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Cabinet Office Controls

The Cabinet Office spend controls help organisations to reduce unnecessary spend and encourage cross-government collaboration.

The Cabinet Office is committed to iterating the spend controls process to increase government efficiency and collaboration. Version 5 of the spend controls introduces a pipeline approach to approve spending for commercial and also digital and technology activities.

Email cabinetofficecontrols@cabinetoffice.gov.uk for general questions about the spend controls process and policy.

Cabinet Office spend controls summary

This policy summary outlines the objectives, benefits, scope, exemptions and thresholds for the spend controls process. Version 5 supersedes version 4.

Commercial spend controls: pipeline process (introduced in 2018)

Use the pipeline process to request spend approval for commercial activities that cost £10 million or over (excluding VAT).

Commercial spend controls: non-pipeline process (pre-2018)

Use the old commercial spend controls guidance if your organisation is yet to transition to the new pipeline process to get spend approval for commercial activities that cost £10 million or over (excluding VAT).

Digital and technology spend controls: pipeline process (introduced in 2018)

Use the pipeline process to request spend approval for all digital and technology activities. Email the GDS approvals team for help with the digital and technology spend controls.

Digital and technology spend controls: non-pipeline process (pre-2018)

Use the old digital and technology spend controls guidance if your organisation is yet to transition to the new pipeline process.

Advertising, marketing and communications spend controls

Use this guidance to request spend approval for advertising, marketing and communications activity costing £100,000 or more.

Consultancy spend controls

Use this guidance to request spend approval for all consultancy expenditure £1 million or above.

Facilities management spend controls

Use this guidance to request spend approval when buying or extending facilities management contracts, regardless of their cost.

Redundancy and compensation spend controls

Use this guidance to request spend approval for all redundancy and compensation schemes.

External recruitment spend controls

Use this guidance to request spend approval for external recruitment.

Learning and development (Civil Service Learning) spend controls

Use this guidance to request spend approval for learning and development (Civil Service Learning) activities.

Supporting documents

Information about Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and the spend controls framework.

Published 30 April 2018
Last updated 26 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. The link to exempt bodies has been removed as exemptions are no longer applicable.

  2. First published.