Procurement at Home Office
Details of Home Office purchasing arrangements and information for those looking to become a supplier or contractor.
The Home Office conducts its business in a fair, open and transparent manner. It deals with a multitude of local, national or global organisations - from those with just a few employees to those with many thousands.
All our contracts are awarded by competition between potential suppliers, unless there are compelling reasons why competition cannot be used.
Where required, contracts in the relevant categories are advertised on the Official Journal of the European Union’s TED (tenders electronic daily) website in line with our obligation under the EU procurement directives. In some cases we also issue prior information notices that describe contracts that will be formally advertised in the near future.
How to become a supplier
Opportunities to become a regular supplier can be found by:
- visiting the Contracts Finder website
- looking for opportunities to tender on TED, where all government opportunities to tender that are over limits set by EU directives are listed
The Home Office contracts with its suppliers on its standard terms and conditions, which apply to all purchase orders unless alternative terms and conditions are specified.
Transparency in procurement
Details of our tender and contract documents over £10,000 can be found on the Contracts Finder website.
Improving opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises
The government recognises the important role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in delivering UK economic growth and prosperity. The government set a new target to award 33% of spend with third-party suppliers to SMEs by the end of 2020.
In the Home Office, 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).
Where appropriate, we have carried out an extensive programme to restructure our largest contracts, particularly in the IT and Digital sector in order to create direct and indirect opportunities for SMEs.
Many of those opportunities are advertised through existing framework agreements. You can read details of these agreements and upcoming opportunities.
New opportunities which do not lend themselves to a framework will be advertised on the Contracts Finder website.
In addition, the Home Office has set up the Joint Security and Resilience Centre (JSaRC) to be a flexible capability where government and the security sector can work in partnership to respond to both urgent and longer term threats to UK national security. JSaRC also has an objective to support the growth of the security sector wherever possible. JSaRC will act as the front door for the security sector, particularly for SMEs, to access the complex security machinery of government. It will be government’s primary means of coordinating sector support, refining requirements, understanding the sector offer and sharing strategic priorities.
If you feel that you have a security offering which may be of interest to JSaRC please contact us:
The Home Office also works with the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). SBRI can support us where we have an unclear requirement but need support from industry to develop this further. SBRI can fund the research and development required to reach a solution. You can read further information about SBRI, including live competitions from across government.
Read the Home Office SME Action Plan (PDF, 87.9KB, 1 page)
To find out if you qualify as an SME, you can read the definition on the European Commission website.
If you have any further questions regarding the Home Office approach to the SME agenda they can be directed to us through our dedicated SME enquiries mailboxSMEEnquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.
SME case studies
We value the expertise and innovations which SMEs can bring to the Home Office supply chain. Read some examples here of contracts awarded to SMEs:
Crown Representative for SMEs
Emma Jones is the Crown Representative for SMEs. You can find out more about Emma and her role on the Cabinet Office website:
The Home Office practises sustainable procurement to increase value for money while minimising environmental damage and waste.
We use our procurement and contract management activities to encourage sustainable behaviour. More information is available on our energy use page.
Since July 2012 we have been promoting government buying standards (GBS) among buyers and commercial managers and have inserted a corporate social responsibility (CSR) clause within our standard long-form terms and conditions. Suppliers must comply with current GBS for the provision of commodity goods and services and must conduct an annual self-assessment of their CSR policy.
The Home Office measures sustainability performance through an online self assessment questionnaire called “CAESER”, which suppliers complete with details of their approach to the main themes of CSR:
- equality and diversity
On completion, suppliers receive recommendations on further improvements and the Home Office receives ratings against compliance, and highlights areas of risk and opportunity.
The Home Office places information security as one of its highest priorities. We report annually to Cabinet Office on the department’s information maturity and this includes information shared with third party suppliers.
For this purpose, the Home Office uses an online self assessment questionnaire called ‘HADRIAN’, which suppliers complete about the maturity of policies, systems and controls when handling sensitive Home Office data.
Sensitive data is personal or protectively marked data.
On completion, suppliers receive recommendations on further improvements and the Home Office receives ratings against compliance.
The Home Office uses the Crown Commercial Service 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, EU 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
If you want to know more details about eSourcing, please visit the Crown Commercial Service ‘Respond To A Tender’ webpage.
We consistently hit the government’s target to pay 80% of undisputed invoices within 5 days. We pay all compliant goods and services invoices as soon as they have been authorised by the Home Office officials responsible for the contract and we also require prime contractors to pay their sub-contractors within 30 days, through the inclusion of a contractual condition in the prime contract.
Invoicing the Home Office
All invoices must include the Home Office purchase order number and be sent to:
Home Office Shared Services
HO Box 5015
Any suppliers asked to supply to the Home Office will be given a formal purchase order. Suppliers should not provide goods or services unless a valid purchase order has been received or an alternative method has been formally agreed.