Tom Keighley

Rochdale council lead the way on local tendering

Rochdale Borough Council is leading the way in supporting the tendering process for local companies to win business with them.

Ahead of Government measures to get councils to publish rolling medium term pipelines for their constructions and infrastructure projects, Rochdale has already been reaping the rewards.

For the last three years, the authority has published potential business opportunities online, with 89% of contracts in 2010/11 being awarded to SMEs, exceeding the national target of 25%.

Over £100m of contracts have been advertised so far, ranging from the construction of offices to the purchase of Christmas trees.

The council has worked with local companies via regular ‘meet the buyer,’ and ’tender briefing sessions.

Georgina Jones, head of procurement said: “We actively encourage contact from the business community as early as possible, with council staff attending local network events to make sure we’re more visible to firms.

“It’s really having a noticeable effect in terms of enquiries coming in and attendance at the sessions we host.

As of April, every council will be expected to publish rolling medium term pipelines for construction and infrastructure projects.

Rochdale will work on making further improvements to their online systems and rolling out more staff training to keep managers up dates.

Georgina added: “We’ve made it easier for staff to obtain lower value quotes, with the first ten saving 20% on the estimated value.

“It’s all combining to make it faster and more efficient for private businesses to work with us, which benefits us and local companies at a time when they need it most.”

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