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Our procurement policy

How we work with suppliers

Our role and remit

To work collaboratively with suppliers to secure best value for money and subsequent delivery of commercially sound contracts.

During the tender process we will:

  • Treat all suppliers bidding for a contract in an equitable and consistent manner thereby ensuring a ‘level playing field’.
  • Provide as much information as is appropriate to assist suppliers with the bidding process, recognising that this fosters the submission of good quality proposals which meet the contract objectives.
  • Ensure that any additional information issued to suppliers during a tender is:
    • accurate at the time of issue;
    • supplied in an appropriate format;
    • issued within agreed timescales; and
    • provided to all suppliers at the same time.
  • Be clear, unambiguous and consistent in our communication at all times whilst recognising that business requirements can change.
  • Where possible, commence discussions with suppliers as early as possible in the bidding process.
  • Provide one point of commercial contact for suppliers within Ordnance Survey throughout the tender process.
  • Maintain any information provided by suppliers as strictly confidential unless agreed otherwise or as required to discharge our responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Wherever possible, be open to variants during the tender process.
  • Apply sound commercial judgement to the bid evaluation process thereby ensuring that the right supplier is selected to meet Ordnance Survey’s business objectives.
  • Where appropriate, work collaboratively with suppliers to enable them to submit innovative and considered offers.
  • Supply bid feedback to both successful and unsuccessful suppliers on request.

Throughout the contract lifecycle we will:

  • Provide a single point of contact within Ordnance Survey with responsibility for the contract.
  • Notify suppliers as soon as practicably possible of the impact that any future changes within the business might have on the contract.
  • Work proactively with suppliers to resolve problems as and when they arise.
  • Within the bounds of confidentiality and where appropriate, share future thinking and plans with suppliers.
  • Initiate regular contract reviews with suppliers to ensure that both parties have an opportunity to discuss contract performance and explore ways in which additional value can be secured through the contract.
  • Foster an environment where suppliers have an opportunity to propose new and innovative ways to improve contract delivery and performance.
  • Be open to investigating and implementing new working practises and processes which benefit both parties.
  • Jointly develop and agree incentive schemes where appropriate.
  • Work proactively and collaboratively with our key suppliers to engender a progressive and mature working relationship aimed at delivering continuous improvement and mutual benefit.

Sustainable procurement

Ordnance Survey is committed to setting progressively harder targets to drive down the environmental impacts of our business as fast as possible. The Procurement process is an opportunity to consider the environmental impact of the goods/services to be purchased. The UK government provides detailed guidance to departments to support the sustainability agenda and as part of this Ordnance Survey has implemented its own Sustainable Procurement Strategy and Policy.


Sustainable Procurement is broadly defined as: “taking account of the impact of environmental, social and economic issues on purchasing decisions by including these criteria when specifying requirements, and evaluating suppliers and their supply chain”.

Consequently, procurement is seen as having a role in delivering Ordnance Survey’s environmental, social and economic policy objectives.

Potential benefits

  • long-term savings – use of more energy efficient equipment and manufacturing processes, leading to reduced whole life costs;
  • more efficient use of natural resources within the supply chain – helping to meet Ordnance Survey’s and UK targets for reduction of CO2 emissions by using more energy efficient equipment;
  • reducing the harmful impact of pollution and waste on the environment – reduction in packaging used by suppliers and increased use of recyclable materials in manufacture / disposal;
  • encouraging innovation – providing opportunities for suppliers to develop innovative solutions in current or future contracts to improve efficiency and reducing whole life costs;
  • providing strong signals to the ‘sustainable products’ market – encouraging alternative suppliers to bid for contracts by the use of more open specifications.

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