Supplying the British Library FAQs

On Demand - manage orders

Whether you’ve got questions about tendering or receiving orders, here you’ll find frequently asked questions for suppliers to the British Library.

An overview of how we work with suppliers can be found in the Working with Us section of the website. If you questions still aren't answered though, read on.

1. We are only a small organisation so do we need to take part in tenders?

2. We missed the tender. Can we still work with the British Library?

3. What are the EU Public Procurement Regulations?

4. How do we get paid or what to do if we are having trouble getting paid?

5. Can I submit my invoice by email?

6. How does the British Library ensure its suppliers are environmentally responsible?

7. What do I need to know about Freedom of Information?

8. What ethical code does British Library procurement follow?

9. What do I need to know about data protection?


1. We are only a small organisation so do we need to take part in tenders?

The British Library will only award a contract after a competitive tender process unless there are exceptional circumstances which exclude the opportunity from competition. If you wish to be awarded a contract by the British Library, you will need to tender for the opportunity. Tender opportunities are published on our e-Tendering website.


2. We missed the tender. Can we still work with the British Library?

If the tender was conducted under the Public Procurement Regulations then you cannot supply the British Library. However, current opportunities to tender are listed on our e-Tendering website


3. What are the EU Public Procurement Regulations?

As a current member state of the European Union and a public authority, we are obliged to follow the EU Public Procurement Directives. These have been adopted into UK law through the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, and a brief guide is available.


4. How do we get paid or what to do if we are having trouble getting paid?

It is British Library policy to pay all sums due to its suppliers by the end of the month following that in which the invoice is dated. For further information read our Supplying page.


5. Can I submit my invoice by email?

Yes, You can read more on this on our Supplying page.


6. How does the British Library ensure its suppliers are environmentally responsible?

Where pertinent to the requirement under tender our tender process includes an evaluation of the supplier's approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR), including environmental matters.


7. What do I need to know about Freedom of Information?

The Freedom of Information act came into force in January 2005. For more information visit our Freedom of Information section.


8. What ethical code does British Library procurement follow?

We follow the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) code of practice.


9. What do I need to know about data protection?

The Library has a legal obligation to ensure that personal information processed by another organisation on its behalf is managed in compliance with data protection legislation and good practice. As part of the procurement process an assessment will be carried out to identify requirements for data protection compliance. These will then be set out in the Library's Specification of Requirements.

As part of our post-contract performance monitoring, a questionnaire will be sent to suppliers on the anniversary of contracts which involve the processing of personal data to ensure that any changes since the award of contract and any resulting compliance and security implications are recorded and taken into account.