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Working with the council

We encourage competition and welcome bids from all sections of the community, from new and established suppliers, from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), third sector organisations, and from organisations bidding in consortia.

What the benefits of working with us are

We are fair, non-discriminatory and professional, a long established organisation and prompt to pay.

There is a great deal of competition for our contracts, and this guidance is intended to inform and assist organisations in identifying contract opportunities and participating in the tendering process. However, it cannot assure individual organisations of success.

We do not operate in isolation and have a strong regional presence as a member of the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO).

Rules and regulations

Our procurement is not only governed by procurement regulations at a European and national level, but also at a local level through our own Contract Procedure Rules. These state that for applicable procurements above £5,000, we will approach the market through the NEPO Portal (ProContract), as governed by our Contract Procedure Rules which are part of our Constitution. In line with The Public Contracts Regulations 2015, we will also advertise through the Find a Tender Service. Our procurement activity must:

  • achieve value for money by achieving the optimum combination of whole life costs, quality and benefits to meet the customer's requirements
  • be consistent with the highest standards of integrity
  • operate in a transparent manner
  • ensure fairness in awarding public contracts
  • comply with all legal requirements
  • support our corporate and service aims and policies
  • comply with our corporate strategy for Commissioning and Procurement and Procurement Code of Practice or documented and approved Sourcing Strategy

What we buy and who buys it

Our default method of inviting tenders and quotations is to use our online etendering system, the NEPO Portal.

As long as you have an email address you can register your interest against a tender and follow the instructions as a supplier. When you register, you can state your interest against certain categories of contracts and will then receive notification of upcoming opportunities.

Who else we procure for

We provide procurement services to a number of other public bodies, who can enter into an agreement with us, allowing them to use our contracts, suppliers, and services.

Becoming a contractor for us therefore means that you may also be winning business with other organisations who may be able to purchase from you through our contracts.

If you are a public contracting authority and would be interested in obtaining our procurement services, please contact us.

How To Do Business guide

Our Guide on how to become a supplier of goods, works and/or services is designed to help suppliers and contractors who wish to supply us with goods or services, or carry out works for us. We use our values to guide us and we encourage all our suppliers and contractors to embrace these values so we collectively achieve our organisational objectives. For information on the causes we support visit Our commitment to equality standards.

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