Contract standing orders

Introduction to contract standing orders

Contract standing orders (CSOs) are the rules under which we make contracts for goods, services and works under section 135 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972.

CSOs set out rules covering the whole life cycle of a contract, from the initial decision to purchase, through to the expiry of the contract and includes:

  • tenderer selection
  • tender
  • decision to award
  • contract award
  • operational service start  
  • contract management

Whenever you purchase something, you must comply with these CSOs for these reasons to:

  • get value for money for the council
  • ensure transparency; equality and fair competition
  • comply with the laws that govern the spending of public money

To protect yourself and others from undue criticism or allegations of wrongdoing - compliance with CSOs gives a clear audit trail, allowing the decision making process to pass the test of detailed scrutiny and review.

Additional help

The Procurement Manager, x 3315 and the District Solicitor, x 3252 are happy to give further advice and guidance if you have any difficulty in understanding or interpreting any part of these standing orders.

You should contact them at an early stage of the process, as they may be able to help you consider the best way forward for your procurement.

Training will be available at regular intervals (at least once a year) on how CSOs operate and any issues that arise from them.