We buy a wide range of goods and services – from building maintenance to professional consultancy services. We aim to be open and honest, treat all suppliers fairly and make sure we get good value for money.

Last updated: 27 January 2023

Regulations on procuring goods and services

We have to follow rules aimed at ensuring open and fair competition for public contracts in Europe. The rules apply to contracts for supplies and services valued at over £213,477 inc VAT and £5,336,937 inc VAT for works. These are known as the UK procurement thresholds where the Public Contract Regulations 2015 apply.

Where we look for suppliers

We consider a range of sources when looking for suppliers. They include:

We also often use framework agreements, which are advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union or the UK’s  Find a Tender service, to buy goods and services. These involve groups of suppliers that have already met and agreed terms and conditions to provide certain specific and/or services. We run mini-competitions within the frameworks where the framework suppliers can bid for opportunities.

You can see examples of the types of framework agreements we use let by Crown Commercial Service  and ESPO, which are public sector buying organisations.

How to tender

All our tendering is done through our eTendering portal. This keeps the process simple, secure and efficient.

We use the portal to:

  • advertise tender opportunities and request quotations
  • manage our contracts and supplier details
  • request information from suppliers

Suppliers can:

  • create and maintain their profiles
  • view current and past tender opportunities
  • respond easily to tender opportunities
  • manage their bids
  • view their contracts

Sharing our values and commitments 

We’re committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and we expect our suppliers to have labour policies that show a shared commitment to these values.

Purchase orders

We have a ‘no purchase order, no pay’ policy – so all suppliers we work with must have a purchase order before providing any goods or services.

For more information, see our full purchase order terms and conditions (PDF 435KB) and annexes, our data processing schedule (PDF 55KB), security policy (PDF 55KB) and ED&I policy (PDF 55KB).

  • Supplying to the public sector

    For useful information on public sector contracts, see GOV.UK. The site gives an overview of the processes we may use and also has a Crown Commercial Services supplier helpline.

  • Get in touch

    For more information, please contact our procurement team.