Procurement at DFID

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

Annual Procurement and Commercial Report

DFID’s first Annual Procurement and Commercial Report (PDF, 2.11MB, 38 pages) meets the commitment made at the time of DFID’s Supplier Review in October 2017 to place more commercial information in the public domain. It summarises key aspects of DFID’s procurement and commercial performance and that of our strategic suppliers, complementing the information contained in the Department’s Annual Report and Accounts. It is accompanied by an open letter to DFID supply partners (PDF, 103KB, 1 page) .

The Secretary of State for International Development has written an open letter to DFID’s suppliers about Brexit No Deal preparations.

An open letter to all current and potential supply partners regarding new measures to ensure 'prompt payment' (PDF, 169KB, 2 pages) within government contracts.

How to become a supplier

DFID has launched its new Supply Partner Portal on schedule, we issued the first procurement through the new system on 31st July 2019. This will be the new way to register, bid and participate in contract opportunities that we advertise. To use the supply partner portal you must register and complete a company profile. Access is then provided through a username and password. Full user guidance for the new portal can be found here:

Any tender opportunities launched prior to 31st July 2019 will continue to be operated through the old supplier portal. If you are part of a tender, you should continue to use the old portal to access and respond.

Please read the FAQs for further information on the migration process to the new supply partner portal:

Frameworks

Find below a list of the DFID’s current frameworks.

Framework Agreement Start date Expiry date Number of suppliers Comments
Forensic and Investigative Audit Services 18 Dec 2015 17 Dec 2019 9 suppliers For DFID use only
Global Evaluation Framework (GEFA) 12 Sept 2016 11 Sept 2020 20 suppliers Framework available to other Government Departments
Expert Advisory Call Down Service (EACDS) 1 Sept 2016 31 Oct 2019 3 lead suppliers Framework available to other Government Departments
International Multi Disciplinary Programme (IMDP) 1 May 2019 30 April 2021 22 lots, up to 15 suppliers per lot Framework available to other Government Departments
Generalist Economic Development (GEDF) 1 Feb 2019 31 Jan 2021 13 suppliers Framework available to other Government Departments
Independent Monitoring and Process Evaluation (IMPERFA) 15 April 2019 14 April 2021 12 lots, 3-5 suppliers per lot Framework available to other Government Departments

DFID procurement: current frameworks

Funding awards and opportunities

DFID is committed to giving suppliers easy access to tendering opportunities. Details of early market engagements and other events can be found on our Calendar of Supplier Engagement Events for 2019 (PDF, 146KB, 1 page) , which is updated with upcoming dates regularly. DFID Procurement and Commercial Department are also on Twitter, please follow @DFIDProcurement for regular updates on potential opportunities and events.

Details of future opportunities and contracts (PDF, 197KB, 12 pages) This highlights opportunities from 2019-2021 and this will be updated quarterly.

Details of contracts we have awarded can be viewed on the Contracts Finder for Central Government. This enables organisations to search for information about contracts with the government and its agencies.

DFID spends nearly £1bn a year on wealth creation programmes in poor countries. These programmes include financing through grants, loans and other financial instruments and cover activities ranging from infrastructure to water, agricultural development and innovation. Awards are made on a competitive basis. You can find out more at International development funding.

Another opportunity to partner to promote development outcomes could come from working with CDC, the UK’s Development Finance Institution. CDC support building businesses to help create jobs and drive prosperity, and are actively looking for new investment opportunities.

Beyond DFID, you can find export and contract opportunities with other aid agencies working in countries worldwide.

DFID does not send opportunities or details of potential contracts over the EU threshold directly to suppliers, all information relating to any DFID opportunity is published directly on our Portal. We encourage anyone who has received similar correspondence to notify DFID’s Counter Fraud Section at reportingconcerns@dfid.gov.uk.

Working with Other Government Departments

To reduce duplication, DFID works closely with other UK government departments where appropriate for example; The Department for International Trade (DIT) through its Aid Funded Business service. DIT also list hundreds of opportunities every month in more than 40 sectors worldwide. Register for updates for export opportunities.

The FCO and BIS also provide help through their services to business:

If you have specific questions relating to your business please access Business Support, Facebook.

DFID Terms and Conditions of Contract

Prior to tendering for a DFID Contract tendering organisations should ensure that they are able to fully comply with DFID’s DFIDs Standard Terms and Conditions of Contract (PDF, 1.27MB, 94 pages) , which includes DFID’s Supply Partner Code of Conduct (PDF, 300KB, 16 pages) . These are also available on the portal via the link provided above. DFID’s contract Terms and Conditions are periodically reviewed to ensure they are reflective of new policy and legislative requirements. Please refer to the Summary of the August 2018 terms and conditions updates (PDF, 454KB, 1 page) for a guide to key changes.

Supplier Compliance

Following the International Development Secretary announcement to drive bold plans and implement a tough reform across the Department for International Development’s (DFID) work with suppliers, we continue to work on reducing the risk of profiteering, excessive charges and unscrupulous practices.
Leading practice compliance, risk procedures and processes have now been embedded within our procurement process, introducing new ways of working through:

  • the introduction of a central compliance and risk team to consistently manage compliance across our Supply Partners
  • revised DFID Terms and Conditions that include a new Supplier Code of Conduct applied to all contracts, amendments and retrospectively to strategic contracts awarded from September 2017

To support all Supply Partners with the new compliance process, please refer to our Supplier Partner Handbook (PDF, 355KB, 31 pages) and ‘ Supply Partner Compliance Guidance (MS Powerpoint Presentation, 1.67MB) ’, designed to guide all Supply Partner(s) through the steps required to respond efficiently and consistently to the new Code of Conduct.

