Buying goods and services at LSE

By following the guidance below, you will help ensure LSE operates effectively and secures Value for Money. 

Procurement Team

The LSE Procurement Team are here to support you through the Procurement Policy and the Tendering Process. You can find lots of information on this page, but feel free to speak to a member of the team to discuss your project.

Our purpose is to support the School/our Colleagues getting value for money with fair contract terms and fair pricing. The biggest opportunity to do this is by working with our colleagues to ensure that the specification is drafted to include only what we need to buy.

We are a part of the Finance Division, we are hybrid working, whilst on campus you can find us on the 5th Floor of the Library (LRB). Our job is to make your life easier and guide you through the procurement process. Please come and see us as far ahead in the future as you can to schedule with us when your Procurement process commences, If you are unsure who to contact, please message and we'll aim to get back to you within the same working day.

For further information about our services, and contact details, please see below:


For more information about purchasing goods and services for LSE using OneFinance, please see:

Purchase Orders
How to Obtain Goods and Services

The Procurement Policy can be found here: 

Procurement Policy and Procedures

Buying good and services - how do I do this?

Please check LSE's existing contracts  In many cases, there will be a contract in place for what you require.

If there is not a contract in place, you must follow LSE's procurement rules (all values below are excluding VAT).

LSE competition thresholds. These are at least 3 quotes for contracts between £8,000 and £49,999 and at least 4 tenders for contracts of £50,000 and over.
Contract value fromContract value to Competition requirement Procurement Team involvement required?
 £0  £7,999 None No
£8,000 £49,999 At least 3 written quotes must be returned to LSE No
£50,000 Unlimited At least 4 tenders must be returned to LSE Yes - all tenders over £50,000 must be run through the Procurement Team

Existing suitable suppliers can be identified by logging into OneFinance and searching for the Creditor Accounts function. Procurement can advise you on finding other suitable suppliers. 

If you are using a supplier not already on OneFinance, please see here for more information about how to do this.  

Or, you can use a Framework approved by LSE. A Framework is an agreement that has been put in place which enables orders to be placed without running a lengthy tender exercise. The suppliers are already on the Framework, so you do not need to find them to invite to competition.

LSE seeks to use London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC) Frameworks where possible.  The Procurement Team can advise you on this and other suitable Frameworks and how to use them.

Inviting suppliers to quote - what do I need to send?

The documentation requirements vary depending upon the type of competition you are running.

Type of competitionDocumentation required 
Single source (up to £7,999) Specification and Terms and Conditions of contract  
Invitation to Quote (£8,000 to £49,999) Invitation to Quote, Specification and Terms and Conditions of contract  
Invitation to Tender (over £50,000) Invitation to Tender, Tender Questionnaire, Specification and Terms and Conditions of contract  


A Specification is a statement of what you need. For low-value goods purchases, your Specification will be very simple. For higher value services purchases, you will need to provide more detail. Please see the template specifications below.

Terms and conditions of contract

LSE’s preference is to always use our own contract terms, rather than the suppliers, as they provide far greater contractual protection. LSE has a suite of standard contract terms which should suit most requirements and should be sent to suppliers when you ask them to bid. Links are provided below, but if in doubt of which to use, please contact the Procurement Team for advice before issuing to suppliers.

Invitation to Quote (ITQ) and Invitation to Tender (ITT)

These are overarching documents which explain the procurement process to suppliers. LSE has a template ITQ document you can use for requesting quotes. Please see Template Invitation to Quote [Word].

The template ITT must be requested from Procurement.

Pricing Schedule

This is an Excel spreadsheet which suppliers fill in to provide their pricing. The Procurement Team can provide example Pricing Schedules upon request.


Template Goods Specification [Word]

Template specification for services [Word]

Standard terms and conditions (goods) PO Short Version [Word]

Standard terms and conditions (goods) ITT Version  [Word]

Standard terms and conditions (services) PO Short Version [Word]

Standard terms and conditions (services) ITT Version [Word]

Standard terms and conditions (consultancy) PO Version [Word]

Standard terms and conditions (consultancy) ITT Version [Word]

Standard terms and conditions IMT (bespoke development agreement) [Word]

Standard terms and conditions IMT (software licence and maintenance agreement) [Word]

Managing contracts - who does this?

You do, or you will need to find a Service Manager within your department,centre or division. If a contract is put in place but not managed effectively, supplier performance can suffer. This can lead to service failures, cost overruns and may negatively affect LSE's reputation. 

