The procurement exercise

When an authority accepts one or more expressions of interest for a service in line with the Localism Act and regulations, it must carry out a procurement exercise for the service.


Authorities must say how long it will be before an expression of interest is accepted and a procurement exercise starts. In doing so, they should have regard to the need to give groups submitting expressions of interest the following:

  • time to be able to compete in the procurement exercise
  • the nature, scale and complexity of the service being procured
  • the timescales for any existing commissioning cycle, including authority decision-making and budget-making processes.

The process

The exact process to be followed will depend on the policies of your own authority, but it is governed by national and European legislation which ensures a largely standard procedure wherever you are, and you should be able to find out through some local enquiries exactly what your authority’s processes for buying services are.

Whatever the process is you can be expected to be asked questions about:

  • the skills, qualifications and experience of key individuals to deliver the service in question
  • your systems and procedures in relation to financial management and operations
  • quality marks and accreditations you have that demonstrate your competence for the contract
  • your track record in delivering similar work in the past
  • the outcomes you expect to achieve
  • the plans and methods you will adopt to deliver these outcomes
  • your price for delivering these services and outcomes.
Read our guide to the procurement process