Procurement at the Insolvency Service

How we use external suppliers for goods and services.


Code of practice

The Insolvency Service conducts all procurement activities in accordance with public sector best practice and according to the key principles of:

  • Value for Money
  • Equality of treatment
  • Transparency

Our procurement is governed by EU law and UK legislation.

Government policies regarding procurement

We apply Government Procurement Policy and Guidance throughout the commercial lifecycle, from sourcing to contract management. Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/public-sector-procurement-policy

Contract opportunities

The Insolvency Service uses external suppliers for goods and services. Our contracts are awarded by competition between potential suppliers, unless there are compelling reasons why competition cannot be used. We operate a Framework First Policy, looking to primarily use cross-Government Frameworks for sourcing of goods and services. You can find more information about Frameworks at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/become-a-crown-commercial-service-supplier/becoming-a-supplier-through-the-crown-commercial-service-what-you-need-to-know

INSS Commercial Pipeline

INSS’s commercial pipeline provides a forward look of our potential commercial activity over the next 18 months. We have included all our anticipated procurements valued at £1 million and over. The information presented is for reference only and reflects INSS’s anticipated procurement pipeline INSS makes no commitment that:

  • the requirements identified in the table will be procured
  • the annual value of any contract will be as stated
  • the timing of any future procurement exercises will be as stated

The sourcing route for any subsequent procurement may not been determined, for example it may be via frameworks managed by Crown Commercial Services (CCS) (or other similar body) or open competitions. INSS cannot guarantee that these opportunities will be available to all suppliers. We will refresh our published commercial pipeline every 6 months and will continue to publish details of relevant opportunities on Contracts Finder and our eProcurement system.

Insolvency Service Pipeline

eProcurement

You can register on our e-sourcing portal In-Tend to find current INSS opportunities, 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. You will be required to register in order to see any available opportunities on our e-sourcing portal.

Public Notices

You can use Contracts Finder to find INSS 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.

Opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

We want to buy from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) every time they are the best value for money.

Find out more about bidding for government contracts in the doing business with government guide for SMEs.

Terms and conditions

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

The terms and conditions used by the Insolvency Service when undertaking a commercial transactionwith suppliers will be appropriate to the sourcing route, i.e. Framework terms and conditions for call-offs and Insolvency Service terms and conditions for OJEU and below OJEU tenders.

Our terms and conditions were updated in May 2018 to include the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation.

Standard terms and conditions - goods and services

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Diversity and Equality

As a public authority the Agency must have ‘due regard’ to the three aims of the Equality Duty:

  • eliminate unlawful direct or indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and
  • foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

These requirements also apply to any function that is contracted out to external organisations to deliver on our behalf. Suppliers must recognise the responsibilities that we have and are required to comply with all equality legislation when delivering Insolvency Service contracts. Suppliers are also expected to use all reasonable endeavours (to a level to meet the legislative requirements) to ensure that when procuring sub-contractors, they also cooperate with us in satisfying the requirements.

The Insolvency Service has a ‘duty to promote’ on equality and the Agency needs to ensure that it actively promotes equality of opportunity for and good relations between all persons from the protected characteristic groups covered by the Equality Act: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation.

As a result of the above factors, we (and wider Government) need to consider equality when conducting their commercial activities – there is a real opportunity to make a difference by addressing equality issues professionally in the procurement process. All contractors and sub-contractors must be aware of the INSS policy in this area.

Suppliers submitting a tender for Insolvency Service opportunities will be required to answer a specific question on this and should review and understand our Policy.

Suppliers are also encouraged to sign up to the Department for Work and Pensions Disability Confident employer scheme.

Prompt payment to suppliers

All central government departments are required to pay 80% of undisputed invoices within 5 days. Suppliers need to be aware of the correct procedures involved to achieve this, which will be clearly articulated within the Contract between the parties.

As a minimum, suppliers must send PDF invoices directly by email to: payments@insolvency.gov.uk

Prompt payment to sub-contractors

Where suppliers use sub-contractors for the performance of their contract with us, 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 The Insolvency Service.

Please include the nature of your contract with the supplier and, where possible, details of the suppliers’ contract with us, to: Commercial@insolvency.gov.uk

Read our prompt payment data.

Data protection and information security

INSS 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.

All relevant security, data and information security policies are shared within the ITT Pack for each Tender.

Using The Insolvency Service brand

If you need to use our logos or anything else that represents our brand, you need email the Communications Team.

Commercial complaints process

If you are making a complaint regarding our procurement activities, 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 us, you can be assured that your comments will not be allowed to prejudice the fair treatment of your tender.

We will acknowledge all properly submitted 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) and our Commercial Governance team; Commercial@insolvency.gov.uk. Complaints shall be independently reviewed by the Commercial Governance 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.