How purchasing is organised in HSE

All contracts are let or overseen by the central Procurement Unit (PU) who act as a focus for all matters relating to procurement, propriety, the development and implementation of procurement policy, strategy and procedures whilst ensuring value for money.

Please monitor announcements under new contract opportunities. HSE also utilise the Government Procurement Service to obtain products and services, when appropriate.

Where appropriate we advertise contract opportunities in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and Contracts Finder.

Small and medium size enterprises (SME's)

We welcome applications from Small and Medium size Enterprises (SME's) and we utilise the services of sole traders where appropriate.

Supported factories and businesses

It is Government policy, as far as possible, to give people with disabilities the opportunity to enter the labour market.  For this reason, Government sponsors supported employment.

The Online Supported Business Directory ( has been developed to support changes in the EU Public Sector and Utilities Directives, which now allow procurement officials in central, regional, and local government and wider public authorities more scope to reserve and place public procurement contracts for supported factories and businesses.

The directory is sponsored by Job Centre Plus and spearheaded by DWP, Remploy, GMB, Government Procurement Service and the British Association of Supported Employment to bridge the gap between Government procurement and people with disabilities.

Pre-qualification (PQQ)

In instances where we anticipate the value of a contract to exceed £100,000 we may decide to conduct a pre-qualification stage.  Detailed evaluation criteria will be provided with the questionnaire to explain the basis on which submissions will be judged.  Successful applicants will be invited to submit a full bid in response to an Invitation to Tender (ITT).

Invitation To Tender (ITT)

HSE's requirements will be set out explicitly in the ITT documentation. For example the technical capability, quality, method of delivery, timescales and performance measures. Detailed evaluation criteria will be provided to explain the basis on which bids will be judged. Late or incomplete tenders will not be accepted.

Health and safety

HSE expects that any business employing more than 5 people, to have a Health & Safety policy and operate appropriate health and safety systems. Failure  to provide sufficient assurance that the business actively promotes and manages health and safety, may rule out the business from being selected. 

Sustainability (social, economic and environmental)

HSE is committed to doing business with suppliers that can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. We consider and score the sustainable policies of bidders during the evaluation process. Contract specific environmental considerations will be included in the ITT specification (as appropriate) and these will form part of the evaluation criteria and be scored accordingly.

Ethical Procurement

HSE is committed to doing business with suppliers who take responsibility for the working conditions of the people who make the products they sell. Companies with a commitment to ethical trade adopt a code of labour practice that they expect all suppliers in their supply chain to work towards. Such codes address issues like wages, hours of work and health and safety.

Security and Information Assurance

The protection of people, property,assets and information is of paramount importance to HSE and the appropriate specific requirements will be articulated in ITTs.

Diversity and equality

We seek to ensure diversity and equality when tendering for goods and services and comply with the relevant legislation.

Terms and conditions

We have standard sets of terms and conditions covering products and services which we expect businesses to accept.

Tender evaluation

We use a formal evaluation process to identify the bidder(s) who will provide the best overall value for money for the particular purchase, which is not necessarily the lowest price. We conduct all tendering activities in a fair and open manner.  Records are made at all stages in the process to provide an audit trail. During the evaluation process we may ask bidders for samples or to provide a demonstration / presentation to address any questions we may have. In some instances we may visit bidders premises.

Electronic auction

Where appropriate we may run an electronic reverse auction (eAuction) event, which will be facilitated on our behalf by a third party service provider.

Contract award

When we have completed the evaluation of tenders and reached our decision, we will inform the successful and unsuccessful bidders in writing as soon as possible.

Unsuccessful bidders will be offered a debriefing to provide feedback which may provide  insight on how to improve future applications. Bidders will have the opportunity to comment on HSE's performance and procedures.

Prompt payment policy

HSE`s current policy is to pay all invoices within 10 working days of receiving a valid invoice or from receipt of the goods/services (whichever is the later).


The Government has set out its clear agenda to improve transparency about how it spends public money. Greater transparency is at the heart of the Government's commitment to enable the public to hold politicians and public bodies to account; to reduce the deficit and deliver better value for money in public spending.

Opening up government

Freedom of Information

We may receive requests for disclosure of information on tenders and will comply with our obligations as required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We will approach suppliers and/or contractors for permission before disclosing any information to enquiring parties.

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