Selling to the council: procurement rules and regulations

Selling to the council: procurement rules and regulations

What you need to know to sell services, goods and works to the council. Find the procurement rules and regulations we have to follow, and use our online procurement system.

Procurement rules

It is vital that if you wish to contract with the council you're fully aware of the rules and regulations which govern the way we operate.

See the Council's procurement rules (pdf, 390k) (opens new window)

Selling to the council guide

The Selling to the Council (pdf, 403k) (opens new window) guide gives detailed information about how we buy goods, services and works.

Large contracts

Where supplies and services procurements exceed £181,302, and works exceed £4,551,413 (net of VAT and with effect from January 2016) the European Procurement Directives must be followed. Contracts are advertised in the 'Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union' (OJEU), which is accessible online via the Tenders Electronic Daily website.

Commissioning intentions

Our Commissioning Intentions document give details for providers about:

  • ongoing commissioning activity and tender opportunities
  • planned market engagement events

We update this information regularly. It doesn't replace formal advertising or publication of tender opportunities.

All of our procurement opportunities can be found at the ProContract Supplier Portal.

Detail of services being commissioned

Details of upcoming tender opportunities.

Community Right to Challenge

The Localism Act provides a Community Right to Challenge in respect of relevant bodies wishing to deliver, or help deliver, services on our behalf.

Find out more about Community Right to Challenge.

E-Procurement system (ProContract)

The system we use to commission and manage contracts over £15,000 has changed.

Since January 2016 we've been processing all new commissions on the new system, ProContract, and are migrating existing contracts to it.

You won't automatically be migrated onto the new system. You need to complete a quick registration process to continue to receive notifications and express interest in our contract opportunities.

There's no charge for registering. To take part in any of our purchasing activities from January 2016, you must have an account registered on the system.

If you require any technical assistance please contact

Social value

Social value is about maximising the impact of public expenditure to get the best possible outcomes:  improving the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area.

Social Value Policy 2016 (pdf, 593k) (opens new window)

The accompanying toolkit is more detailed guide to support council commissioners and procurement officers as well as potential provider organisations.

Creating Social Value in Bristol: Social Value Toolkit 2016 (pdf, 688k) (opens new window)

These documents are referred to in the toolkit:

Race equality

The Commission for Racial Equality and the CBI offers advice on how external suppliers can respond to public authorities' race equality duties in their guidance: Public Procurement and Race Equality (pdf, 77k) (opens new window) .

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions apply to anything ordered by the council unless it has expressly agreed otherwise in writing, or the order is for something covered by an existing written contract.

Terms and conditions for supply of goods and / or work (pdf, 143k) (opens new window)

Contract information and data

We're keen to promote the transparency of the contract data we hold. This information can be accessed via the following sources.

Contract Register

Details of frameworks, dynamic purchasing systems and contracts awarded can be found on our e-procurement contracts register.

Contracts Finder

Contracts Finder lets you search for information about contracts worth over £10,000 with the government and its agencies.  The portal can be found on the contracts finder

Council spending and performance

Information about our spending and performance can be found on our council spending and performance page.

This includes monthly reports of items or services bought by us that cost over £500.

Local Government Transparency Code

Information which must be published as set out in the Local Government Transparency Code 2015 can be found on Bristol City Council contracts and tenders.  

Download the Local Government Transparency Code 2015.


See Selling to the council: support page for micro, small and medium businesses, social enterprises, voluntary and community organisations.

Mystery shopper – tackling poor procurement practice

Mystery Shopper is an  anonymous service run by Cabinet Office allowing businesses to raise concerns and highlight the barriers they encounter when bidding for, or working on, public sector contracts.  Issues can include:

  • Late payment
  • Unfair or overly bureaucratic procurement practice
  • Procurement that does not comply with government policy or EU rules        

The Mystery Shopper team will then work with the council to resolve concerns.

Before reporting an issue or concern to the Mystery Shopper service please contact us on 0117 922 2726 so that we have an opportunity to resolve the issue.

Contact information

Procurement & Commercial Relations Service

Bristol City Council

P O Box 3176

Bristol, BS3 9FS

Opening Hours


Tel: 0117 922 2726