Procurement at DCMS

Details of DCMS purchasing arrangements and information for those looking to become a supplier or contractor.

We have already outsourced the majority of our central support services, including our information technology requirements. Purchases of goods and other services are limited to the relatively small needs of the core department.

Contracts and purchasing are organised centrally within the department.

Anyone wishing to supply the department should write in the first instance to:

DCMS Commercial
Department for Culture, Media & Sport
4th Floor
100 Parliament Street
London SW1A 2BQ

Commercial & Procurement, Email:

Procuring goods and services

DCMS is a very small, policy-orientated department and because of our size, we do not, as a rule, keep supplier lists or rosters for such services except for design and web-based services.

If we need to source any services, we would use the relevant Cabinet Office / Crown Commercial Services framework agreements. If the service we need falls under the EU threshold and is not covered by other frameworks, then we would advertise here, on Contracts Finder or tender using eprocurement solutions provided by BIP Ltd (Delta).

All relevant procurements are advertised on the contracts finder website.

Improving the procurement process for small and medium-sized enterprises

The government is taking action to ensure that small firms and organisations, which it considers to be vital to the economy and promoting growth, are no longer shut out of procurement processes because of excessive bureaucracy and petty regulation.

Client contractor relationship

In all dealings with DCMS, officials will seek to preserve the highest standards of integrity, objectivity, fairness, efficiency and professionalism. In turn, we expect contractors to meet these same standards.

Ethics in procurement require high standards of conduct which ensure that the probity of officials and the propriety of their actions is above question. This means that:

  • all dealings with officials should be fair and even-handed
  • all of our contracts contain provisions relating to corrupt gifts

To become a potential supplier or consultant visit the DCMS Procurement Portal.

Our contract strategy

DCMS is a very small department with a limited budget. Wherever possible and cost effective we make use of central framework arrangements set up by other government departments.

All requirements go through the procurement team.

Quotations are sought for requirements with estimated value between £1 to £10,000.

Any requirements with an estimated value of more than £10,000 will go through an advertised open tender exercise in line with EU regulations.

If the estimated cost seems likely to be close to or exceed the EU/WTO thresholds we apply the relevant public procurement regulations.

While individual tendering procedures will be tailored to the specific needs of the contract there are some general principles that we seek to apply:

  • specifications will focus on the required output and not input
  • all tenderers will have the same chance and be invited on a level playing field
  • tenders will be clear and easy to understand
  • over specification will be avoided
  • enough tenders will be invited to ensure a reasonable competition while avoiding inviting companies just to make up numbers

Contracts available to public bodies

We have procured these services for use by DCMS centrally but they are also available to all our public bodies and sponsored bodies.

Childcare vouchers

In line with other government departments, we offer staff the opportunity to take advantage of the tax and National Insurance benefits arising from a childcare voucher salary sacrifice scheme.

Energy management solution

An energy management solution to facilitate the automatic shutdown of desktop computers at night and extend periods of non working time eg weekends and public holidays.

The agreement has been set up to allow our public bodies and sponsored bodies to take advantage of the scheme as well.

For further information please contact:

Commercial & Procurement Deputy Director, Marc Bryant Email:

Environmental guidance for procurement

Sustainable procurement

We are committed to adopting good environmental practice. While always ensuring best value for money, procurement can play a vital role in assisting green policy objectives.

Some of the ways in which the department incorporates environmental factors into purchasing decisions are:

  • wherever possible, when specifying goods, ensuring that less environmentally damaging products are specified. A simple example would be when ordering furniture, any woods used should be from either a recycled wood products or from a sustainably grown sources
  • calculating the whole life cost of specifying an environmentally friendly product

Under EC procurement directives, tenderers will not be excluded from bidding on non-economic grounds. Bidders can be excluded if they fail to meet specific green procurement requirements, but not because of other general environmental considerations.


Evaluation of tenders

If you are tendering for a contract with DCMS, your bid will be successful if it is the one that offers the department the best value for money.

You will be informed of the broad evaluation criteria used for assessing bids as part of the tender documentation.

All bidders are assessed against the same criteria.

We award a contract as soon as possible after the assessment process has been completed. This might involve you attending an interview where you can present your bid in more detail.

Unsuccessful tenders

Within the limits of some commercial confidentiality, the department will always offer unsuccessful tenderers the reasons why their bid failed. Such debriefing can be by phone or face to face.

This should be viewed as a 2-way process.

The comments from the department should be viewed as constructive. They are aimed at making unsuccessful tenderers aware of certain weaknesses and strengths and enabling them to better compete for future work.

Procurement policy

We are fully committed to government policy on procurement as set out in guidance from the Cabinet Office under the Crown Commercial Services (CCS).

This has 2 basic objectives:

  • to achieve continuing improvement in value for money based on whole-life cost and quality
  • to enhance the competitiveness of suppliers through the development of procurement systems and practices

We are also committed to developing the use of eprocurement as a way of improving efficiency.

As an initial step we have introduced the Government Procurement Card into a limited area of the department for low value purchases.

Public procurement (EU) regulations

As with other government departments and many other public bodies, DCMS is obliged to follow the relevant public procurement regulations.

These are:

  • the Public Works Contracts Regulations 1991 (SI 1991 No. 2680)
  • the Public Services Contracts Regulations 1993 (SI 1993 No. 3228)
  • the Public Supply Contracts Regulations 1995 (Si 1995 No. 201)
  • the Public Contracts (Works, Services and Supply) (Amendment) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000 No. 2009)

These regulations set a threshold for contracts above which certain procedures must be applied to the tendering and award of contract. For DCMS, these thresholds are presently set at:

  • supplies - £111,676
  • services - £111,676
  • works - £4,322,012

The regulations set out rules relating to advertising the requirement by way of a Notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) including:

  • the manner in which tenders may be sought
  • minimum timescales for tendering
  • the criteria which may and may not be applied to the selection of tenderers, and
  • the contractor and technical specifications that may be applied