Purchasing Services

Conditions of Contracting with the Council

The Council have terms and conditions that suppliers are required to adhere to when they deal with the Council. Where there are larger value contracts that deal with particular goods, works or services specific bespoke terms and conditions may be issued with tender documents for these. However, attached are the Councils general Conditions of Contract for the provision of Goods and Services where no bespoke Council terms and conditions apply:

Tender Opportunities

Going forward, in order to improve accessibility to our current tender opportunities wherever possible the Council will publish details of current tenders from both Aberdeenshire Council and Aberdeen City Council on the Scottish Government's National tender advertising website Public Contracts Scotland.

Approved Lists

For Works Contracts the Council utilises Approved Contractor Lists from Constructionline to select suitable firms to tender. No advertisement is placed when Approved Lists have been used, and only those firms selected will be allowed to tender. You should contact the Property Section to establish the process for becoming included within this list.

Our approved supplier lists for goods and services are those which are corporate contracts and have already been tendered for. We do not use approved lists for the procurement of goods and services as we prefer to use regular open competition. Businesses interested in quoting/tendering for business should register themselves on our e-tendering site where they can set up a profile specific to their company and be automatically sent notification of tenders advertised that may be of interest.

Other Publications

As well as advertising our schemes on our ‘Tender Portal’, we also sometimes advertise in the press or appropriate trade journals and publications. You should look for our adverts in the following publications:

Larger Contracts

All purchasing by the public sector in the UK and the rest of Europe must follow the rules of the EU Treaty. This is designed to ensure the free movement of goods and services in the European Union market. There are special European rules for public contracts above certain values, see below, which aim to make sure that the contracts are awarded in an open, transparent and non-discriminatory way. The European Directives are implemented in this country by a number of regulations, which set down the procedures that local authorities must follow when selecting tenderers and awarding contracts.

The EU procurement thresholds for local authorities are:

  • Service and supply contracts over £156,442
  • Works contracts over £3,927,260

Any firm can apply for these schemes, and they are advertised in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

Community Care and Support Services

The Commissioning of Community Care and Support Services is managed by the Council’s Commissioning Team, which is part of the Housing and Social Work Service. Tender opportunities for community care and support services are also published on the Public Contracts Scotland website (see Tender Opportunities section above). Bespoke terms and conditions exist for community care and support services, and information about these or any other matters relating to the commissioning of community care and support services can be obtained by contacting the Commissioning Team.


Some schools have their own individual budgets, though they are directed to use corporate arrangements.

Schools are required to adhere to the same principles of fairness, openness and transparency.

Tender documents

At present, not all tender documents are available on the Tender Portal, and in these circumstances you will be sent a paper copy. More and more Council business is being conducted electronically. If you cannot currently do business this way you should give it some serious consideration. When documents are available on the Tender Portal, you can download them and either print them off or save them to your own computer.

Although the tender documents are quite detailed, they are intended to encourage you to tender for our business. If you have any queries regarding the documents do not be afraid to get in touch with the named contact for assistance.

You will be asked to complete and return your tender documents by a given time and date, using a specific tender return label.

Tender return and evaluation

The tender documents are all opened at the same time after the tender return date. Once the tender documents have been opened, they are forwarded to the appropriate council officers for evaluation.

If you fail to return your tender documents by the specified deadline, your tender will be excluded from the evaluation process. If it’s late, it’s too late. The tender evaluation criteria are established before tenders are invited and are stated in the documentation.

Contract award

If your tender submission meets all the evaluation criteria then you could be awarded the contract. Any such contract will be based on the Council's Conditions of Contract (Terms and Conditions) that you have agreed to in responding to the tender.

Seeking feedback

If you are unsuccessful and wish to seek feedback, you should contact the named council officer detailed in the tender documentation. This officer will be able to explain why your tender was unsuccessful and possibly provide some indicators as to how you might improve on future bids.


The Council has prompt payment targets. This means that we are committed to paying all invoices within 30 days of receipt, irrespective of invoice value or payee.


Central Procurement Unit
Aberdeenshire Council
Woodhill House
Westburn Road
AB16 5GB

Telephone: 01224 665650
Fax: 01224 665656