Procurement at DECC

Doing business with DECC.

The DECC Procurement Strategy explains how we purchase goods and services.

Transparency in procurement

Details of our tender and contract documents are on the Contracts Finder website.

All procurements that exceed the EU Public Procurement Directives thresholds (currently set at £111,676) and which are required to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) are advertised in TED (Tenders Electronic Daily), the supplement to OJEU via a contract notice, unless an existing framework is used.

Find out about our publication scheme.

Selling to DECC

All of our contracts are awarded by competition between potential suppliers, unless there is a very compelling justification under the EU procurement rules as to why competition cannot be used.

Where required DECC contracts in the relevant categories are advertised in the TED, in line with our obligation under the EU Procurement Directives. In some cases we also issue Prior Information Notices (PINs), which describe contracts that will be formally advertised in the near future. Contracts are also advertised on the Contracts Finder website where required under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

DECC contracts with its suppliers on its standard terms and conditions, which apply to all purchase orders unless alternative terms and conditions are specified - e.g. Crown Commercial Service terms for contract or use of frameworks.

DECC’s standard terms for services are:

Standard terms and conditions for services (PF31)

Standard terms and conditions for suppliers (PF32).

For contracts with a value under the EU procurement thresholds, DECC uses Short form terms and conditions

DECC may also use the Crown Commercial Service Model contract terms for procurements in excess of £10 million.

Improving opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

The government recognises the important role of SMEs in delivering UK economic growth and prosperity. In March 2011, the government set a new target to award 25% of spend with third-party suppliers to SMEs by March 2015.

DECC is committed to supporting this target. We encourage SMEs to bid for departmental business 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).

We no longer use pre-qualification questionnaires for procurements below £100k unless there is a clear justification for doing so. Instead, all procurement and contract information is now published on Contracts Finder as standard procedure.

Analytical Modelling

If you are interested in providing modelling services to DECC please refer to our Quality Assurance Tools and Guidance for Analytical Models.

Contact for feedback or queries:

Sustainable procurement

Sustainable procurement is the process that lets organisations meet their requirements for goods, services and utilities in a way that achieves value for money for DECC, the public and the economy, while minimising damage to the environment.

As part of our contract letting and management process, our commercial representatives ask current and potential suppliers about sustainability in contract delivery (including their supply chain). We want to be confident that suppliers:

  • comply with environmental legislation and regulatory requirements
  • propose less environmentally damaging products and services when competing for contracts
  • make more efficient and effective use of natural resources

Prompt payments

We aim to reduce invoice payment times to 10 working days. We pay all valid goods and services invoices as soon as they have been authorised by the DECC officials responsible for the contract. We are applying this policy to all suppliers of goods and services but will not be changing our existing contractual terms and conditions.

The Prompt Payment Code is another critical step in a series of structured initiatives devised by the government and the Institute of Credit Management (ICM) to manage late payments and help small businesses in particular.

DECC payment performance

The percentage of invoices DECC paid within 5 working days per month since 2010 are:

Month 2009 (%) 2010 (%) 2011 (%) 2012 (%) 2013 (%) 2014 (%) 2015 (%)
January 86.90 88.70 88.90 94.00 98.33 99.44
February 95.50 93.90 90.00 97.00 99.40 100.00
March 96.60 95.00 89.70 95.80 98.96 99.13
April 98.22 96.20 93.10 93.4 95.2 100 98.22
May 97.18 92.30 91.40 90.0 71.8 99.87 99.6
June 98.01 94.40 90.80 93.94 83.00 97.22 100
July 97.15 93.80 89.70 93.90 99.6 100 100
August 93.74 93.20 88.40 96.10 99.0 100 98.95
September 85.21 92.30 94.00 93.60 100 100 99.84
October 92.70 91.00 89.20 97.80 91.0 98.89 100
November 92.10 91.80 90.30 93.90 99.61 99.67 100
December 90.70 93.00 89.20 96.80 98.19 98.17 99.86

Invoicing DECC

If your contract with DECC is for goods or services of over £250 in value, you will need to quote a valid purchase order number or your invoice will be returned. Your primary contact within the department should be able to supply this if you do not already have it.

Suppliers’ invoices must also include the following information:

  • date of invoice
  • supplier name and contact details
  • supplier bank details
  • the agreed charge (and where not complete a breakdown of the relevant work or services as they relate to this charge or an explanation of a difference in expected charge)
  • confirmation that the services detailed have been fully performed

All invoices should be sent to the following address:

SSD Accounts Payable – Agencies
Finance Operations
Lion House
Willowburn Trading Estate
NE66 2PF

If the above guidance is followed the department will regard the invoice as being correctly rendered.

Upon receipt of a correctly rendered invoice as detailed above the Department will aim to pay valid invoices as soon as possible with a target of 10 days from date of receipt and within 30 days at the latest in line with our standard terms and conditions.

Suppliers should note that the date of invoice receipt is defined as the date of receipt at the above address. If an invoice is disputed you will be informed and given the relevant contact details for further enquiries. In such cases the payment target will be frozen whilst the dispute is resolved.

If your invoice was legitimate and we took over 30 days to pay it you may have recourse through the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.

If you have a query about an invoice or payment, get in touch with your primary contact at DECC (usually the person who manages your contract).

Once we have paid your invoice, we will email or post to you a remittance advice. We will send this on the day we make the payment. Unless you have arranged otherwise, we make all payments by BACs, which will take 2 days to arrive in your account.

If your invoice was legitimate and we took over 30 days to pay it, you may have the right for recourse through the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.

Late payment

The government introduced the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 to give small firms with 50 or less employees a statutory right to interest for the late payment of commercial debts. This right, and other new entitlements, has been available to all businesses and public sector bodies since 7 August 2002.

Read more about your options for charging interest and managing debt recovery.

The late payment legislation does not prevent businesses from setting, and agreeing with customers, their own terms of business, including the level of interest to be charged on late payment.

Find out how to make a court claim for a late payment.

The Law Society operates the Lawyers For Your Business scheme, which offers a free consultation with a solicitor.

Business Debtline provides free, confidential and independent advice on how small businesses can deal with debt problems.