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Date updated: 3/02/2023

Check for regular government updates on the Transforming Public Procurement Regime.

The City of London Corporation takes part in the Chartered Institute of Credit Management's (CIMC) Prompt Payment Code. That means we pledge to:

Pay suppliers on time

We at the City Corporation, aim to pay undisputed invoices, that quote a valid purchase order number, within 10 days of the invoice arriving anywhere in the City Corporation for SME's (small and medium enterprises with fewer than 250 employees) and 30 days for larger suppliers (250+ employees).

Give clear guidance to suppliers

All invoices should be attached when contacting the Accounts Payable team and include the following information.

  • an identifying number
  • the supplier's name, address and VAT registration number
  • the time of supply
  • date of issue
  • the type of supply (eg sale, hire purchase, loan etc.)
  • a description of the goods or services supplied
  • the customer's name (or trading name) and address:

City of London Corporation
PO Box 270
London EC2P 2EJ

For most prompt payments and in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint we prefer to pay our suppliers via BACS. We encourage suppliers to include their bank details on all invoices with a valid email address for remittance.

Prompt payment reporting

In accordance with regulation 113 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, please see the information below on the City Corporation's prompt payment performance.

Prompt payment performance

Financial Year

Proportion of valid and disputed invoices paid within 30 days 

Interest paid to suppliers due to a breach of regulation 113

Interest liable to be paid to suppliers due to a breach of regulation 113

 2015/16  96%  £0 N/A
 2016/17  97%  £0 £135,422.52
 2017/18  95%  £0 £222,921.68
 2018/19  94%  £165.15 £265,159.89
2019/20 93% £2,353.11 £259,395.01
2020/21 92% £2,240.01 £278,194.76
2021/22 94% £20,904.35 £280,319.71


The City of London Corporation uses a procurement portal called capitalEsourcing for all new tender opportunities. All suppliers interested in working with the City Corporation should register on capitalEsourcing.

When you log onto the site, click the register button, accept the user agreement and fill in your organisation details on the resulting screen.

Contracts Finder

Open tender opportunities valued at £100,000 or more are advertised on the Government's online portal Contracts Finder.

Find a Tender

High value above threshold tender opportunities are advertised on Find a Tender.  

Market engagement

The City Corporation regularly undertakes soft market testing exercises with suppliers. This involves liaising with suppliers to establish the best way of running any future procurement projects as well as assessing the current market. Soft market testing requires active engagement with suppliers both through questionnaires and face-to-face meetings.

Suppliers should note that a response to soft market testing exercises does not guarantee any invitation to participate in any future tenders.

Future soft market testing exercises may be listed here and will be undertaken via the capitalEsourcing portal.

Understand the buyer

  • Find out what is important to the buyer and the organisation e.g. core values, key objectives, the type of solution they are looking for.
  • Review the invitation to tender, website and any relevant policies.
  • When writing the bid, focus on what the buyer is looking for.

Answer the question and provide good evidence

  • Make sure you answer the question. Your answer should show how you meet the requirements of that question. Evaluators cannot use outside knowledge or make assumptions based on other parts of your response.
  • Steer clear of hollow statements e.g. "customer service is at the heart of all we do". Provide recent and relevant evidence to support your statements.
  • Be mindful of word counts. You will only be scored up to the maximum number of words allowed. Anything else beyond that will not be considered.
  • As good as your brochure may be, don’t use it to answer a question. Make it easy for your buyer to evaluate and score you.
  • Familiarise yourself with the scoring system. This can be found in the information pack provided. If you don’t provide relevant information for the question, you won’t get points no matter how good your offer is!

Ask for clarification

  • If you are not sure about something, ask the question through the procurement portal.
  • Each procurement exercise will have a certain time period for bidders to ask clarification questions. This is a good opportunity to request more information about the specification, technical questions, contract terms, request higher word counts, or ask for an extension if you are struggling to give the buyer information they’ve asked for.
  • Questions are not considered as part of the evaluation so you’ve nothing to lose.
  • Questions asked by other bidders will be circulated, along with the answers, so keep an eye out for these.

