Do business with the Council

The council is responsible for ensuring that funds (from tax payers or grants) are spent in the most effective way possible. We spend over £140m annually on buying multiple goods, works, services and projects. These are delivered both directly by the council and through external contractors, with a large and diverse supply chain. This includes individuals, SMEs and multinational corporations.

Our contract register

The Contract Register is an online searchable list of current contracts valued over £5,000 and includes a brief description, value and expiry date of each one.

View the Contract’s Register.

Tendering thresholds

The council’s contract procedure rules (part of the council’s constitution) sets out the council’s tendering procedures and thresholds which follow UK procurement legislation.

Total contract valueProcedure
Below £10kMinimum of 1 formal quotation
Undertake a compliant call off from a framework
Use an appropriate DPS
£10k to under £100kMinimum of 3 suitable companies to ask to submit a quote (RFQ process)
Undertake a compliant call off from framework
Use an appropriate DPS
£100k to UK thresholdContracts Finder advertised tender (RFP process)
Undertake a compliant call off from a framework
Use an appropriate DPS
UK thresholdFind a Tender advertised lender (ITT process)
Undertake a compliant call off from a framework
Use an appropriate DPS

Tendering opportunities

Reading Borough Council In-tend Portal – lists all current tendering opportunities.  They can also be found on the following websites:

UK Government’s Find a Tender Service

UK Government’s Contracts Finder service

Registering with these websites will enable you to be notified immediately when relevant contracts for your organisation are advertised.

How to register

To access and knowledge of current tendering opportunities from the council, we recommend that suppliers register on to our online portal. Supplier Registration Portal

The council has developed guidance for suppliers on how to get involved in one of our procurement processes. That guidance aims to bring together all the information a supplier needs into a single document and to support suppliers to submit high quality and competitive bids.

Supplier User Guide

If you have any questions about the information contained within guide, please contact the Procurement and Commercial team at

Know what to expect in our Tendering Process

Stages of the tender process:

1.  Selection Stage / Selection Questionnaire (SQ)

The selection stage may be carried out separately to the full tender process and is then referred to as a Pre-Qualification (PQQ). It can also be done in a single stage together with gathering tender information.

At selection stage bidders are requested to provide information online within a set timescale. This gathers information about your business to ensure you meet minimum requirements to allow the buyer to ensure that your organisation can provide its requirements and to either progress your tender submission for full evaluation or to shortlist for the Invitation to tender stage (ITT).

It assesses:

  • Capacity
  • Capability
  • Experience

Supporting information on company finances and relevant experience / references and insurance information may all be sought at this stage. There are two complementary documents that formalise the standards of ethical behaviour we expect from our suppliers.

2.  Evaluation of Selection Questionnaire

Evaluates submissions to ensure suppliers progressing for the evaluation of their full tender submission (in the case of a single stage or open tender) or to shortlist and selects those suppliers most able to meet the requirements to be invited to the ITT (Invitation to Tender) stage in the case of a two-stage or restricted tender process.

Decision communicated to suppliers.

3.  Invitation to Tender (ITT)

Depending on the procedure followed the ITT may be open to all suppliers (open or single-stage process) where selection and tender information are combined or only those who have successfully passed the selection / PQQ stage.

The ITT assesses the offer and the requirements as set out in the specification.

Bidding suppliers will be asked to complete online questionnaires and provide supporting documentation. All tender documents are available for download on the portal and will contain all or some of the following:

  • Instructions to Bidders
  • Specification
  • Pricing schedule
  • Contract conditions – defining the relationship between the public body and the supplier/contractor
  • Tender evaluation model – how we intend to evaluate the submission
  • Supporting documentation – depending on the contract requirements

4.  Evaluation of the tender submissions

This is completed by an evaluation panel using guides set out in the tender documents.

5.  Award of contract

All suppliers that submitted a tender will be informed of the decision to award the contract via the portal. Decision letters should give details of the successful supplier/s and score achieved in the evaluation of tender submissions. The mandatory standstill period is observed to allow for all clarifications on the decision to award.

If the tender has been published on Find a Tender (FTS), a Contract Award Notice will be published.

Last updated on 06/09/2023