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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 are the benefits of working with the council?

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

Local authority 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 procurements up to the value of £50,000, competitive quotations are needed. A full tender process is required above this level. 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 do we buy and who buys it?

Our default method of inviting tenders and quotations is to use our online e-tendering 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 (email address required), you can state your interest against certain categories of contracts and will then receive notification of upcoming opportunities.

Who else do we procure for?

Durham County Council's Corporate Procurement team provides 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. Currently these include:

  • Believe Housing
  • Chapter Homes
  • County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service
  • Durham Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Great Aycliffe Town Council
  • NECA (The Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland Combined Authority)
  • Peterlee Town Council
  • Spennymoor Town Council
  • The majority of Academy Schools in County Durham:
    • Advanced Learning Partnership (ALP) - Parkside Academy
    • Cleves Cross Learning Trust
    • Durham Martyrs Multi Academy Trust - St Leonard's Catholic School
    • Eden Learning Trust
    • Framwellgate School Durham 
    • Jigsaw Learning Trust - Ouston Primary
    • King James 1 Academy 
    • New College Durham Academy Trust
    • New Seaham Academy 
    • North East Learning Trust NELT
    • Northern Saints Catholic Multi Academy Trust
    • Ribbon Academy Trust
    • Romero Catholic Education Trust
    • St Bede's RC & Sixth Form College 
    • Stanley Learning Partnership
    • The Ascent Academies' Trust - Hope Wood Academy
    • Tudhoe Learning Trust
    • Whinfield Primary School 

Becoming a contractor for Durham County Council therefore means that you may also be winning business with some of the above 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

Download our  Icon for pdf Guide on how to do business with Durham County Council (PDF, 468.7kb) . This guide is designed to help suppliers and contractors who wish to supply us with goods or services, or carry out works for us. 

The guide helps by:

  • outlining the rules and regulations that we must follow in purchasing goods and services
  • alerting suppliers and contractors to the opportunities available to supply the council
  • examining how to bid for council work and also what information will be required
  • highlighting contact points which will provide help to suppliers on issues covered within the guide

Procurement terms and conditions

We have established standard terms and conditions for goods, services, and minor works (below £50,000 in value). We publish these for the information of potential suppliers:

Contact us
Corporate Procurement
Our address is:
  • Resources
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UL
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