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11. Contracts

11.1  Procedures as to the contracts are laid down in the Council’s Standing Orders as follows:

(a) Every contract whether made by the Council or by a committee to which the power of making contracts has been delegated shall comply with these Standing Orders, and no exception from any of the following provisions of these Standing Orders shall be made otherwise than by direction of the Council or in an emergency by such a committee as aforesaid provided that these Standing Orders shall not apply to contracts which relate to items (1) to (5) below:   

  1. For the supply of gas, electricity, water, sewerage and telephone services.
  2. For the specialist services such as are provided by solicitors, accountants, surveyors, planning consultants and other specialised areas.
  3. For work to be executed or goods or materials to be supplies which consist of repairs to or parts for existing machinery or equipment or plant.    
  4. For work to be executed or goods or materials to be supplied which constitute an extension of an existing contract by the Council.   
  5. For goods or materials proposed to be purchased which are proprietary articles and/or which are sold only at a fixed price.

(b) Where it is intended to enter into a contract:

  • Exceeding £4000 in value for the supply of goods or materials or for the execution of works or specialist services other than such goods, materials, works or specialist services are set out in paragraph (a) the Town Clerk shall invite tenders from at least three firms, such as firms to be taken from the appropriate approved list, where available.  
  • For expenditure of £4000 or less in value The Mayor or the Deputy Mayor, the Chairman of Finance and General Purposes or his appointed Vice Chairman and the Chairman if the spending committee or his appointed Vice Chairman and together with the Town Clerk or the duly authorised Deputy shall have executive power.

(c) When applications are made to waive Standing Orders relating to contracts to enable a tender to be negotiated without competition the reason shall be embodied in a recommendation to the Council.

(d) Every exception made by a committee to which the power of making contracts has been delegated shall be reported to the Council and the report shall specify the emergency by which the exception shall have been justified.

(e) Such invitation to tender shall state the general nature of the intended contract and the Town Clerk shall obtain necessary technical assistance to prepare a specification in appropriate cases.  The invitation shall in addition state that tenders must be addressed to the Town Clerk in the ordinary course of post.  Each tendering firm shall be supplied with a specially marked envelope in which the tender is to be sealed and remain sealed until the prescribed date for opening tenders for that contract.

(f) All sealed tenders shall be opened at the same time on the prescribed date by the Town Clerk or the property authorised deputy in the presence of at least one member of the Council.

(g) If less than three tenders are received for contracts valued above £4000 or if all tenders are identical the Council may make such arrangements as it thinks fit for procuring the goods or materials or executing the works.  

(h) The Council shall not be obliged to accept the lowest or any tender.

12. Payment Under Contracts for Building or Other Construction Works

12.1 Payments on account of the contract sum shall be made within the time specified in the contract upon authorised certificates of the architect engaged to supervise the contract or the RFO.

12.2 Where contracts provide for payment by instalments the RFO shall maintain a record of all such payments.  In any case when it is estimated that the total cost of work carried out under a contract, excluding fluctuation clauses, will exceed the contract sum by 5% or more a report shall be submitted to the appropriate committee.

12.3 Any variation to a contract or addition to or omission from a contract must be approved by the Town Clerk in writing, the appropriate committee being informed where the final cost is likely to exceed the financial provision.

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