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 Find a Tender Service. This is the UK e-notification service that has replaced the requirement to publish Notices to the Official Journal of the European Union’s TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) website. In some cases we also issue prior information notices (PIN) 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
- using the Find a Tender Service which replaced Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) in the UK public procurement process from 1 January 2021. UK buyers who previously published OJEU notices on TED will now do so on Find a Tender. Notices published before this change are still on TED. You can use Find a Tender to search for high-value opportunities or awarded contracts, typically over £122,976 but varying in some cases, across the whole of the UK.
The Home Office contracts with its suppliers using standard terms and conditions, for example terms and conditions based on the Model Services Contract.
Stay up-to-date with changes in procurement policy by following our UK Home Office LinkedIn account where we periodically share key commercial updates.
Transparency in procurement
Details of our tender and contract documents over £10,000 can be found on the Find a Tender or Contracts Finder website.
Improving opportunities for new businesses, entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs, VCSEs and mutuals
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.
In the Home Office, 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).
Examples of the types of goods and services we buy to support the aims of the Home Office include:
- storage and disposal of seized goods from the borders
- passport printing and delivery
- accommodation and support services for asylum seekers
- digital services at the borders
- biometric identification services to the police and immigration services
Many of our IT and digital contract opportunities, for example, 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 would need to register on the CCS eSourcing tool.
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 new businesses, entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs, VCSEs and mutuals, 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
- sharing strategic priorities
If you feel that you have a security offering which may be of interest to JSaRC please contact us at email@example.com.
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 SMEs. To find out if your company is defined as an SME, you can read the definition on the European Commission website.
to find out more about how we work with
If you have any further questions regarding the Home Office approach to the Tackling Economic Inequality policy they can be directed to our dedicated SME enquiries mailbox: SMEEnquiries@homeoffice.gov.uk.
SME case studies
We value the expertise and innovations which SMEs can bring to the Home Office supply chain. Read some examples of contracts awarded to SMEs.
For further information on the government’s commitment to support start-ups and small businesses through government procurement visit the Small and Medium Business Hub. Additionally, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Network provides a link between local authority and businesses to encourage upskilling and job creation.
Crown Representative for SMEs and VCSEs
In addition to the Crown Representatives and government’s strategic suppliers, there is a Crown Representative whose focus is removing barriers to SMEs across government.
Doing business with government: guide for SMEs provides support for SMEs on bidding for government contracts.
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.
Social value in procurement
The Home Office practises social value procurement to help communities:
- recover from the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- tackle economic inequality
- fight climate change
- promote equal opportunity and wellbeing
We use our procurement and contract management activities to encourage positive social value behaviour.
We adhere to the Public Services (Social Value) Act which requires commissioners who procure services to consider social, economic and environmental benefits.
Since July 2012 we have been promoting social value amongst buyers and commercial managers and have embedded into our policies and procedures. Additionally, we have our own Social Value Strategy and Schedule. The Social Value Schedule supports the Model Services contract and is only used for Home Office procurements with an annual value above £5m.
The Home Office places information security as one of its highest priorities, therefore information assurance is built into the procurement process through the Third-Party Assurance process.
Dependent on the nature of the procurement and information security risks involved, suppliers will need to demonstrate compliance to best practice security standards such as Cyber Essentials or ISO27001. As part of the assurance process, suppliers may be asked to complete on online self-assessment questionnaire called ‘Mercury’ to understand the suppliers’ security controls and in some cases, an audit may be required, prior to contract award.
On completion of assurance, suppliers will receive recommendations on further improvements and Home Office will continue to maintain information security assurance with the supplier.
You can read more information in the Supplier Security Guidance document (provided on request), and find out more about Cyber Essentials on the Cyber Essentials Scheme overview page.
The Home Office 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
We consistently meet the government’s target to pay 90% of compliant invoices within 5 days. In addition, we follow the government prompt payment policy.
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.
No purchase order, no payment: how to ensure your invoice is not rejected
The Home Office and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) require all suppliers to only accept requests for goods or services in the form of a valid purchase order which will be sent by email.
A valid purchase order
PO Reference: A valid purchase order is nine characters long and begins with HME for Home Office orders and DBS for DBS orders, for example HME654321 or DBS123456 and states the following:
- To: the name and address of the supplier
- Ship To: the name and address the goods or services should be delivered to
- Order Contact: the name and address of the person that raised the purchase order
- Send Invoice To: the name and address of our Shared Service Centre, where all invoices must be sent
Invoices quoting the relevant purchase order number, should be issued as soon as possible after the goods have been dispatched or the services provided. The invoice must be emailed to the “Send Invoice To” email address shown on the purchase order. Invoices submitted without quoting a valid purchase order number will be rejected causing payment to be delayed.
Invoices/credit notes should be submitted via email in pdf, tiff, jpeg or png format, Excel is not supported.
Multiple invoices can be attached to one email up to a maximum size of 5Mb.
Each invoice must be in an individual email attachment. A multipage invoice should also be submitted as a single email attachment. zip files or any files that are password protected/encrypted cannot be processed.
Any text in the body of your email, or any attachments submitted in file formats other than those listed above, cannot be read.
Other things which may cause payment to be delayed include:
- using prices, quantities or descriptions that differ from the purchase order
- sending invoices to the Home Office instead of our Shared Service Centre
- submitting invoices which exceed the total of the purchase order
Wait for an emailed purchase order before providing goods or services.
Quote the purchase order number on your invoice – all invoices submitted for payment must include a valid purchase order number.
Email your invoice to our Shared Service Centre for payment.
Invoicing the Home Office
Home Office invoices should be sent to:
Or by post to:
Home Office Shared Services
PO Box 5015
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) invoices should be sent to:
Disclosure & Barring Service Shared Services
DBS Box 5112
Any authorised request for goods or services from the Home Office or DBS will be in the form of a purchase order. Suppliers should not provide goods or services unless a valid purchase order has been received.
All payment queries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 010 0125.
If you have any further questions regarding SMEs please refer to our guidance on bidding for government contracts or you can contact us directly through our dedicated SMEEnquiries@homeoffice.gov.uk.