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Frequently Asked Questions

What does EMSCU buy?

In undertaking procurement exercises and supplier relationship management on behalf of its member Forces, EMSCU is responsible for buying a wide range of goods and services – from IT software to construction works, and from Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to temporary agency staff.

Each quarter EMSCU publishes a Contracts List which includes all of the current procurement contracts with a total value of £25k and above held by its member Forces (note: unless the contract is particularly complex necessitating bespoke terms and conditions the contract will generally be based on EMSCU’s Standard Terms & Conditions).

A list of our member Forces’ transactional spend over £500 is published on the respective websites of Derbyshire Constabulary, Nottinghamshire Police and Northamptonshire Police.

What is EMSCU’s procurement strategy?

In order to benefit from economies of scale, a quick route to market and risk mitigation through pre-agreed terms and conditions, EMSCU initially searches for an appropriate framework agreement or collaborative/corporate contract once it has worked up a client requirement. If an appropriate framework agreement/contract is not available then EMSCU will commence a tendering exercise.

EMSCU is currently working to align its member Forces’ Contract Procedure Rules. At present it is generally the case that, as a minimum, all contracts with a total value of £25k and above (i.e. the threshold at which its member Forces engage EMSCU to manage the procurement exercise) are advertised.

How do I find out about opportunities to compete for contracts tendered by Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire police forces?

EMSCU uses a number of channels to advertise its member Forces’ contract opportunities:

  • Crystal (EMSCU’s own eTendering system)
  • Bluelight (Emergency services eTendering system)
  • Source East Midlands (Regional public sector advertising portal)
  • Tenders Electronic Daily (European public procurement journal used for all requirements with a total contract value above the EU thresholds, i.e. £173,934 for Supplies and Services and £4,348,350 for Works)
  • Relevant trade publications

What are EMSCU’s priorities when buying goods and services?

EMSCU has developed a number of procurement/commercial policies, procedures, guidance and templates that endeavour to balance the need for ensuring compliance and that value for money is realised, against the importance of keeping our processes as lean and efficient as possible.

Given that our clients are public sector organisations, our policies and procedures recognise the need to consider what wider social, economic and environmental benefits can be gained through the procurement process and ultimate contract. Our policies and procedures also take proportionate account of the risks that are particularly pertinent to police forces, such as information security and business continuity.

EMSCU’s SME Policy recognises the value of Small & Medium Enterprises and therefore the need to ensure that our procurement processes are as SME-friendly as possible.


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