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Purchase to Pay

Getting Paid for Goods/Services provided to the Scottish Government

There are three main routes through which the core Scottish Government secures goods and services. These are: through a Purchase Order, through the use of the Government Procurement Card (GPC), and by agreed contract.

Getting paid where a Purchase Order is used

The Scottish Government will issue a Purchase Order with a unique number. For all core branches of the Government, this will have the form SG followed by six numbers (e.g. SG123456).

Agencies and Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) also issue Purchase Orders. These will have their own prefixes (e.g. MHTS123456, TS123456 or SHR123456), or in the case of the Fisheries Research Service, no prefix at all.

Orders without a valid purchase order number will not be accepted. To ensure prompt payment this number must be quoted on the invoice. Invoices must be sent to the address quoted on the purchase order.

Invoices that do not quote a valid PO will be returned to suppliers with a request to submit a new invoice quoting a valid Purchase Order Number.

Other methods - the GPC (Visa) Card and contracts.

Purchases made using the Government Procurement Card (a VISA credit card) are validated for the each transaction: no other process is necessary to ensure payment.

Where appropriate we enter into contracts with particular suppliers for goods and services. Orders raised against such previously agreed contracts will be paid according to the terms of those contracts.

Payment terms

The Scottish Government believes in the importance of paying all our suppliers on time and to this end we are signed up to the CBI Prompt Payment Code. Our aim is to pay all invoices on time. This will usually be 30 days from date of receipt of a valid invoice or satisfactory receipt of the goods/services whichever is the later. It is not our practice to pay earlier than 30 days unless previously agreed with the supplier. You can also help us to pay promptly by ensuring that all invoices carry the purchase order number as set out above, providing a contact point for invoice queries, and letting us know about any change to your address or payment details as quickly as possible.

Method of Payment

We intend to move to making all our payments by BACS, except where separately specified in the contract, and we expect all new suppliers to take payments by BACS. As well as improved security for larger sums the use of BACS ensures that your money is credited directly into your bank account as cleared funds.