E-tendering allows councils to carry out procurement electronically. Suffolk County Council, who own and administer the Suffolk Sourcing e-tendering system, have agreed in principle to extend access to town and parish councils, provided there is a real demand. Parish and town councils wishing to use Suffolk Sourcing should send a formal request to Suffolk County Council at

Joint procurement opportunities

We are keen to pursue opportunities for joint procurement with parish and town councils. Details of all of our renewable contracts are available on the Suffolk Contract Management System – Suffolk Sourcing

If you would like to discuss an opportunity for joint procurement, contact our Procurement team.

Quotation template

Town and parish councils can use our standard quotation template which may save you time and help with fair and transparent purchasing. The format will also be familiar to many local suppliers as it is used by the councils.

Standard terms and conditions

In the future, we intend to issue a template of standard terms and conditions which could be used by parish councils to set contracts on a consistent footing and help in the resolution of any potential disputes with suppliers.

Procurement frameworks

A framework agreement is an agreement with suppliers which establishes the terms governing contracts that may be awarded during the life of the agreement. These specific purchases - made under the framework agreement are known as 'call offs'. The purpose of framework agreements is to reduce the time spent on repeat procurement of goods or services. West Suffolk councils frequently use frameworks from different Professional Buying Organisations (PBOs). These framework agreements are also usually open to parish and town councils.

How to 'call off' (purchase) from a framework agreement

Direct award (Direct ordering):

If prices are approved under the framework agreement and contract terms are in line with the framework terms and/or you can demonstrate that only one supplier can fulfil your requirement, based on value for money and/or specification, then you can directly award a contract to the selected supplier, without the need for further competition.

Further competition (Mini-competition):

A mini competition is a process you need to carry out to place a call off contract under a framework agreement where the best value supplier has not been specified. A mini competition allows you to further refine your requirement whilst retaining the benefits offered under the framework agreement.

There are hundreds of frameworks available to call off from these PBOs offering a huge range of goods and services. Of possible relevance to parish councils are frameworks for the procurement of items such as energy, insurance, banking services, ICT hardware, software and playground equipment but there are many others so it always worth checking. It can provide a quick and compliant route for procurement whilst giving assurance on value for money.

For more advice and details follow the links shown below: