Lincolnshire Police (LP) and the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner ("OPCC") implements a No PO, No Pay (no purchase order, no payment) policy in respect of all purchases made by LP & the OPCC from a supplier for the provision of goods or services. This guide should provide answers to the most common questions asked by suppliers in respect of these changes.
Why have a policy of No PO, No Pay?
The policy increases efficiency in the procurement process at LP and the OPCC. This process should help to streamline and improve our supplier invoice process and to ensure that suppliers are paid promptly within terms of trade (if a valid PO number is quoted) and so reduce processing costs. It should also ensure all procurement is compliant with relevant internal policies and the financial governance requirements.
Can I obtain a PO number after I have started providing goods/services?
All suppliers of goods and/or services to LP and the OPCC must only accept a verbal or written order when a Purchase Order number is given by the member of LP or OPCC staff.
LP & the OPCC have drawn up a short list of agreed exceptions to the No PO, No Pay policy (mainly payments for Utilities and to Doctors). We have made the relevant LP/OPCC staff aware of these agreed exceptions and, unless you are informed that you fall within this list of exceptions, you will require a Purchase Order number at the point of ordering to ensure that your payment can be processed without delay.
What happens if the supplier is asked to provide goods/services out of office hours?
Where the supplier is requested by a Police Officer on duty to provide goods or services in the nature of emergency expenditure or outside of normal office hours, a Purchase Order will not be available until the next working day.
In this instance only, the supplier can accept a Police Officer's collar number as a temporary Purchase Order number. However, the supplier should request that the Police Officer arranges for a PO to be raised on the next working day and the supplier notified of the number to enter onto the invoice.
Supplier invoices will not be accepted if they display a Police Officer's Collar number as a Purchase Order number. Please note this exception only applies to on duty Police Officers and not to other members of LP or OPCC staff.
Will I be paid any quicker if I quote a PO number?
Standard payment terms are 30 days from date of invoice. Invoices received without a valid PO number quoted will not be paid and will be returned to the supplier and this may lead to a delay in the payment process. Along with your invoice, you will receive a letter advising you of what action to take to receive payment.
What is the PO number sequence for Lincolnshire Police and the OPCC?
Valid PO numbers are an 11 digit number sequence in the following format:
Any invoice received that does not quote a valid purchase order number in this format will not be processed and will be returned to the supplier unpaid.
Past invoices without a PO number have been paid by LP/OPCC. Will this still happen?
All financial commitments for goods and services must be made using a Purchase Order. As part of this new policy, 'No PO, No Pay' is being fully enforced to drive compliance and ensure all financial commitments made by the business are approved and recorded in the purchasing system in advance of a purchase being made. The supplier will therefore be expected to quote a valid PO number on the invoice, otherwise it will be returned.
An invoice has been returned requesting a valid PO number be quoted. How can this be obtained?
You should contact the member of staff who gave the original instruction to supply the goods or services and ask them to provide a valid PO number.
When obtained, you should email a replacement invoice, quoting the valid PO number to [email protected].
What should I do if I am not a supplier and I have received a letter?
Some individuals who have provided goods or services to LP or the OPCC in the past have been recognised in our accounting system as suppliers. If you have received a letter and believe that you are not a supplier to LP or OPCC, please contact the Central Purchasing Unit (CPU) on either 01522 558617 or 01522 558160.
I have completed my part of the contract by supplying the goods/service and now you are asking me to quote a PO number on my invoice. I haven't got this. Where can I get a PO number from?
You should be able to obtain a valid PO number from your contact within LP or the OPCC who provided you with an instruction for the goods/service. You should then enter your PO number on your invoice before submitting it. Please note, however, that with effect from 1 April 2019, a supplier must obtain a LP/OPCC Purchase Order when a request is made for the provision of goods or services.
We are able to accept electronic invoices as long as all the relevant information is included in addition to a valid Purchase Order number. These can be emailed to [email protected]. Invoices can also be posted to: Finance Dept, PO Box 999, Lincoln, LN5 7PH.
If you have been provided with a standing Purchase Order for the ongoing provision of goods or services, once the agreed value on the Purchase Order has been reached, a new Purchase Order must be requested.
Where can I get more information or ask a question in relation to the process?
Contact our Central Purchasing Unit (CPU) on either 01522 558617 or 01522 558160, or email [email protected] in the first instance.