Don't run out of time

  • If you need more time to submit your bid, ask for an extension on the deadline. This may or may not be granted.
  • Specify exactly how many days you want the deadline to be extended for.
  • You can request for multiple extensions but again be mindful it may not always be approved.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to upload your response. Allow enough time to upload your responses on the procurement portal and check the contact points in case there is an IT issue.

If the bid is unsuccessful...

  • Ask for feedback from the buyer to help you answer smarter next time.
  • Organise a "lessons learnt" meeting with your team.

No more paper invoices

Over the last 10 years an increased awareness of the benefits of reducing paper have been driving most organisations, including the City of London Corporation to find ways to minimise or eliminate their paper processes. This helps us to reduce our costs, be more efficient and be socially responsible.

In line with this commitment the City Corporation launched a campaign to target a reduction in paper invoicing both internally and with all our suppliers – No More Paper Invoices, Think Invoice, Think Email.

Our ultimate aim is to eradicate paper invoices altogether and we are therefore encouraging suppliers to email invoices to us. Not only does this help the environment but it also means that we can guarantee to pay our suppliers more quickly.

All invoices can be attached when contacting the City Procurement Accounts Payable Team.

The preferred format is Adobe PDF, but other formats such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and JPEGs are all accepted.

If you are currently sending paper invoices to the City Corporation, please send all your invoices directly by email to the City Procurement Accounts Payable team using the email address provided above.

The City Corporation receives and currently processes nearly 100,000 invoices a year and up to 25,000 of these are still received on paper. That's 7,423 metres of paper end to end, enough to cover the length of Tower Bridge 30 times over.

Here are just a few of the benefits of moving to a fully electronic system:

  • Savings on the cost of paper, envelopes, printing and postage
  • Faster delivery of invoices, facilitating prompt payments
  • A much better audit trail and no more invoices lost in the post
  • A far less damaging impact on the environment

This campaign supports the City Corporation's E-invoicing policy position 2015. This policy position confirms e-invoicing as the preferred method of receiving invoices. If you have any questions in regards to this policy position or the No Paper Invoices, Think Invoice, Think Email campaign please contact the Accounts Payable team.

Purchase Order number

When invoicing for goods or services, suppliers must quote a valid Purchase Order (PO number) on the invoice, in order to receive payment.

To help improve efficiency in our payment processes and ensure that all payments are made to suppliers as quickly as possible, suppliers must ensure that they are provided with a PO number when accepting an order for goods or services.

Any invoice received without a valid PO number will result in delays as it will not be processed and will be returned to the supplier unpaid.

Frequently asked questions

I didn't quote a PO number on my invoice and I still got paid. Can I continue to do this?

No. We implemented the No PO No PAY policy to ensure all financial commitments are approved and recorded in purchasing systems in advance of the purchase being made.

Are any goods and services exempt?

Exemptions usually only apply to:

  • Utilities
  • Rate refunds
  • Council tax
  • Grant payments

For low value and/or one off purchases, we use purchase cards (P-cards). If you have received a card number to process the payment against, then a PO number will not be required.

If you are submitting an invoice in a foreign currency, you are not required to provide a PO. This type of invoice should be sent directly to the City Corporation contact who commissioned the work.

Will I get paid any quicker if I provide a PO number?

No. However, invoices without a valid PO number will not be processed or paid until a valid PO number is quoted by the supplier and this will delay your payment.

The standard payment terms the City Corporation adheres to are 30 calendar days from receipt of an invoice however we aim to pay SMEs earlier.

What does a valid PO number look like?

A valid PO number from the City Corporation will begin with a number nine and will have six digits: eg 912345.

Where can I get a PO number from?

1. Get a valid PO number from your contact within the City Corporation who provided you with an instruction for the goods or service.

