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Commercial Services and Selling to the Council

Cornwall Council spent £517m during the 2014/15 financial year on a diverse range of goods, works and services from 6,335 external suppliers.

The Council purchases everything from pencils to social care to waste management and the approach taken to this spending has a significant impact on the community and our own resources.


Naturally many organisations will want to sell goods, works and services to Cornwall Council. To help suppliers tender for this work we have launched the Cornwall Supply Chain Development Programme (CSCDP). The CSCDP aims to support businesses in becoming ‘tender ready’ and in reaching the standards required to engage in the public sector procurement process, consequently increasing their competitiveness.

The CSCDP consists of a number of resources including a 'Selling to the Council Guide' and sample tender documents as well as details of upcoming events and procurement opportunities.

After eight very successful years the Tenders in Cornwall service is ending on 4 January 2016. Cornwall Council has taken the decision, in line with guidance from the Crown Commercial Service, to move onto an e-tendering and contract management system.

This new system will host its own advertising portal which will sit on the Supplying the South West website, but will also include software to support the electronic submission and evaluation of tenders. Please be aware that if you are currently registered on Tenders in Cornwall then you will not automatically be migrated onto the new system. Please register for free at: www.supplyingthesouthwest.org.uk to continue to receive notifications of Cornwall Council contract opportunities in the New Year. However, if you are already registered on Supplying the Southwest then no further action is required.

For information on the Council’s responsible procurement practices including our guidance for suppliers under the following strands:

  • Environmental sustainability and carbon management
  • Equality and diversity
  • Safeguarding
  • Ethical sourcing
  • SME engagement
  • Health and safety
  • Social Value: Employment and Skills
  • Social Value: Additional Outcomes for Vulnerable Groups
  • Social Value: Supporting, Protecting and Improving Community Assets

Please visit our responsible procurement page.

Cornwall Council is offering small and medium enterprise suppliers preferred payment terms. Please see the 'Preferred Payment Application Form' for more details. 

All invoices require a purchase order (PO) before payment. You should not accept orders (written or verbal) from Cornwall Council employees unless a PO is provided. The PO from us will contain a unique PO number. When creating your invoice, it is important that you quote the correct PO number. This number should also be quoted on any receipt, or correspondence you have with us regarding that particular order. Regrettably if we do not receive the correct purchase order details, payment cannot be made and suppliers will be asked to re-submit the invoice with a valid PO number.

The Council uses 'Standard Terms and Conditions for Purchase Orders' under £10,000; these are attached to purchase orders.

Mystery Shopper is an informal, anonymous service run by Cabinet Office allowing businesses to raise concerns and highlight the barriers they encounter when bidding for, or working on, public sector contracts.  Issues can include:

  • Late payment                                                     
  • Unfair or overly bureaucratic procurement practice
  • Procurement that does not comply with government policy or EU rules        

The Mystery Shopper team will then work with the Council to resolve concerns.

Before reporting an issue or concern to the Mystery Shopper Service please contact Commercial Services directly on procurement@cornwall.gov.uk so that we have an opportunity to resolve the issue.

Commercial Services

3rd Floor, South Wing,
New County Hall,

01872 323779