Procurement at DWP

How we use external suppliers for goods and services.

What we buy

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. As the UK’s biggest public service department it administers the State Pension and a range of working age, disability and ill health benefits to around 20 million claimants and customers.

As a result we procure a varied range of goods and services including, but not limited to, Welfare to Work and Health Provision, digital goods and services, resources, estates and facility management, contact centre services and training.

Our procurement strategy

In common with other government departments, DWP procurements are conducted in line with the UK Public Contracts Regulations and UK Cabinet Office Guidelines and Codes of Practice, including those relating to transparency, open competition, equal opportunity and ensuring value for money.

Refer to the sell goods or services to the public sector guidance for general information about tendering for public sector contracts.

The DWP Commissioning Strategy sets out the Employment Provision key themes which will define our relationship with providers and our overall approach right across the market place – from the largest programmes to smallest contracts.

Code of practice

DWP follows an ethical approach to purchasing the range of goods and services needed to meet the requirements of our customers.

We are committed to public sector best practice. In all commercial activity DWP pursues the highest standards of professionalism, ethical conduct and impartiality. Competitive processes are governed by UK legislation and conducted in accordance with the Public Procurement Policy.

Supplier Code of Conduct

The Supplier Code of Conduct reiterates the government’s approach to acting together with trusted suppliers to deliver better public services.

The code exists to help suppliers understand the standards and behaviours that are expected of them when working with the government, and how they can help the government deliver value for money for taxpayers.

Contract opportunities

Unless they can be procured from an existing contract or framework agreement, DWP contractual opportunities are generally advertised and opened to an appropriate degree of competition unless there are compelling reasons why competition cannot be used.

The precise procurement route and degree of advertising will depend on the regulatory requirements, the nature of the goods and/or services being procured and the estimated full life value of the contract.

DWP contract opportunities, including tender timetables and tender documents can be found on Contracts Finder and the UK e-notification service Find a Tender.

Find a Tender replaced the EU’s Tenders Electronic Daily from 1 January 2021 for high value contracts in the UK.

DWP also uses the Cabinet Office Low Value Purchasing system. Registration is free and there is no limit on the number of suppliers who can join this DPS Marketplace. You can register as a supplier on the Supplier Registration page.

Flexible Support Fund Dynamic Purchasing System 2 (FSF DPS 2)

Flexible Support Fund Dynamic Purchasing System 2 (FSF DPS 2) is the replacement to the DPS for work-focused activities also known as the Flexible Support Fund (FSF) DPS. The previous FSF DPS expired on 31 October 2021 and FSF DPS 2 replaced it for new call-offs from 1 November 2021.

To become accredited to deliver services under FSF DPS 2 refer to the Flexible Support Fund Dynamic Purchasing System 2 (DPS) opportunity notices:

Find out more information about how to register and apply to the FSF DPS on the DWP Flexible Support Fund Dynamic Purchasing System 2 page.

Welfare to Work Test and Learn Dynamic Purchasing System

The Welfare to Work Test and Learn Purchasing System presents opportunities for suppliers to apply for tender opportunities, with a focus on innovation and local specialist Welfare to Work support, and to support and test the development of new approaches for employment support.

Find out how to register and apply for tender opportunities through the Test and Learn Dynamic Purchasing System.

Low Value Provision opportunities

Low Value Provision (LVP) provides opportunities for relevant training that will help claimants into work, where no other suitable DWP contracted or non-contracted training is available.

To bid for and supply LVP opportunities you need to complete an online application form.

eSourcing System

The DWP uses the Jaggaer eSourcing Portal, which provides a suite of web-based tools that enable our procurement professionals and suppliers to conduct the strategic activities of the procurement lifecycle over the internet.

It provides an efficient, simple, security accredited and compliant means for managing tendering activities, reducing the time and effort required for both buyers and suppliers.

