Procurement at DWP
How we use external suppliers for goods and services.
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) purchasing arrangements and information for those looking to become a supplier.
DWP provider guidance
The DWP provider guidance gives information about the role of organisations contracted to deliver 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.
DWP uses external suppliers for goods and services. DWP contracts are awarded by competition between potential suppliers, unless there are compelling reasons why competition cannot be used.
Use Contracts Finder to find DWP contract opportunities, including tender timetable and tender documents. Contracts Finder is the main source of government contracting opportunities worth more than £10,000.
When required, contracts in the relevant categories are also advertised in the Tenders Electronic Daily (TED), the supplement to the Official Journal of the European Community in line with the department’s obligation under EU Procurement Directives.
Some of our current opportunities can be found on our eProcurement service, which we use to advertise tender opportunities and information on procurement projects. It provides a simple, secure and efficient means for managing tendering and quotation activities.
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.
If you require further guidance email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 01253 332 970
Opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
The government recognises the important role of SMEs in delivering UK economic growth and prosperity.
The Cabinet Office actively promote initiatives to reduce the bureaucracy involved in bidding for government business and to make government contracts more attractive and accessible for smaller organisations. The Efficiency and Reform Group have provided details of the measures announced to promote small business procurement.
Central government spent an unprecedented £11.4 billion with SMEs in 2013 to 2014. Read the data on central government spend with SMEs 2013 to 2014.
A free online procurement course, winning the contract, run by learndirect is available to help SMEs learn about public procurement and how to bid for public sector contracts.
DWP is changing how it does business to make sure that small companies, charities and voluntary organisations are no longer shut out by excessive bureaucracy and poor procurement practices.
We actively consider SMEs during pre-procurement activities and try and reach out to the small firms sector to alert them to upcoming commercial opportunities. We are working to increase the level of business they get, either:
- directly, by winning contracts with us
- indirectly, by winning contracts with prime contractors or further down supply chains
We keep an SME action plan which sets out the actions we are taking towards helping meet government targets.
We have also implemented new reforms – in part 4 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 – which will make public contracts more accessible to businesses, and in particular to SMEs.
SME agenda: 2013 to 2014 results
Steady progress has been made on the SME agenda. DWP has:
- ensured the SME agenda is factored in future procurement strategies
- identified specific areas of the business which are potential SME rich and are planning our pre-procurement market engagement according to best practice including an increase in market engagement activities (engagement days, boot camps etc) pre-procurement
- continued development of the Welfare to Work future strategy with SMEs in mind
- improved visibility on SME spends through our supplier chain accessing indirect spend information wholly from suppliers through the SID4GOV platform
- simplified our processes and introduced lean procurement
- published our likely commercial pipeline to provide greater visibility to the market
- worked with projects team to identify potential Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) opportunities
The DWP commercial strategy sets out our long-term strategy for the management of commercial arrangements across DWP.
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 EU law and UK legislation and conducted in accordance with the government procurement policy.
Terms and conditions
Suppliers should always refer to the specific terms and conditions issued as part of a procurement tender exercise.
The general terms and conditions (PS1 and PS2) are applied to low value and low risk requirements below £10,000.
The standard model terms and conditions are applied to contracts where the anticipated contract value is over £10,000.
The model services contract and the combined schedules to the model services contract are applied to IT delivery and business process outsourcing with a likely contract value of £10 million or more.
Diversity and equality
All contractors and sub-contractors must be aware of the diversity and equality requirements guidance for DWP contractors.
Prompt payment to suppliers
All central government departments are now required to pay 80% of undisputed invoices within 5 days. Suppliers need to be aware of the correct procedures involved to achieve this.
Suppliers must send invoices directly by post to:
SSCL Accounts Payable Team
Room 6124, Tomlinson House
Telephone: 0845 602 8244 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm)
Prompt payment to sub-contractors
Where suppliers use sub-contractors for the performance of their contract with DWP, these 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. Please include the nature of your contract with the DWP supplier and, where possible, details of the suppliers’ contract with DWP, to: email@example.com
Prompt payment statistics
In January 2016, the figures for DWP payment of invoices to suppliers were:
- 97.9% within 5 working days
- 99.1% within 10 working days
- 99.7% within 30 working days
Prompt payment quarterly statistics
|Financial year 2015 to 2016||Percentage of invoices paid within 5 days||Percentage of invoices paid within 30 days|
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.
We have one of the largest and diverse supply bases in government and our suppliers are responsible for millions of pieces of personal and sensitive information and data. Protecting that data has been a key legal requirement since 1998 under the Data Protection Act.
It is important that suppliers have measures in place to meet this requirement throughout the life of a contract.
The DWP security policy for contractors sets out how the Framework applies to DWP suppliers.
What is required of DWP suppliers?
Suppliers to the department must, in the contracts they deliver, protect personal information. They should focus on the following areas, to specific levels and degrees depending on the type of contract:
- personnel security
- information handling, transfer and storage processes (communication management)
- premises security
- portable media policies
- security incident handling
- information systems security
We have developed a data security training and awareness slide pack for suppliers and their employees delivering DWP contracts. Suppliers can use the slides as training material for their employees.
Suppliers should consider the content of this slide pack along with:
- the specific provisions within any contract that they deliver to DWP
- any existing data security training/awareness within their organisation
Other data protection and information security communications
DWP is highly regarded in government for its commitment to sustainable procurement. To support its aims the department seeks to minimise its own environmental impact. Read the DWP sustainable procurement strategy.
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.
Using DWP brands
If you need to use our logos or anything else that represents our brand, you need to register with our communication centre.
Commercial complaints process
If you are making a complaint regarding our competitive processes please 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.
We will acknowledge all complaints in writing within 5 working days and we will aim to respond within 10 working days.
How to complain
Make your complaint in writing to the procurement manager shown in the tender documentation.
If you wish your complaint to be dealt with independent of the procurement manager, ask them to forward your complaint to the DWP Commercial Assurance Team.
What happens when I make a complaint?
If we made a mistake we will apologise and take any corrective action we can. We monitor and report on the complaints we have received.
We try to learn from them to improve our competitive processes and intend also that our complaints handling process reflects best practice and opportunities for learning.
Contact the DWP Supplier Enquiry team if you have any procurement-related questions or would like further information.
Contact the Supply Chain Information Assurance team with enquiries about how DWP manages data protection and information.
Contact the Sustainable Procurement team for further information or advice about how DWP manages sustainable procurement.