The Procurement Team is a small team and does not manage services (with the exception of the Travel Management Service). A guide has been developed by the Team to give you practical advice on Service Management. For a copy, see Guide to Good Service Management at LSE[PDF]

If you are experiencing serious problems with a contract, need to make a variation to a contract or extend an existing contract, please contact the Procurement Team.

Evaluating a bid - how do I do this?

Before requesting bids from suppliers, it is important that you decide how you will score and evaluate their submissions. Normally, you will split your requirements into a percentage for the cost part of their bid and a percentage for the quality part of their bid.

The Procurement Team have a template scoring system you can use  and can supply sample bid evaluation templates.

Once you have decided who to award your contract to, it is good practice to advise the successful and unsuccessful bidders at the same time and provide the unsuccessful bidders with some feedback.

Signing a contract - who does this?

Contracts under £100,000 ex VAT can be signed by the Budget Controller

Contracts over £100,000 ex VAT and all contracts on the supplier's terms no matter what the value must be signed by the School Secretary

You will need additional authorisation prior to contract signature in the following circumstances:

Table showing authorisation requirements for a series of different procurement scenarios.
 Scenario Requirement 
You have received fewer than the required number of quotes/tenders Finance Director must authorise in writing
You propose awarding to a bidder who is not the lowest Head of Procurement must be consulted, School Secretary must authorise in writing

Sustainability – What do I need to do?

The School has committed to make sustainability a key consideration of its purchasing decisions and supplier relationships.

To achieve this, environmental considerations should be integrated in your procurement requirements, contract specifications, and evaluation criteria. For tender processes, sustainability should be part of the scoring criteria (5 to 20% depending on the nature of the contract).

Our Sustainability Impact Assessment tool can help you identify sustainability risks and opportunities for the goods and services you are purchasing. Consider sustainability as early as possible to achieve maximum impact. Both the procurement and the sustainability team are here to help.

Contact Us

Team phone number: +44 20 3486 2929 

Online enquiry form  (click to access)

For more information about the make up of the team please see the Finance Division people pages


Frequently Asked Questions

  •  What are LSE Company registration and/or VAT numbers?

LSE’s UK company registration number is 00070527 LSE’s VAT registration no. is GB 629 5880 94

Please note that the School pays VAT. In some cases partial recovery of the VAT is possible and any VAT reclaimed is returned to the central LSE budget.

For contracts the form used should be: LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE (company number 00070527) whose principal place of business is at Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE (“LSE”).


  • What’s the difference between a “quote” and a “tender”?

A “quote” can be verbal, but is normally written to provide a price for goods or services. What’s important to know is that a quote is not legally binding. It is in contract law an ‘invitation to treat’. Why you need to know is, is because for low value purchases, the ability to switch to another supplier is less complicated than a larger purchase and is suitable enough for those situations. Normally only price is the deciding factor for a quote.

Tendering can be more complex as it is obtaining firm offers from suppliers which are legally binding. They normally include a longer process, with suppliers being invited to provide sealed bids of their price and responses to questions testing their ability to deliver the services or goods competently. Please refer to the Procurement team for more information if required.


  • Can I accept gifts/hospitality from suppliers?

The LSE has a gifts and hospitality policy that needs to be followed, please check there:


  • What are EU Tendering regulations (OJEU), Public Contracts Regulations (PCR2015) or the Procurement Act 2023?

These are a set of rules and procedures that dictate how to run a procurement in public sector. For the most part LSE has its own Procurement Policy. LSE retains to flexibility when to use these rules. I.e. A Public Sector framework agreement. For more information please speak to the Procurement Team.


  • Why can’t I buy retail store furniture?

Commercial and Domestic furniture do not have the same standards e.g. Fire standards and could invalidate our insurance. Instead LSE has a Contract for Commercial Furniture who can source the best match to what you have seen in a domestic catalogue if required. They are called Showcase PSR Portsdown Ltd


  • Can I have a School mobile phone?

Please refer to the DTS website for purchasing


  • The supplier wants payment upfront before they will start work/despatch the goods we need, can we arrange this?

Please consult the Procurement Team in these instances before any commitments are made, a risk assessment might be required and approval from the CFO for a change in payment terms from the LSE standard payment terms.


  • A supplier has asked the LSE to provide trade references, where can I find these?

Instead of this, you can send them a copy of our latest Annual Accounts to prove we are financially stable. A copy of the Accounts can be found on the Finance Division web page.


Click to leave feedback

We value your feedback

  • Name
  • Your Privacy
  • Your right to privacy is important to us. The personal information that you submit in this form will be used to provide you with information about our services that may be of interest to you. Please visit to read our Privacy Policy and learn more about how we collect and use information about you so that you can make an informed choice about using our website.