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Procurement Regulations and Policy


We buy services, goods and works by competition whenever possible, in line with UK government policy and the relevant legal requirements. Our aim is to achieve value for money. This means considering the optimum combination of quality and whole life cost to meet the needs of the user.

For low value procurements we invite written quotations from a number of suppliers. For larger procurements, we invite formal tenders.

VOSA’s purchasing procedures are dictated by purchase values and fall into five groups, which are listed below;

Up to



Normally a single oral quote





Minimum three verbal quotes





Minimum three written quotes




EU threshold

Normally a minimum of three formal competitive tenders based on written specification and the Departments conditions of contract


EU threshold


Normally a minimum of five formal competitive tenders , depending on the EU procedure adopted, based on written specification and the Departments conditions of contract

All applicable contracts over the EU thresholds are advertised on

Larger value contract below the EU threshold may be advertised on

Invitation to Tender

Whenever we invite a company to tender, we:

  • specify our needs in terms of outputs whenever appropriate, to encourage innovation;
  • invite tenders from enough suppliers to ensure there is genuine competition; whilst still giving tenders a reasonable chance of winning;
  • make sure tendering procedures and documentation are as clear and concise as possible, and only ask for information necessary to evaluate bids;
  • establish the evaluation criteria on which the decision to award the contract will be based;
  • provide all tenderers with the same information and opportunity.

When the Department invites suppliers to tender for work it provides full instructions on how each tender should be submitted.

A complete copy of our standard instructions is available;

When you submit a tender make sure all instructions are followed carefully, or it may be rejected. For example, tenders received after the stated deadline will be rejected, even if the delay occurred in transit.

Evaluation of Tenders

All competing tenders are assessed against the same criteria, which will have been established before the tenders are opened.

Your bid will be successful if it is the one that offers us the best value for money. Bids are evaluated by assessing how suppliers fulfil the key criteria in the specification, and other criteria such as price, delivery date and quality.

Frequently, we will interview tenderers who have submitted the best proposals.

A contract is awarded as soon as possible after the evaluation process has been completed.

If you would like to know why an offer of yours was rejected, you are entitled to ask for feedback.

Collaborative Procurement

VOSA pursues a policy of supporting collaborative government procurement. This entails identifying where VOSA contracts may be of benefit to other Government Departments or agencies. To this end, where VOSA advertises these such contracts, the following wording is included;

"This contract is primarily for the Vehicle and & Operator Services Agency but it is also available for use by other Contracting Authorities which form part of the Department for Transport and its associated bodies, which include Executive Agencies and the non Departmental Public bodies, it sponsors; and for use by other Government Departments, their associated bodies and the wider public sector."

Partnership Procurement

The Procurement Unit endorses the Office of Government Commerce's Code of Good Customer Practice, which promotes the principle of fairness, honesty, equality and professionalism in Government's dealings with its suppliers.

Payment to suppliers

VOSA is committed to Prompt Payment in accordance with British Standard 7890 and shall pay all Contractors within 30 days of the receipt of a valid invoice, provided that the Department is satisfied that the Services for which the invoice relates have been performed fully in accordance with the Contract.

An announcement made by the Prime Minister on 8 October 2008 stated that Government should pay suppliers as soon as possible, with the aim of bringing all payment to within 10 days. 

Government Procurement Card

VOSA, in line with Government policy, is increasing its use of the Treasury sponsored Government Procurement Card (GPC) for low value purchases. The GPC, provides a major opportunity to cut costs, improve efficiencies & streamline processes by replacing the traditional paper requisition process. Further benefits include:

  • Better information and control
  • Improved supplier relationships
  • Enhanced negotiation opportunities
  • Reduced transaction processing costs
  • Guaranteed payment to suppliers within 4 days on account of these benefits the Agency is encouraging its acceptance by all of its suppliers, and is included in its standard Terms and Conditions of contract.


The Procurement Unit set itself and achieved the target of having all its members either qualified, part-qualified or else embarked on a course of study leading towards full membership of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

Sustainability Strategy

The Procurement Unit is committed to pursuing an environmentally friendly procurement supporting the Department’s Sustainable Procurement Strategy. Details of which can be found on;

Ethical Code

VOSA’s Procurement Unit fully endorses the Ethical Code of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. This code, suitably amended to reflect the particular circumstances of the Unit, can be found on their website (CIPS Code of Professional Ethics).

This Code was updated by the council of CIPS in March 2009. It has formally adopted as an ethical code by the Agency’s Procurement Unit.

In applying these principles, members (of VOSA’s Procurement Unit) will follow the guidance set out below:

  • Declaration of interest - Any personal interest which may affect or be seen by others to affect a member's impartiality in any matter relevant to his or her duties (will) be declared.
  • Confidentiality and accuracy of information - The confidentiality of information received in the course of duty (will) be respected and (will) never be used for personal gain. Information given in the course of duty (will) be honest and clear.
  • Competition - The nature and length of contracts and business relationships with suppliers can vary according to circumstances. These (will) always be constructed to ensure deliverables and benefits. Arrangements which might in the long term prevent the effective operation of fair competition (will) be avoided.
  • Business gifts - Business gifts, other than items of very small intrinsic value such as business diaries or calendars, (will) not be accepted.
  • Hospitality - The recipient (will) not allow him or herself to be influenced or be perceived by others to have been influenced in making a business decision as a consequence of accepting hospitality. The frequency and scale of hospitality accepted (will) be managed openly and with care and (will) not be greater than the (recipient’s) employer is able to reciprocate.

Decisions and Advice

When it is not easy to decide between what is and is not acceptable, advice (will) be sought from the member's supervisor, another senior colleague or the Institute as appropriate.

Terms & Conditions

VOSA adopts the Deaprtment’s own contractual terms and conditions which can be found on;

EU Advertised Contracts

The list below is of our past opportunities published in the Official Journal of the European Uuion (OJEU). The contract list is sorted by contract reference. Please note these opportunites are now closed. Details of any live opportunites can be found on or

Contract Number


Estimated Value

Expiry Date


Banking Services




Repair and Maintenance of GVTS Equipment




Provision of Business Services and Operational Network Management Services (IS2003 Programme)




Consultancy Services for Lifting Operations




Roadside Recovery, Impounding, Storage and Disposal of Heavy Goods Vehicels (HGV)




Maintenance, Calibration, Repair and Supply of Haenni Weighpads and Associated Equipment




Supply and Maintenance of Test Lane Equipment - Test Lane Refurbishment Programme




Supply and Installation of Exhaust Extraction Systems




Vehicle Insurance (04/05,05/06 & 06/07) + (07/08 & 08/09)




Framework Agreement - Project Management Support




Service, Maintenance & Repair of Compressed Air Plant & Systems




Maintenance, Monitoring and Testing of Fire and Security Alarms and Emergency Lighting Systems - PAT




Maintenance, Monitoring and Testing of Fire and Security Alarms and Emergency Lighting Systems - FIRE




Maintenance, Monitoring and Testing of Fire and Security Alarms and Emergency Lighting Systems - INTRUDER




Supply of Anchor Pins




Maintenance, Repair and Calibration of Vehicle Testing Equipment




Mechanical & Electrical Consultancy Services




Production of DVD's for the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency




Planned Maintenance and Ad-hoc Activities for Drains




Specialist conversion of Cars and Light Goods Vehicles




Supply Maintenance and Repair of Vehicle Testing Equipment