The eSourcing portal enables users to:

  • register and express an interest in a procurement opportunity
  • participate in tendering activities, downloading, completing and submitting proposals
  • conduct in life management activities during the contract period

As a potential supplier you should register with Jaggaer so that you can:

  • view opportunities to tender
  • submit tender responses

Register to use Jaggaer

For help with registration use the support links on the Jaggaer portal.

Procurement transparency

The government has set out the need for greater transparency across its operations to enable the public to hold public bodies and politicians to account. This includes commitments relating to public expenditure, intended to help achieve better value for money.

As part of the transparency agenda, the government has made the following commitments with regard to procurement and contracting:

  • all new central government tender documents for contracts over £12,000 to be published on the Contracts Finder website
  • all new central government contracts over £12,000 to be published on the Contracts Finder website
  • new items of central government spending over £25,000 to be published online at

Suppliers and those organisations looking to bid for public sector contracts should be aware that if they are awarded a new government contract, the resulting contract between the supplier and government will be published. In some circumstances, limited redactions will be made to some contracts before they are published in order to comply with existing law and for the protection of national security and personal privacy.

The DWP Commercial pipeline provides a forward look of our anticipated outsourcing activity over the forthcoming 18 months and where possible those activities we reasonably expect to undertake in the next 3 to 5 years. The pipeline includes all our major projects and anticipated procurements valued at £10 million or more.

Spend data

Monthly data for the DWP on payments of £25,000 and above made to suppliers, grantees and other recipients is published.

Transactions may be redacted for reasons of national security or personal privacy.

The data is freely available at

Key performance indicators (KPIs) for government’s most important contracts

You can now view a list of central government’s most important contracts, showing up to 4 relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) for those contracts, and the performance of the vendor against those KPIs.

Opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

The government recognises the important role of new businesses, entrepreneurs, start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) and mutuals in delivering against the government’s industrial and civil society strategies.

Where feasible, DWP also wants to trade with SMEs to support economic growth and sustainability within this important business sector.

In the DWP, we support and encourage a diverse range of suppliers to bid for departmental contracts and we monitor the level of business SMEs receive from us directly (by winning contracts) or indirectly (by winning contracts with prime contractors or further down supply chains).

The Small Business Hub provides support for SMEs on bidding for government contracts.

Find out more about bidding for government contracts.

Read the DWP SME Action Plan to find out more about how we work with SMEs.

Crown Representative for SMEs and VCSEs

In addition to the Crown Representatives for government’s strategic suppliers, there is a Crown Representative whose focus is removing barriers to SMEs across government.

There is also a Crown Representative who champions the role that Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprises (VCSEs) can play in delivering public services. VCSEs: A guide to working with government provides support for VCSEs on bidding for government contracts.

DWP will take all steps it can to welcome and facilitate bids from these sectors either directly or as part of a group.

DUNS number

DUNS are a globally recognised way of identifying suppliers. A unique DUNS number is required by all government departments.

To improve the experience of dealing with DWP and in support of on-boarding new suppliers, DWP requires all suppliers to provide their DUNS number.

If you don’t have a DUNS number you can use this form to get your Dun & Bradstreet (D-U-N-S) number. This is a free process and should take no more than 5-10 minutes.

The DUNS number ensures DWP maintain a consistent and standardised database of suppliers that are being transacted with. This requirement also supports DWP’s commitment to the government digital agenda.

Terms and conditions

The DWP contracts with its suppliers using standard terms and conditions, for example terms and conditions based on the Model Services Contract for high value complex services over £10,000.

Suppliers should always refer to the specific terms and conditions issued as part of a procurement tender exercise.

The DWP general terms and conditions (PS1 and PS2) are applied to low value and low risk requirements below £10,000.

The Public Sector Contract (PSC) core terms and conditions are used for contracts called off the Crown Commercial Service (CSS) Framework agreements. The core terms are CCS’s standard commercial terms. They govern the supplier’s relationship with CCS and every buyer who has a call-off contract. These opportunities are advertised through existing Crown Commercial Service (CCS) framework agreements. You would need to be accepted onto the framework to hear about them. To access these agreements you need to register on the CCS eSourcing tool.

