Contracts and Collaboration

The East Midlands Strategic Commercial Unit (EMSCU) manages the process of procurement exercise and supplier relationship management on behalf of the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

What does EMSCU buy?

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 £25,000 and above that are held by its member Forces (note: unless the contract is particularly complex and necessitating bespoke terms and conditions, the contract will generally be based on EMSCU’s Standard Terms & Conditions).

Invitations to tender

Police and Crime Commissioners are required to publish a copy of every invitation to tender for a contract with an expected value exceeding £10,000, to which they or the Chief Constable is a party.

All tenders may be viewed on the Bluelight emergency services tendering website.

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 created 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 £25,000 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


Where contracts are of the appropriate value, EMSCU advertise in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). A list of contracts can be found online via the bluelight emergency services e-Procurement website.

Recent contract awards


This list is updated periodically to reflect new contract awards.

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 EMSCU’s clients are public sector organisations, 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.

EMSCU’s 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.