Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney


Council services are paid for by public money, so rules are in place to ensure a high level of transparency in all stages of the procurement process. These include:

  • European Procurement Directives.
  • Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015.
  • Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.
  • Procurement (Scotland) Regulations 2016.
  • Concession Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016.
  • Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016.
  • Public Contracts (Scotland) Amendments Regulations 2016.
  • Contract and Procurement Rules of the Council.
  • Policy decisions of the Council.

We are guided by our Contract Standing Orders, which promote good procurement practice, public accountability and deter corruption. To view the Council's Contract Standing Orders, see the Related Links section on this page.

Our Contract Standing Orders follow the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015, which require all service and supply contracts over the value of £181,302 excluding VAT and all works contracts over £4,551,413 excluding VAT to be advertised in the Official Journal for the European Union (OJEU), available from the 'Related Sites' section of this page. Contracts for goods and services above £50,000 and for works above £2,000,000 excluding VAT are advertised of the Public Contracts Scotland Portal.

The type, value and complexity of the contract will usually determine our approach to the market. The procedure the Council uses to purchase goods, services and works will depend on several factors which will include:

  • The value of the goods, services and works concerned.
  • The frequency with which they are required.
  • European Community, United Kingdom and Scottish laws.

All successful suppliers/contractors must conform to the Councils specification and quality standards and will be subject to our standard contract conditions - see Related Links section on this page.

The value of the contract has a significant effect on the procurement process as follows:

  • Purchases of goods, services and works with a value of less than £10,000. The Council requires individual council officers to obtain value for money and to be able to substantiate this process by keeping appropriate records.
  • Contracts between £10,000 and £50,000. These are not normally advertised but require at least 4 formal written quotations. Increasing we aim to invite competitive quotations via the Public Contracts Scotland Quick Quote facility or the Public Contracts Scotland advertising portal..
  • Tendering to supply goods, services and works between £50,000 and the thresholds set out in the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 For these contracts the Council requires these to be advertised on the Public Contracts Scotland portal and via an open tender procedure..
  • Tendering to supply goods and services over £181,302 and for works over £4,551,413. To comply with the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015, these contracts must be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and subject to a formal tendering process.

Any business which can meet the Council's requirements is permitted to either submit a request to participate in the first stage of the tendering process or to submit a tender, depending on the procedure selected by the Council. This culminates in the award of a contract, which details the terms under which the contract has been awarded. Note: The European Public Procurement thresholds are revised every two years. The current values came into effect on 1 January 2016.

For further information about the Council's procurement processes please contact the Procurement Manager on 01856873535.

Construction - Council Approved Contractors

All approved contractors on the Orkney Islands Council's list may apply directly for inclusion on works less then £2,000,000. Contractors not previously approved will not be permitted to tender, but can apply for inclusion on the list at any time.
The current list will expire on 30 June 2017.

Related Links