Decision details

North Devon Museum External Works

Decision Maker: Head of Resources

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Reason(s) for the Decision:

Information: This project was an inherited project using a repairs fund allowance.
The total contract value estimated by the project lead was £35,000. The current surveyor compared this with a recent project of similar scope of work, in a building of similar age with similar usage (Queens Theatre, Barnstable). The estimates and bills of works were found to be broadly comparable.

The estimate for the value of the contract led to a procurement decision to award by means of gaining a minimum of 3 quotes as it was under the £39,999 threshold for a tender exercise.

When quotes for the works were returned they were £46,847, £48,241 and £52,479.

Elements that increased the price between the estimated value and prices quoted by bidders.

• Additional works were specified mid project and post estimate. This was partly due to the poor condition of 6 chimneys in this historical Grade 2 listed build current value which required remediation work. This was not known at the time of the estimate.
• Material costs increased substantially post December 2020.
• Lead times for suppliers and changes of suppliers post December 2020

Additional information and conclusion.

The three quotes received for this project were all within a close range which represents the current market.
The officer making the estimate made an ‘evidentially sound estimate’ at a time when there were major shifts within the building trade and associated sectors and unexpected amendments to the specification post estimate and mid project.

There were some clarifications to be made and with these alterations to the specification the lowest bid stands.
During the procurement process clarifications were made of the lowest bidder which did not bring the works or quoted price up to the quoted price by the second lowest bidder, had the second lowest bidders price been altered to reflect the changes during the procurement process the lowest bid would have remained the lowest bid throughout the process.

We wish to award the contract to the lowest bidder without further competition.


Record of Decision Taken: to award the contract to the lowest bidder without further competition.

Alternative options considered:

Alternative Options considered and rejected at the time of the decision:

To re-run the procurement exercise accounting for the increased costs is felt to be an unnecessary use of limited resources.
Legal advice from Simon Fuller suggested this route was not necessary to comply with the Public Procurement Regulations and Council’s Contract Procedure Rules.

Declaration of any Conflict of Interest made by any Councillor consulted by the officer or declared when granting the specific authorisation to take the decision (including details of any dispensations granted by the Ethics Committee)


List Of Background Papers that were relied on in making the decision or the decision is based (but not including published works or those which disclose exempt or confidential information (as defined in rule 10 of appendix 15 (Access to Information Procedural Rules) and the advice of a political advisor)


Publication date: 30/03/2021

Date of decision: 29/03/2021