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Tenders and Quotations

The primary basis for providing evidence of value for money is to be able to show that what was offered by the selected supplier provided better value for money than offered from any other potential supplier. This can only be reasonably achieved by inviting competitive tenders (for high value or unique specification equipment) or quotations (for low value or standard "off the shelf" specifications). It is rarely the case that there is only one possible supplier.

Fair competition: In order to ensure that all purchases are made at the most advantageous cost consistent with required quality, fair competition shall prevail, and purchasers shall further ensure that value for money is obtained by one of the following :

  • For purchases above €207,000, an EU tender is required. The Procurement and Supply Chain Manager must be consulted and full details of the tender process recorded centrally, on behalf of the University.
  • For purchases between €25,000 and €207,000: By inviting formal tenders within the procedure laid down in EU Directives for EU Tendering Procedures.
  • For purchases between €5,000 and €25,000: By inviting written quotations within the procedure laid down in Procurement Policies and Procedures.
  • For purchases under €5,000, written quotations are not required.
  • The thresholds are mandatory and represent minimum requirements. For particular purchases, it may be appropriate to use stricter limits where this could lead to improved value for money. (For example, to seek tenders, rather than quotations, for high-specification equipment costing less than €25,000.) Under no circumstances should requirements be split to bring purchases under a particular threshold.
  • On rare occasions there may be only one supplier of a particular item and no alternative is available ("sole source"). Sometimes an item has to be purchased from a particular supplier, usually to ensure compatibility with existing goods or servicing arrangements ("single source"). In absolute emergencies there may not be time to seek competitive bids. If any of the forgoing occurs, staff should make a full, written justification for approval by the Head of Department for the decision not to seek competitive bids. Such approvals must be retained on the record for six years after the end of the financial year in which they occurred. The User and/or the Head of Department may find it advisable to consult with the Procurement and Supply Chain Office on such occasions.

UL Procurement Office    

Contact Information: The Office of Procurement and Supply Chain Management,
University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.
Telephone: +353-61-233715, Facsimile: +353-61-233642,

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