What are contracts?

The government & other public sector organisations such councils, local authorities, the National Health Services & Fire Services, or other businesses &charities may need to get other people or organisations to provide services or goods.

They can do it in different ways. For example,

• they can do it themselves.

• give money to another organisation that can provide the goods or services needed.

• advertise what is needed (procurement) to find a group or organisation that can provide the goods or services needed (supply) & have a written agreement, the contract.

Procurement processes &contracts must follow Procurement Law. They are transparent, competitive, & highly structured arrangements.

Many public sector bodies carry out procurement as they believe that this will lead to the best services & good value for money. Contracts can last 3 - 5 years.

The supplier can either be the only provider of a contract or be a subcontractor as part of a bigger contract or be a supplier as part of a framework agreement.


Getting ready to apply for contracts.

• Good governance: The Board of directors or trustees of the organisation must prove that they are running the organisation properly, including keeping to the law, planning ahead, managing money &people properly &making sure that they are providing a high-quality services/ goods. Many Enterprises can fail because of poor leadership &governance. Any organisation you apply to for money such as grants, contracts or loans will ask for evidence or proof that an organisation is well run.

• Set aside enough time to research & write the bid including the budget & proof that your organisation has the experience & skills to take on the contract.

• Read all the tender documentation until you understand it - seek advice if you need to.

• Make sure that you will be able to meet the terms & conditions of the contract & provide the goods/ services stated (You will be asked to complete a standard selection questionnaire for public sector contracts, SQ, to check this). If you do not deliver as contractually required, the paying public body could ask for compensation including asking for the money back.

• Check if you will be paid in advance – make it clear that you will need to be paid in advance; have funds set aside in case of late payments.

• Check the online procurement portal regularly for a list of all the pre-bid questions that have already been asked &answered. Use the procurement portal to ask your own questions if there is anything that you are still not sure about

• Most tenders are submitted online – submit before the closing date in case of technical problems. Late applications will not be accepted.

• Didn’t get the contract? Ask for feedback – it is good learning & shows that you are committed; also ask for ideas of how to improve on your bid in the future.


Where to search for contracts?

Search for information about contracts worth over £12,000 with the government & its agencies; current & past opportunities §ors

Your local council or local authority website as they may advertise contracts; most councils advertise on Sell2Wales


Useful reading

‘A missed opportunity’ – Social Enterprises (

Welsh Language version

A report by Audit Wales about how local authorities are working with social enterprises.


Please contact us if you need more information or advice


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