Diversity and equality

All contractors and sub-contractors must be aware of and adhere to the diversity and equality requirements guidance for DWP contractors.

Welfare to Work - DWP Employment Category provider guidance

The DWP Employment Category provider guidance gives information about the role of organisations contracted to deliver Welfare to Work provision for DWP.

The Provider Referrals and Payments system (PRaP) enables secure, automated exchanges of information about customers referred to providers, and payments from DWP to Prime Providers. All Welfare to Work contracted provision is supported by PRaP.

Prompt payment to suppliers

DWP recognises that regular cashflow is important for suppliers to effectively deliver the terms of their contracts and are fully supportive of the central government requirement for departments to pay 90% of undisputed invoices within 5 days. Suppliers need to be aware of the correct procedures involved to achieve this.

DWP operates a ‘No Purchase Order, No Pay’ policy, which applies to suppliers and contractors who provide goods, services and works to the department.

This explains:

  • why DWP has introduced this policy
  • who the policy covers
  • how DWP will provide purchase orders
  • what to include in an invoice
  • when you’ll be paid

Invoices without purchase orders will not be paid.

Full details and guidance can be found on the DWP procurement: No purchase order, no pay policy page.

Prompt payment to sub-contractors

Where the supplier lets a subcontract in connection with a DWP contract, they must include similar prompt payment terms to the above in respect of payments to the subcontractor. Suppliers are now required to pay the sub-contractor invoices within 30 days.

To report non-compliance with this requirement sub-contractors should provide details by email to DWP.

Include the nature of your contract with the DWP supplier and, where possible, details of the suppliers’ contract with DWP, to:

Read the prompt payment data for DWP.

Data protection and information security

DWP takes data protection and information security very seriously and is required to give assurance that personal data is being appropriately protected throughout its supply chain.

Read about data protection and information security for DWP suppliers and contractors.

Sustainable procurement

Sustainable procurement is a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money and generates benefits not only to DWP, but also to society and the economy too, while minimising damage to the environment.

DWP is committed to supporting sustainable procurement.

Bidders for our major contracts (current threshold £5million) now have to demonstrate they have Carbon Reduction Plans in place to achieve the government target of achieving Net Zero by 2050.

Contracts may also contain the requirement for our suppliers to develop a Sustainable Development Plan to demonstrate commitment to overarching sustainably requirements during the life of the contract.

To support its aims the department seeks to minimise its own environmental impact and reports its progress against targets on the Greening Government Commitments (GGC) page.

Government Buying Standards

The Government Buying Standards (GBS) are a set of sustainable specifications for a range of commonly purchased products. Read the latest information about how DWP and its suppliers are responding to the GBS.

Social value in procurement

DWP adheres to the Public Services (Social Value) Act which requires departments who procure services to consider social, economic and environmental benefits in procurements. This means we utilise our procurement and contract management activities to deliver additional value that benefits our citizens, communities or the environment.

Since the introduction of PPN06/20 Taking Account of Social Value, our approach is to include specific Social Value (SV) criteria by default to all contracts exceeding £120k. Using the SV model, inclusion of specific SV Value criteria supports the government SV Themes and Policy Outcomes, with measurable metrics delivered during the life of contract.

Life Chances through Procurement is part of the Department’s response to these obligations and allows Commercial Directorate to make a greater contribution to the objectives of the Department.

Modern Slavery

DWP has zero tolerance toward Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.

In addition to mandatory questions that identify bidders convicted of slavery offences, all our procurements with a value exceeding £100k are required to include an upfront risk assessment and further measures included where appropriate, including requiring suppliers to complete the government developed Modern Slavery Assessment Tool (MSAT) to give visibility of the supply chain and suppliers own approach to managing the risk of slavery occurring.

Suppliers of our most important contracts are also required to complete an MSAT as standard.

