Compliance assurance from ESPO

Compliance Assurance from ESPO

Established in 1981, ESPO has evolved to one of the largest Public Sector Buying Organisation (PSBO) in the UK, with circa £2.4 billion spent through our framework solutions every year.

Our whole purpose is to procure goods and services via a compliant route for public sector buyers and our wider customer base that depend on public funds to operate their services.


We have:

  • Circa 27,000 items in our catalogue that are populated by approximately 90 tendered frameworks, which are compliant with the open tendering procedures detailed in the Public Contracts Directive PCR 2015 (20014/24/EU).
  • Free to use frameworks providing access to many thousands more products and services that scope far beyond our catalogue, and are compliant with the open tendering procedures detailed in the Public Contracts Directive PCR 2015 (20014/24/EU).
  • Bespoke solutions that are tailored to our customers’ needs where possible.

Our teams consistently survey the procurement landscape and observe any changes within procurement regulations. This enables us to tailor our solutions as new regulations become apparent. This means our customers can confidently and compliantly procure their goods and services under the framework solution, eliminating the need to run a full tender process. We’ve done the work, so there’s no need for you to
shoulder that burden.


Our procurement approach

All ESPO products, whether sourced through our catalogue or via call-off on one of our frameworks, are awarded within a full tendering activity. This is conducted in full accordance with UK procurement regulations.

  • Market actvity notices are placed as required by the directive. We publish Prior Information Notices, Contract Notices and Award Notices to the market via a number of portals (e.g. Proactis/TED/Contracts Finder/Source Leicestershire)To ensure full availability of our opportunities to the supply market.
  • Range evaluation involves two stages, qualifying and award; those offers that meet the qualifying criteria are then scored against the award criteria. As a public buying organisation, we can legally conclude compliant frameworks as part of our responsibility under UK procurement regulations.
  • The qualifying criteria includes assessment of the following; compliance of bid, insurance levels, track record, experience and technical & professional ability, sustainable sourcing, environmental, social and economic impacts, price, quality, business continuity plans, financial stability compliance with Public Contract Regulations and terms and conditions.
  • We also request the supplier’s response to achieved accreditations for quality management, environmental management, cyber security, health & safety procedures, supply chain resilience, disaster recovery plan and risk mitigation measures.

As a public sector body, ESPO work by the Local Government Transparency Code 2015 and is also subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which ensures we are as transparent as possible in our entire decision-making process, both in our procurement activities and threshold spend analysis (where appropriate). ESPO publishes information on procurement card transactions quarterly, projects above £5,000 and supplier payments over £500, on the Leicestershire County Council website

For further information on ESPO’s compliant frameworks, please visit



  • Many of the ESPO frameworks have the facility to call-off directly from the discounted calloff list provided, removing any need to carry
    out a further competition or additional procurement when time is of the essence.
  • Our frameworks are created to give our customers a full range of options that can give an almost tailor-made solution.
  • Our procurement teams offer help and advice with a suite of simple user guides to support you when conducting your procurement under the framework.
  • Multiple suppliers are awarded on many frameworks offering a more robust supply chain.
  • 71.5% of our suppliers are SME’s, enabling smaller, local businesses across the UK to contribute to large public sector projects - ultimately assisting the local economy.

In addition, ESPO work closely with all of our awarded suppliers, with regular communication to ensure orders for goods and services are kept on track.

  • Financial security and the onward supply chain are frequently monitored to ensure our solutions remain dependable.
  • Lead times are monitored through an SLA and therefore will be subject to failure remedies.
  • Framework KPI’s/MI, accreditations and insurance documents are managed under the terms, during review periods, agreed at contract award.

If you are an education establishment please contact for more information, or for all other public sector organisations please contact