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Procurement and Selling to the Council

Cornwall Council spent £498 million during the 2013/14 financial year on a diverse range of goods, works and services from 6,842 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 Supplier Development Programme (CSDP). The CSDP 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 CSDP 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.

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

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. 

If you are a Small Medium Enterprise (SME) you have the opportunity to register with the National Programme for SMEs, which is intended to help you have more opportunities to grow and win more business.  More information can be found on https://www.supplycontracts.co.uk/.

Also, there are a series of roadshows you may be interested in either attending or exhibiting at – more information can be found on www.procurementroadshow.co.uk/.

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 the Council’s Procurement Team directly on procurement@cornwall.gov.uk so that we have an opportunity to resolve the issue.

Corporate Procurement Team

2nd Floor, West Wing,
New County Hall,

01872 323779
Fax 01872 323507