Within the guidance document there is reference to our:

  • Response Template (MS Powerpoint Presentation, 1.47MB) (the use of this document is optional)
  • Supply Partner Reference List (ODS, 29.7KB) – this document directs suppliers to the documents that will form the basis of the compliance checking procedure

Supply Partners may also find it helpful to refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 416KB, 32 pages) document where we have set out common Code compliance queries and responses from the Compliance Team.

If you have any further questions on our new supplier guidance or any of the supporting documentation, please contact suppliercompliance@dfid.gov.uk

Business Integrity

UK companies that do business with integrity are better positioned to reduce risks and capitalise on commercial opportunities.

Doing business with integrity means ensuring compliance with the UK Bribery Act and insisting local partners, agents and distributors adhere to the same high standards. It also means being vigilant for modern slavery and other human rights abuses, both in operations and supply chains, in line with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Companies that make integrity core to their business protect and strengthen brand reputation, enjoy greater and more sustainable commercial success over the long-term, and minimise the risk of prosecution.

Tackling bribery and corruption creates more prosperous and healthy communities and a better business environment. It also enables the UK to maintain its status as a global leader in the fight against corruption.

Improving opportunities for small and medium enterprises

DFID’s focus on improving its business opportunities, awareness and facilitating SME access to its tenders have generated a consistent growth in SME spend. DFID is fully committed to the long term government strategy to increase the SME supply base and to ensure inclusivity for organisations that have traditionally found routes to accessing DFID work difficult for a variety of reasons. Our new Small to Medium Enterprise Action Plan (PDF, 821KB, 16 pages) outlines how we continue to support SMEs and sets out three main areas of focus:

  • SME Opportunities – improving the visibility and accessibility of our funding opportunities and how we communicate them
  • Continual Improvement – applying best practice, supporting compliance and opening up opportunities
  • SME Engagement with DFID and large suppliers – developing a strong market engagement programme, reducing barriers to working with DFID and improving links between SMEs and our large prime suppliers

For further information SME’s can contact our dedicated SME Engagement team via email at SMEengagement@DFID.gov.uk.

DFID Tender Process

Once the tender process is underway suppliers will be asked for information about their company financial standing, identify grounds for rejection, duty of care and technical and professional ability in order to determine the organisation’s capacity and capability to undertake the contract. Suppliers must ensure this is completed in full and has the financial capacity, the required registration/licences, and experience to deliver the contract in line with the budget available.

Potential suppliers who are invited to submit a commercial and technical tender must adhere to the Eligible Cost Policy (PDF, 297KB, 12 pages) when preparing their commercial tender.

Working with developing countries can support growth and help to reduce poverty but can also be risky for companies and others not familiar with the country. DIT provides information on the risks of doing business overseas.

DFID’s network of country offices, predominantly in Africa and South Asia, have knowledge of local market conditions and investment opportunities and many will also have contacts with private sector organisations (e.g. local chambers of commerce) and potential suppliers or other businesses seeking joint ventures.

Businesses and others investing overseas need to conform to local laws, and should respect internationally agreed principles on good corporate behaviour, including on human rights, transparency and sustainability.

The United Nations set out, within the UN Global Compact, the key principles to working in poorer countries , this is now a requirement within DFID contract. Many not-for-profit organisations offer advice on responsible business including the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade and Non-Government Organisations, such as Oxfam. Multilateral organisations like the World Bank offer advice on doing business overseas and International Finance Corporation compile indexes on the business climate in developing countries,

Commercial vision

DFID's Commercial Vision (PDF, 450KB, 3 pages) defines the aims of our organisation and sets out the steps we are taking to achieve this.

Annual Supplier Conference

DFID held its fourth Annual Supplier Conference, ‘Partnering for Development: delivering global impact’ on Tuesday 6 September 2016. This was our biggest Annual Supplier Conference to date, with 200 organisational representatives in attendance from across our various delivery providers. The detailed Conference Report 2016 will be made available here when published.

Read previous Annual Supplier Conference Reports here:

DFID policies

DFID has robust policies and processes in place to ensure we obtain maximum impact from UK Aid funds. The guidance documents below outlines DFID’s internal processes, which we expect organisations to adhere to and have in place, as well as operate similar policies and processes throughout their delivery chain.

Following feedback (PDF, 209KB, 9 pages) from our supply partner base we have reviewed the Commercial Cost template. We have simplified the template (PDF, 1.08MB, 18 pages) and excel form (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 284KB) and will tailor where possible to synchronise with the tender it accompanies. There remains simply one separate Eligible Cost Policy (PDF, 297KB, 12 pages) that is focused wholly on cost eligibility.

Transparency

As part of the government’s commitment to greater transparency, we publish the following on Contracts Finder:

  • all new central government ICT contracts over the value of £10,000
  • all new central government tender documents for contracts over £10,000 (this information is available to the public free of charge)
  • new items of central government spending over £500

Suppliers bidding for public sector contracts should be aware that if you are awarded a new government contract, information about the contract will be published. In order to comply with existing law and for the protection of national security we will make limited redactions before the information is published or there may be some details that we do not publish.

Prompt Payment to DFID suppliers

All central government departments are required to pay 80% of undisputed invoices within 5 days. Suppliers need to be aware of the correct procedures involved to achieve this. Where suppliers use sub-contractors for the performance of their contract with DFID, these suppliers are now required to pay the sub-contractor invoices within 30 days.

As part of the UK Governments 2016 mandatory e-invoicing initiative, DFID has moved to electronic receipt of general invoices. For further information, see Supplier Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 259KB, 2 pages) .

Suppliers must send invoices directly to:

Accounts Payable Section
DFID Financial Management Group

e-invoicing@dfid.gov.uk

For prompt payment statistics please see our DFID payment performance: showing the percentage of invoices paid within 5 and 30 days.