Procurement at IPO

How we buy goods and services, and how you can work with us.


We work in collaboration with our parent Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and UK Shared Business Services (UKSBS), particularly around the areas of common goods and services to achieve value for money across BEIS and its partner organisations.

In addition, we ensure that we comply with the European public procurement directives, UK law and UK government public procurement legislation.

Contracts listings

IPO utilises government frameworks wherever possible to purchase its goods and services. Typically these are contracting vehicles let by the Crown Commercial Service although we may utilise other pre-tendered arrangements where these are found to offer best value for money. Our contracts are awarded by competition between potential suppliers unless there are compelling reasons why competition cannot be used.

Where the EU public procurement directives apply, contracts are also advertised in the Tenders Electronic Daily (TED), a supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

The IPO use an eTendering tool called Pro-Contract to manage its procurement exercises.

Improving opportunities for small and medium enterprises

The government recognises the importance of the role of SMEs in the UKs economic growth. The IPO is committed to increasing spend with SMEs.

Contracts Finder is the main source of government contract opportunities with a value greater than ?10,000.

You can access this to view closed tender and contract documentation that has been published by government departments and their agencies in order to promote openness and transparency, as well as opportunities to bid for government work.

Learn Direct is a free online training course for SMEs on how to win government contracts. Further help and advice on tendering for government contracts is available from the Cabinet Office.

Terms and conditions

We are an executive agency of BEIS and we conduct business on their standard contract terms and conditions. BEIS current terms and conditions are available:

  • IPO services: standard terms and conditions (PDF, 321 KB, 32 pages)
  • IPO supplies: standard terms and conditions (PDF, 292 KB, 28 pages)

Information sharing in government procurement exercises

Please note that all central government departments and their executive agencies and non departmental public bodies are subject to control and reporting within government. In particular, they report to the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury for all expenditure. Further, the Cabinet Office has a cross-government role delivering overall government policy on public procurement - including ensuring value for money and related aspects of good procurement practice.

For these purposes, the authority (IPO) may disclose within government any of the contractors documentation/information (including any that the contractor considers to be confidential and/or commercially sensitive such as specific bid information) submitted by the contractor to the authority during this procurement. The information will not be disclosed outside government. Contractors taking part in procurement exercises must consent to these terms as part of the competition process.

Pre qualification questionnaires

If the tender is being run under EU Regulations and advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union, it is likely there will be a pre-qualification stage in the tender process. This will involve suppliers submitting an Expression of Interest, which is then evaluated against pre-determined criteria to decide whether the supplier is suitable to receive the full set of ITT documentation. Pre Qualification Questionnaires currently being undertaken by the IPO will appear here:

  • Pre qualification questionnaire - scanning of Pre-1900 patent specifications (REF IT20/12/027) (MS Word Document, 954 KB)

We are currently only able to upload .doc documents ie Word 97-2003 versions. If you would like to use a Word 2007 version then please email and we will e-mail it to you.


The government has set out the need for greater transparency across its operations so that the public can hold to account public bodies and politicians.

To help achieve greater transparency, all new central government tender documents for contracts over ?10,000 should be published and available to the public free of charge. Further information can be found on the Transparency requirements guidance.

Suppliers bidding for contracts with the IPO should be aware that if they are successful the resulting contract will be published. In some circumstances limited redactions will be made to contract documentation before they are published.

Handling and working with government information

With effect from the 2 April 2014, the government implemented the new security classification policy, changing the way government information will be marked and handled.

Feedback on IPOs procurement processes

We value feedback from existing and prospective suppliers, and always look to improve our procurement processes and customer-supplier relationships.

If you would like to give feedback, or have any general questions, please contact our team on