Supplying the Southwest is our e-Procurement portal. We use this when running a compliant competitive procedure. The portal provides an effective way for councils to engage and communicate with suppliers. It provides a single point of contact for buyers and suppliers and enables a wide range of suppliers to gain easy access to new business opportunities and contracts.

By making contract opportunity more transparent and easier to access, councils play an important role in supporting businesses which can find it difficult to access public sector opportunities. It also helps us to make our contracting opportunities accessible to small and medium sized businesses and social enterprises.

If you would like more information about the portal, or if you have identified a potential contracting opportunity that would benefit from a competitive process, email the Commercial and Procurement Team at

Doing business with the Council

We have a range of information detailing upcoming contract opportunities, information about the tendering process, terms and conditions and our ordering and invoicing process.

If you are a prospective supplier, and you are interested in doing business with the Council you will need to register (for free) on the supplying the South West portal and website.

Once you are registered you can search for opportunities and to receive alerts related to your areas of interest. To register, please see our guidance below.

Be vigilant to fraud

The Coronavirus pandemic has prompted a rise in attempted fraud. Specifically to local authorities, there have recently been false orders made to suppliers to defraud suppliers into sending goods by impersonating a CEO

All purchase order (PO) numbers from Somerset Council are a 10 digit number that will start with 4000XXXXXX and purchase order documents will advise for invoices to be sent to an email address. Be vigilant and question purchase orders if they don’t fit these criteria.

If you are sending goods to a new address, or new contact person or anything seems to be amiss with a purchase order please contact so that your concerns can be clarified.

You should only deliver goods and services to Somerset Council on receipt of a valid purchase order. Do not accept orders over the phone or by email.

Rules, regulations and policies

The purpose of Contract Procedure Rules (CPR) and Standing Orders (CSO) is to set clear rules for the procurement of goods, works and services for the Council. These rules and processes ensure that the Council is fair and accountable in its dealings with contractors and suppliers, while ensuring that the Council gets value for money and that it is taking good care of public funds.

It is essential that CPRs are followed to ensure a competitive process to deliver value for money and avoid practices that are non-compliant and may restrict, distort or prevent competition.

On this page, you can also find a range of documentation which further describes the rules, regulations and policies at Somerset Council and for local authorities.

Social Value and Corporate Responsibility

Our Social Value Policy (PDF 150KB) outlines how we will embed social value in the way we commission our activities to benefit residents, communities, businesses and visitors across the county.

Find out more about how we advertise contract opportunities through the Supplying the South West website.

We also have a Corporate Social Responsibility Statement (PDF 104KB).

Our tendering and procurement processes and systems

Guidance on the Council’s tendering and procurement processes as well as payment to vendors.

Information on EU purchasing

Procurement process flowchart (PDF 135KB)

Purchase to pay process (JPG Image 299KB)

Local transparency code for contracts

The Local Government Transparency Code 2015 requires local government to ensure data is available to increase democratic accountability and make it easier for local people to contribute towards local decision making. The availability of data can also open up new markets for local business, voluntary and community sectors and social enterprises to run services or manage public assets.

Local transparency code for contracts

Tendering and procurement strategy

These contract procedure rules and standing orders are the contracting authority’s  rules for the buying, renting and leasing of goods, services and works and apply to all relevant contracts made by the Council unless otherwise specified.

The aim of these rules is to assist officers in achieving best practice and lawful procurement, to ensure that the Council fulfils its duty of delivering best value for its council tax payers and excellent outcomes for its service users.

About our rules

The rules also provide a basis for fair competition by providing transparent and auditable procedures to protect the Council’s reputation from any suggestion of dishonesty or corruption.

These rules apply to all officers of the Council or any companies or organisations within the Council’s control. They are part of the Council’s Constitution and therefore officers have a duty to ensure they have fully understood them and have sufficient authority prior to commencing any procurement or contracting activity (see section 10 Pre-Procurement authorisations).

Officers must also ensure that any persons or organisations acting on behalf of the Council fully comply with these rules.

These rules are mandatory and shall govern and regulate the Council’s procurement and contract award procedures. Officers must also refer to the Commercial and Procurement Team for more detailed guidance throughout the procurement process.

The expectation is of compliance to these rules and in any cases of doubt advice must be sought from the Commercial and Procurement Team. Failure to follow these rules may be dealt with as a breach of the Council’s standards of conduct and in certain instances may be treated as gross misconduct and give rise to action under the Council’s disciplinary policy and procedure.

If upon reading the rules the officer discovers a lack of clarity or wishes to ensure their comprehension and compliance, they must consult with the Commercial and Procurement Team for advice and guidance. The officer will not be excused from these rules on grounds of a lack of understanding.

The administration, monitoring and governance of these rules are the responsibility of the Commercial and Procurement Team.

Last reviewed: October 19, 2023 by Jenny

Next review due: April 19, 2024

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