Direct award

Some frameworks allow you to place an order directly with the supplier if there is only a single supplier on the agreement or on a specific lot. You can find out if this is an option by looking in the ‘How to Buy’ section of the relevant agreement details page.

Who can use

Available to all public sector buyers.

How to buy

Ways to buy through direct award vary depending on the agreement: 

  • evaluation processes: a catalogue process where you evaluate product or service descriptions against pre-defined criteria before making a selection 
  • restricted elements: a catalogue which has a list of suppliers against each product, including an automated supplier selection based on criteria such as price, which restricts you to buying from the supplier that meets the selection criteria 
  • unrestricted but advisory: a recommendation is made by the catalogue to choose a supplier by set criteria, such as cheapest price, but this is not mandatory and you can choose to override the recommendation

This process is usually included in more detail in the buyer guide for each agreement.

Best for

  • low value, urgent requirements
  • low volume commodity goods

Not suitable for

  • complex requirements for solutions or services 
  • bundled commodity items where you may expect a discount from the retail price due to the volume of items you are buying

Payment methods

Raise a purchase order with your organisation, which is followed by the supplier’s invoice when you’ve received the goods or services.

Time to supply

  • depends on the type of goods or services required
  • common goods held in stock usually have short lead times
  • pre-engagement with the supplier to clarify specifications would usually take 2 to 3 days if required

Pros

  • quick
  • straightforward

Cons

  • catalogue may not offer suitable products or services
  • you may find higher prices than those offered by running a competition

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Glossary

Find explanations for common terms and abbreviations used in public procurement.

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