts with a total value of greater than £154,000 (approximately) must be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), as well as locally. All works contracts greater than £3.8 million (approximately) must also be advertised via OJEU, as well as locally.
  • For building contracts, the Council's preferred method for selecting contractors and consultants is via Constructionline, which is a national database of pre-qualified contractors and consultants.  Constructionline is used by over 8,000 buyer users across the UK and aims to reduce the amount of paperwork you have to complete during the pre-qualification process.  
  • The Council is bound to comply with the Local Government Act 2003. This places a duty on every Council to purchase goods, services and works using Best Value principles. Best value is not necessarily about achieving the lowest initial price. It is defined as the optimum combination of whole life costs and quality. Best Value purchasing is the achievement of '5 Rights':
    • Right Product
    • Right Time
    • Right Place
    • Right Price
    • Right Quality
  • Three Rivers District Council has its own Financial Regulations, which are incorporated into the Council's Constitution. They control how money is spent and must be adhered to by all Council employees. These regulations, for instance, determine which Council employees can approve a particular tender proposal and which can sign contract documents.

As a public sector organisation, the Council is also expected to promote the following social policies:

Sustainability and Environmental - the Council encourages sustainability and environmentally beneficial practices throughout the organisation and the district. This objective will be taken into account in all relevant purchasing specifications. For more information, access the UK Government's Sustainable Development website.

Racial equality - The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, has important implications for Councils' procurement policies. Key outcomes include:

  • contracts should be delivered in a way which is non-discriminatory;
  • goods, works and services should cater for ALL users' needs including different racial groups;
  • contractors should be representative of the local population.

These parameters will usually be addressed in the Council's tender documents.

See the Council's Constitution for the full Financial and Contracts Procedure Rules.

Purchasing Rules