Millstream, a leading provider of European procurement services, is to continue running Scotland and Ireland’s national e-procurement databases after winning two contract extensions.
The additional work from the Scottish Government and Irish Government’s National Procurement Service comes just weeks after the Aberdeen-based company won a £4.8million deal to run a similar portal in Norway for the next seven years.
Millstream is the only company providing national public procurement websites for several European member states and has recently taken on 12 new staff to drive growth within the business.
A number of European governments and public authorities now handle procurement electronically in order to save money and time and to comply with the latest EU legislation.
Millstream has managed Public Contracts Scotland (PCS), the Scottish procurement portal, since 2006 and the extension will run to May 2014, while the contract for Ireland’s eTenders website – which was developed by Millstream with the Department of Finance in Dublin – has been extended to the end of 2012.
Tim Williams, managing director of Millstream, said: “We’ve had a very strong few months in which we’ve been able to extend some of our biggest contracts, such as Public Contracts Scotland. Being awarded these contracts underlines the strength of our business as our clients are confident in our ability to deliver results.
“The portals have helped to standardise tendering processes into one online system for both purchasers and suppliers, which opens up opportunities for companies while saving time and public money.”
More than 780 public authorities in Scotland use the PCS portal to procure services from 62,950 suppliers, who have access to all public sector opportunities in one place. Millstream has also developed a smartphone app for PCS, allowing users to access information on their phone or tablet.
John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, has praised the portal as “one of the finest innovations that Government has brought forward, making it easier for SMEs to access Government contracts”.
The Irish eTenders portal has 6,255 purchasers from more than 3,600 public authorities, with 72,655 active suppliers tendering for new business.
EU legislation means that contracting authorities must adhere to transparent, non-discriminatory and proportional principles when purchasing goods and services.
They must also advertise all contracts above a certain value in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), and virtually all of Ireland’s OJEU notices are now published through the eTenders website.
In Norway, Millstream has provided the Doffin portal for the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) since the end of 2005 and won the recent renewal following a competitive tendering process.
The seven-year contract, which is one of the largest won by Millstream, will start later this year and has the option to be extended for a further five years.
As well as operating procurement portals for national governments, Millstream runs the Tenders Direct website, which allows private companies from all sectors throughout Europe who are seeking new business opportunities to identify real business opportunities from the public sector, such as the government, local authorities, emergency services, health trusts and the armed forces.