2. Enter the PO number on your invoice

3. Submit the invoice to the City Corporation Accounts Payable Team

My contact details have changed. Who do I contact to get these corrected?

If you need to let us know of any changes contact the City Procurement Projects or the Accounts Payable team.

Please note: Due to the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, we need to record your formal authorisation to amend your records. We ask that all changes be confirmed in writing - email accepted - to maintain compliance and meet with audit requirements.

If you are currently paid by cheque we would encourage you to provide us with your current bank account details in writing so that we are able to improve the efficiency of your payment.

More information

If you have any further questions regarding the No PO No PAY policy contact City Procurement or the Transactional Finance team.

The Commercial Contract Management (CCM) team provide information, advice, support and training to the City Corporation on all aspects of contract Management. The CCM team work closely both with internal contract managers and external third parties to facilitate efficient and sustainable commercial relationships within all strategic contracts.

Performance Scorecard

The Performance Scorecard tool provides a high-level summary of the performance of our suppliers across a number of key performance areas. The scorecard is in place to ensure that the City Corporation can meet and exceed its current and future strategic objectives.

The scorecard will ensure that a standard approach is taken to monitoring and gathering evidence in order to drive best practice, mitigate risks or failing performance and to enable the City Corporation’s supply-chain to offer the best value, quality and innovation.

The 10 Corporate Measures of the Scorecard are:

Supplier performance and service delivery

This will be a metric based on the supplier’s performance focused on the contract KPIs, customer satisfaction, budget and billing controls, finance performance and items of statutory compliance.

Commercialism and innovation

To assess how innovation has been introduced or considered by our key suppliers. We will monitor opportunities and their implementation, track savings, efficiencies and income generation outputs derived from the contract during its life cycle.

Internal contract management performance

This metric will be inward looking as we will have a number of dependencies to deliver to ensure a successful contract outcome. Measured within this area will be assurances that there are contract handover plans, regular diarised Supplier meetings and milestone monitoring. Underpinning this will be the assurance that accurate and up to date documentation is managed appropriately.

Supplier relationship and supply chain management

This metric will include a subjective score on the overall relationship, taking into consideration all aspects of the contract, reputation in the marketplace and the supplier’s ability to manage their supply chain to the levels required by the City.

Health and safety

This metric will ensure suppliers have appropriate health and safety management provision in place, ensuring suppliers are complying with all relevant requirements, hold accurate data and relevant accreditation and are able to deliver interventions that satisfy the City Corporation’s key policy and strategies in health, safety and well being.

Economic and financial standing

This metric will proactively seek assurances that our key suppliers can continue to deliver the required service and monitors reputational risk and early indicators that a supplier may fail to meet the appropriate City Corporation, financial and regulatory requirements.

Risk management

This metric will ensure risk and business continuity is at the heart of each of our key contracts. It will ensure suppliers have “live” risk registers, risk handling and escalation procedures, business continuity plans and procedures to mitigate the risk of organised crime.

Environmental protection

Measurements in this area seek to ensure suppliers are complying with mandatory Government Buying Standards and are supporting the City Corporation’s energy efficiency strategies and other key policies.

Social value

Measurement of the delivery of social value across inclusion, community benefit, local economic regeneration, skills and apprentices, amongst other key themes.

Ethical sourcing

The final metric will ensure suppliers are compliant with the Modern Slavery Act, legal working rights in the UK, human rights requirements as well as ensuring they are sourcing from countries and sub-contractors that meet the City Corporation’s mandatory requirements.

If you have any further questions email the Commercial Contract Management team.

This policy defines the City Corporation’s security standards and behaviours which must be adhered to by employees, other workers, visitors, and contractors when on our sites.

This policy is maintained by the City Corporation's Human Resources team. Any questions can be directed to the Corporate HR Helpdesk.

Security Policy - People PDF (159KB)
Date submitted: 28/08/20
E-invoicing Policy Position 2015 PDF (100 KB)
Date submitted: 3/06/20