The Ministry of Defence Procurement process


Where to find our contract opportunities

We currently advertise all direct tender and contract opportunities valued over £10,000 on the Defence Contracts Online (DCO) portal. Access and registration to the MOD’s opportunities in the DCO portal is free of charge. For sub-contracting opportunities, we suggest you also engage with Defence Contractors websites.
Please note: We are in the process of implementing a new e-Sourcing platform, called the Defence Sourcing Portal (DSP) that will replace the DCO.

The DSP is due to be launched in February/March 2021. All suppliers will be required to register on the DSP in order to view and participate in future MOD sourcing opportunities. Registration will be available from January 2021. Please read the latest Implementation update from MOD’s Chief Commercial Officer, Andrew Forzani (PDF, 93.8KB, 2 pages).

We also advertise our tender and contract opportunities widely. We use the government’s Contracts Finder portal; here central government departments and other public bodies advertise tender and contract opportunities valued at £10,000 and above. Access to Contracts Finder is free of charge.

Our contract opportunities which fall within the scope of EU Public Procurement Regulation thresholds are additionally advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

Requirements below £10,000 are often one off projects bought in accordance with our internal policy for low value purchasing.

We buy common goods and services via the Crown Commercial Service. CCS are the biggest public procurement organisation in the UK, they provide a wide range of common goods and services across the public sector.

Procurement Regulations

The European Union Procurement Regulations drive UK law for public sector procurements and alongside MOD procurement policy provide the main control framework for all procurements.

This means that, as a public sector organisation, we procure in a different way to industry with competition as the default position, we set objective tender selection criteria, and we are fair and transparent and will be held accountable for procurement decisions in a way the private sector is not. We do not operate preferred supplier lists.

Our principles include non-discrimination (on grounds of nationality), equal treatment (of all suppliers), transparency (act in fair and non-discriminatory manner), mutual recognition (of equivalent documents and standards).

The UK legislation that governs public procurement is being amended to address any deficiencies resulting from leaving the EU. Doing this will ensure continued operation once the Transition Period has ended.

Overview of a typical competition

This is a brief overview of a typical competition:

  1. requirement advertised
  2. pre-qualification questionnaire
  3. invited to tender
  4. independent assessment
  5. supplier selection
  6. contract award.

As a requirements driven organisation, first, we identify what we need to buy and we advertise this. Suppliers then have the opportunity to express their interest and bid. We use an initial questionnaire to pre-qualify suppliers. Suppliers are then invited to tender. We assess bids using pre-agreed criteria and select suppliers using objective evaluation. This criteria is used to select a supplier and award the contract. A debrief is available for suppliers if requested.

Procurement at MOD


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