Doing business with us

This guide has been produced to assist suppliers and contractors who wish to supply the Authority.

▼ About this guide

How will the guide help you?

  • It outlines the rules that the Authority must follow
  • It alerts companies as to how they can access opportunities to supply the Authority
  • It explains how to respond to contract opportunities.
  • It outlines why the Authority has made a policy decision to do business electronically

We encourage competition and welcome bids from new and established suppliers. Contracts are usually awarded on a most economical advantageous tender basis. Whilst we will not discriminate in favour of locality, we are committed to supporting and encouraging local firms to compete for contracts.

What are the benefits of working with us?

We are:

  • fair
  • non-discriminatory
  • professional
  • a long established organisation
  • guaranteed and quick payers (within 30 days).

If you are interested in pursuing business opportunities with us, visit the Supplying the South West Portal to register against contract categories that align with your business, and receive alerts when opportunities arise.

Please Note: We prefer not to receive unsolicited mail shots. If company or product literature is required it will be formally requested. Please think environmentally friendly and only submit literature when it is asked for.

▼ Overview of procurement

Our requirements range from low value, high volume commodities such as stationery and office supplies to high value, critical and complex works and services such as IT solutions, peatland restoration, and erosion repairs.

As a public sector organisation, the way in which we procure goods and services is governed by both internal regulations and national and European legislation. The Authority spends approximately £2m per annum, excluding direct employee costs. The Authority also has a Capital Budget which varies each year according to the resources available.

The Authority is a member of the Devon & Cornwall Procurement Partnership which means that we often collaborate with other public sector organisations e.g. County and District Councils, Fire & rescue, Police and universities.

▼ Finding supplier opportunities

Procurement Portal

For information about forthcoming tender opportunities with Dartmoor National Park Authority, the easiest way to be kept up to date is through the procurement e-tendering portal and register your company on the Suppliers Area against the contract categories aligned with your business. Use of the Procurement Portal is free of charge to suppliers and user guides are available in the Suppliers Area section.

Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)

It is a legal requirement for the Authority and other public sector bodies to advertise contract opportunities in certain categories, and above certain financial thresholds, within the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).  However, it can be time-consuming for suppliers to constantly scour the online journal (OJEU) to find out if opportunities exist, therefore all contracts are also advertised on the Procurement Portal (as above) which provides a one-stop shop for finding opportunities, registering for opportunities and carrying out an electronic tender process. If you want to view contract opportunities through OJEU these can be viewed at http://ted.europa.eu/

Contract opportunities may also, from time to time, be advertised on our website, in the local press or specific trade publications as appropriate.

▼ Applying for a contract

The contract notice or advertisement will invite suppliers to submit an expression of interest or to submit a quotation or tender. The advertisement on the Procurement e-tendering portal will detail the procedure to be followed and what information is required from you, the supplier. It is essential that suppliers provide all of the requested information (you will lose scores where there are gaps in your information).

It is crucial that where a quote/tender closing date and time is set that suppliers leave plenty of time to submit their bids. Suppliers are advised to allow tolerance in their timescales to be able to cope with any unforeseen hiccups such as their computer running slowly, a power cut etc. as tenders received after the due date and time will be rejected by the Authority for probity purposes.

The Authority applies the principle of “proportionality” to its quotation/tender exercises which means that the level of testing of suppliers’ commercial and technical capability and compliance increases with the value and risk in the procurement.

Commercial information

In general, the information requested under the commercial banner is about the organisation itself rather than the product or service in question.  The Authority needs to verify that the supplier can be identified as a legitimate discrete trading organisation (address of office, registration number and company group information), that it has acceptable levels of economic and financial standing and that it promotes good practices in areas of equal opportunities, environmental protection and health and safety, for instance.

Financial information

Suppliers may be asked for certain financial information e.g. audited accounts and sometimes references are taken from credit checking agencies.  Information is also required to check that a supplier is registered (if appropriate) for tax and complies with the Authority’s insurance requirements.

Experience, technical ability and capacity

The Authority will also assess whether a supplier has the relevant experience, technical ability and capacity to carry out the categories of work or to provide the type and quality of service required.  If an application relates to a specific contract, it will be necessary to provide references.  Visits to reference sites may also be required.  Further questions may be asked tailored to the needs of the individual contract and the responses and supporting evidence will be used to assess whether a supplier has the required level of skills and abilities to fulfil the contract.

Health and safety

Depending upon the nature of the goods/service/works, suppliers may be required to submit their Health and Safety Policy.  Subject to compliance with European Procurement Rules and Regulations other information may also be requested from suppliers such as:

Equal opportunities

The Authority strongly supports equal opportunity, equal access and positive outcomes for all sections of the community. The Authority aims to ensure that suppliers that provide services on behalf of the Authority comply with equal opportunities legislation and promote equality of opportunity.

Sustainability: Social, environmental and economic sensitivity

The Authority is committed to protecting the environment and ensuring a better quality of life for everyone now and for future generations.  The Authority expects its suppliers to commit to working with us to reduce adverse impact on the environment in service delivery and particularly to assist with our aspirations to become a carbon-neutral authority.

Quality assurance

For certain contracts including works contracts, suppliers may be required to demonstrate that they have a suitable quality assurance system in place. This may be demonstrated by certification by an approved assessment company or by our review and acceptance of the organisations quality manual.

▼ Quotation/Tendering process

Quoting / tendering for contracts

The contract notice or advertisement will invite suppliers to submit an expression of interest or to submit a quotation or tender.  The advertisement on Procurement Portal will detail the procedure to be followed and what information is required from you, the supplier.

Tender evaluation and contract award

Returned quotations/ tenders will be evaluated against the pre-determined criteria as specified in the documentation. Evaluation will focus on examining how the proposals will deliver the service (quality) and the cost of the service (price).  The balance between quality and price will depend on the particular service area. The Authority will award the contract on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender.

Debriefing

Within the limits of commercial confidentiality, the Authority will always provide unsuccessful tenderer’s feedback upon their request to find out why their bid has failed if requested. This information can be used to help with any future bids as being unsuccessful in one contract does not mean that a company will be unsuccessful in future.

Contract performance

The Authority has to monitor its performance as part of its duty under Best Value, and suppliers and contractors are monitored to assess their compliance with pre-defined performance criteria. Contracts have to be performed in accordance with the requirements set out in the contract documentation. Contract conditions will be strictly applied.

How we will pay you

We will pay our suppliers by BACS as the payment goes directly into the supplier’s bank account and remittance advice is provided by email. Payment terms are normally set out in the contract documents; they may be by stage payments, annual, quarterly or monthly payments, payment on completion, or payment per purchase order. We will make payment within 30 days of receiving an invoice which quotes the correct purchase order number, unless otherwise agreed. Payment within a shorter timescale is possible in certain circumstances.

Small and medium enterprises

The Authority is committed to supporting and encouraging smaller and south west based organisations to compete for business and to improve their ability to meet the Authority’s requirements whilst complying with the requirements of EU Regulations, Standing Orders and best practice guidance.

In order to aid under-represented organisations the Authority aims to:

  • publicise contract opportunities in one place consistently (Procurement Portal)
  • keep quotation / tender documents simple to understand and jargon free
  • set realistic timetables
  • encourage suppliers to adopt e-commerce systems that streamline processes, reduce administration time and enable the Authority to make payment to suppliers more speedily.