Policy and Regulations

Our procurement methods comply with internal force regulations, and as agreed with the British Transport Police Authority in the Procurement Management Policy, national legislation and regulations, Public Procurement Regulations and European Union directives. 

Delegated Procurement Authority (DPA) within BTP provides authorisation to commit BTP in contract and authorise contract variations to a specific limit. Only those roles stated in:

  • the BTPA Corporate Governance Code i.e. Chief Constable and;
  • the Two Key Approach to Expenditure i.e. Director of Corporate Resources, Strategic Procurement Manager, Procurement Managers, FHQ Buyer and Area Buyers have DPA.

No other individual can commit BTP in contract.

Within BTP, tenders received under a closed bid process i.e. with a formal tender return date and times are considered as formal tenders.  Quotations received under an open bid process i.e. with no formal tender return date and time are considered as informal tenders.

To assess a supplier’s capacity to fulfil a requirement, a supplier appraisal is undertaken which may consistent of the following:

Company Appraisal – A search of Companies House (or overseas equivalent) to ensure the supplier is trading legitimately.
Financial Appraisal - An appraisal of the supplier’s financial accounts to ensure financial solvency and stability.
Capability Appraisal – An appraisal of the supplier’s on going technical and commercial capability to supply, including technical and managerial capability, quality control and track record.

Within BTP, the Budget Holder is responsible for managing all contracts within their budget area and sphere of responsibility unless there is another person specifically named or nominated in the contract. This includes the role in managing the day to day relationship with suppliers.

In the event of an existing supplier failure, for business continuity purposes BTP would look to replace the supplier at least in the short term from an existing Government or Police Framework Agreement subject to EU legislation.

EU Procurement and Regulations 

BTP is a public sector contracting authority and procures its supplies, services and works in accordance with EU Procurement regulations. The European Procurement Regulations were designed to bring about transparency in the way that Public Sector bodies throughout the European Union award their supplies, services and works.

Under European public procurement directives, public sector procurement must follow transparent procedures to ensure fair conditions of competition for all suppliers.

The public procurement threshold values (in force from 1 January 2016 until 31 December 2017) which the majority of contracts must be advertised in compliance with EU requirements are: 



Note:  The threshold values are subject to biannual review.    





These advertisements must occur in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). This publication is freely available to anyone who might be interested in bidding for a multitude of contracts (not just BTP business). Any requirement that is advertised in Europe in this fashion is then subject to certain time limits in terms of how long the bidding process has to last and how quickly tenderers must be notified about decisions.

The Regulations provide for certain types of contracts to be exempt from the usual tendering requirements but these exemptions are by exception. Normally contracts must follow one of four distinct tendering procedures:

Competitive Dialogue

This procedure is used for more complex procurements.  Following the OJEU Contract Notice and a selection process, the organisation negotiates with companies to develop suitable solution(s) and on which chosen companies will be invited to tender. After the invitation to tender is issued no further negotiation is allowed, only discussion about clarifying or fine-tuning the tender.


The Regulations only allow for use of this procedure in exceptional cases and the reporting requirements are very onerous.  This procedure can only be used in the following cases:

  • where the tendering authority has already advertised the requirement under the open or restricted procedure and this process has failed (e.g. no satisfactory bids received).
  • where specifications cannot be drawn up with sufficient precision.  This will normally only apply in cases where the organisation is requesting bids that will require a high degree of creative input from the supplier or there is considerable uncertainty about the deliverables.
  • where the works involved are purely for Research, Experiment or Development.


The contract is advertised in the OJEU and anyone that indicates an interest must be sent the Tender documents and invited to submit their bid. This is considered to be the most transparent and fair contracting route but can be highly resource intensive since, depending on the nature of the contract, hundreds of bidders may have to be invited to tender.


An advertisement is placed for 'expressions of interest' whereby potential tenderers are invited to submit details of their organisation. The details normally required include three years of accounts, information regarding your structure, technical ability and capacity. Submissions are then analysed and a shortlist of the most suitable tenderers is produced. Organisations on this shortlist will then be invited to submit their bids in line with the tender documents.

The Consolidated Directive, (2004/18/EC) introduced at the end of January 2006 allowed the use of electronic means to issue contract notices and also to issue and receive tenders.

BTP utilizes the MyTenders system for issuing contract notices electronically.

This is a very brief overview of a complex area; for further information visit Crown Commercial Service for a public sector national procurement portal, or the online version of the TED (Tenders Electronic Daily).