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Purchase Orders

We have a No Purchase Order, No Pay policy. This means that invoices received without a correct and valid Purchase Order number quoted will not be paid.

This is a key financial control measure, and forms part of our approved Financial Regulations, ensuring that all spend is correctly authorised in our payments system. This also helps to speed up the processing of invoices for suppliers and ensure fair and consistent terms and conditions on goods, works and service.

No Purchase Order, No Pay policy

If you supply goods, works or services to us, you must ask for a valid Purchase Order number from your council contact when an order is placed.

You must not accept verbal or written instruction to supply goods, works or services from any member of staff unless they give you a valid Purchase Order number.

If a B&NES Council employee requests goods, works or services from you without giving you a valid Purchase Order number:

  • refer them to this policy;
  • do not accept the order until they give you a Purchase Order number.

Invoices which do not quote a Purchase Order will be returned to the supplier without obligation to pay.

Cooperating with this policy is one of the best ways to make sure your invoice is paid promptly.

Getting a purchase order number

Council staff must provide you with a valid purchase order number for the supply of goods and services. If you do not have a purchase order number do not proceed with the order; please contact the Council department making the purchase and ask them to provide one.

If you have a question about an invoice or about the No Purchase Order, No Pay policy, contact the Council department who placed the order.

What to include in your invoice
  • your company name and address
  • your VAT registration number, if you have one
  • the invoice number
  • the invoice date
  • a valid Purchase Order number
  • the customer name (this must be Bath & North East Somerset Council) and address
  • the name of the service area requesting goods or service, or council contact person (you can find this on our purchase order)
  • a full description of the goods or services supplied
  • the quantity, description, unit price, net value, VAT rate, VAT value and line total for each line item
  • invoice totals of net, VAT and gross

Where goods or services do not have VAT, this should be shown clearly.

Format of Invoices

To make sure we process and pay all invoices on time, email them (in PDF format) to the email address detailed on the Purchase Order, or to the Council team who placed the order, quoting a valid Purchase Order number. If you don’t do this, this will delay our processing your invoice and making payment to you.

Please don't submit both electronic and paper copies of invoices. This leads to delays in payment as duplicate invoices require manual processing once identified.

If you are contacting us to follow up on late payment, please do not resend the invoice unless this is specifically requested by one of our team.

Payment terms

Our standard payment terms are 30 days from the date of a valid and undisputed invoice.

Please note that the 30-day timer will not start unless the invoice submit is valid and undisputed. In order to be valid, the invoice must comply with our invoicing policy by quoting a valid Purchase Order number.

Suppliers must note that they are at risk of not being paid if their invoices do not include a valid PO number or, at best, they will experience a delay in receiving payment.

Purchase Order Terms and Conditions

Our standard conditions of contract will be the entire agreement for Purchase Orders, save where the Council and supplier have signed a separate written agreement.

Read our Terms and Conditions