We published our first Modern Slavery Statement in autumn 2021 setting our approach to tackling the risk of slavery in our supply chains and a commitment to updating progress annually.

Commercial complaints process

If you are making a complaint regarding our competitive processes, provide as much detail as you can.

We are fully committed to maintaining confidentiality and will take appropriate measures to ensure it. If you are currently involved in tendering for work with DWP you can be assured that your comments will not be allowed to prejudice the fair treatment of your tender.

How to complain

Make your complaint in writing to the procurement manager shown in the tender documentation.

What happens when I make a complaint?

We will take seriously any complaint and undertake appropriate investigations. Where mistakes have been made, we will take suitable corrective action and put in place any necessary remedial measures to prevent any future incidences.

Public Procurement Review Service

Concerns from suppliers (and potential suppliers) about public procurement practice and the late payment of valid and undisputed invoices can also be made to the Public Procurement Review Service.

Transforming Public Procurement

The Procurement Act achieved Royal Assent in autumn 2023.

What the Act will do

This is an important piece of legislation which will revolutionise the way the public sector buys goods and services, bringing a range of benefits, including:

  • creating a simpler and more flexible commercial system that better meets our country’s needs while remaining compliant with our international obligations
  • opening up public procurement to new entrants such as small businesses and social enterprises so that they can compete for and win more public contracts
  • taking tougher action on underperforming suppliers and excluding suppliers who pose unacceptable risks
  • embedding transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle so that the spending of taxpayers’ money can be properly scrutinised

Key suppliers and businesses which supply goods, works or services to DWP will need to know about these changes and our plans to prepare for go-live.

When the changes will happen

We expect the new regime to commence in October 2024, with at least 6 months’ advance notice.

The existing rules will continue to apply for contracts that are already in progress, so the changes will not happen overnight.

Benefits for suppliers

For suppliers there will be new features which should make it easier to do business with contracting authorities:

  • a central digital platform for suppliers to register and store their details so that they can be used for multiple bids and see all opportunities in one place
  • simplified bidding processes to make it easier to bid, negotiate and work in partnership with the public sector – including a new ‘competitive flexible’ procedure
  • commercial frameworks will be more flexible, so prospective suppliers are not shut out for long periods of time
  • a new duty on contracting authorities to have regard to the particular barriers facing SMEs and VCSEs, and to consider what can be done to overcome them throughout the procurement lifecycle, helping level the playing field for smaller businesses so they can compete for more contracts
  • strengthened provisions for prompt payment throughout the supply chain – enabling SMEs to benefit from 30-day payment terms on a broader range of public sector contracts
  • a stronger exclusions framework will take tougher action on underperforming suppliers

These changes will drive innovation, deliver better outcomes and embed transparency right through the commercial lifecycle, so everyone can access procurement data and see how money is spent.

Learn about the new regime

The Government Commercial Function will be providing a comprehensive training package for procurement practitioners in government departments and public bodies to ensure the benefits of the new regime are quickly realised, and also working with leading business groups and trade associations to make some of this training as well as guidance and support available for the suppliers.

There is already a range of information and resources about the new regime on the Transforming Public Procurement landing page including a series of ‘Knowledge Drop’ training videos with tailored versions designed specifically for suppliers, including SME and VCSE suppliers.

Materials will continue to be added and further resources added, as we move towards go-live.

In the meantime there are actions you can start to take to prepare:

  • familiarise yourself with the Act – check out the summary documents and videos on the Transforming Public Procurement landing page, and sign up for regular updates here
  • please view the supplier and SME dedicated official Knowledge Drops – further Cabinet Office guidance, procurement reform events and supplier communications will follow in 2024

Dedicated information for suppliers, particularly around the Procurement Review Unit and Central Digital Platform will be issued by the Cabinet Office as we approach the 6 months’ preparation period. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss any aspect of the new Act please contact the dedicated Transforming Public Procurement helpdesk at