Posted by Gemma Waring on December 9, 2016
On Monday of this week the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) released a Public Policy Note (PPN) on ‘Onerous Practices in Procurement and Contracting’. Put simply they are referring to procurement practices which place far too much risk on the supplier. This in
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Posted by Gemma Waring on November 9, 2016
Working with customers in Ireland through our Tenders Direct Ireland service we have traditionally heard anecdotal tales of poor procurement practices. Worrying issues such as cartels controlling certain sectors, bid price rigging and corrupt evaluation processes have all been highlighted not just by our customers but through news sources in Ireland. The net impact of this on the spend of buying authorities in Ireland is catastrophic: an Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in General Procurement, Politics of Procurement | 2 Comments »
Posted by Gemma Waring on September 30, 2016
A simplified selection stage has been welcomed by both suppliers and buyers in the public sector.
On 26 September 2016, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) released the new Selection Questionnaire which is, with immediate effect, replacing the Standard PQQ which was itself only released in February 2015.
So why the change? What exactly has changed? And, most importantly what does this mean for suppliers to the public sector?
Why the change?
The form has been changed to align closer with the text and structure of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD). The usage of the ESPD has been mandated across Europe and will be rolled out fully across the UK in the near future. The ESPD has been created to make tendering easier for smaller businesses, a key driver of the amendments to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, and means that suppliers can submit their ESPD during the selection stage rather than full tender documents.
So, why do we need the new Selection Questionnaire then? Simply put, the system in place in England is not yet able to roll out a uniform ESPD platform. So, for now the buying authorities can accept the ESPD, the Selection Questionnaire or use a procurement portal such as Millstream’s mytenders
What exactly has changed?
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Posted in General Procurement, Procurement Law | 2 Comments »
Posted by Gemma Waring on September 14, 2015
One of the main drivers of change in the Public Contracts Regulations of 2015 was to create a more open playing field for SMEs. This was brought about through a number of initiatives including the advertising of opportunities on Contracts Finder and improved payment terms for invoices.
It seems strange then that a part of the public sector should be made exempt from these requirements, namely maintained schools and academies especially considering that they are prime customers for small local businesses.
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Posted in Procurement Law | Tagged: academies, contracts finder, exemptions, maintained schools, regulations, The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Gemma Waring on September 2, 2015
The North East of England is to benefit from new public sector business opportunities in the construction industry as leading e-tender service provider Millstream Associates attends local event.
Millstream Associates will be showcasing their flagship product Tenders Direct, at Constructionline’s North East Meet the Buyer event in Sedgefield, on Thursday 10th September 2015.
The construction industry accounts for 6.1% of the total economic output in the UK, worth £103bn and resulting in 2.10million jobs in 2014. The industry has experienced fluctuations in growth since the recession, but from 2013 Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Construction Tenders | Tagged: below threshold tenders, Competitive Tenders, construction, eTenders | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Gemma Waring on August 20, 2015
As a subscriber to our Tenders Direct blog you will have noticed us mention some of our other products and services in recent months such mytenders and our Training and Consultancy services. You may be wondering how they fit in in relation to Tenders Direct and what they mean to you.
Now is a good time to explain this as we are moving forward under our new corporate banner of Millstream, bringing clarity to procurement process and equally to our branding. Millstream is the core of all our products and services, up till now it has sat in the background and we have used our separate brands to communicate with our customers, where as now we are taking a more cohesive approach to how we communicate with the outside world. From now on Millstream is the name you will hear when you are looking for procurement expertise.
What does this mean for you? You will still receive the same services you do now it just means that you will be able to view our full range of services which are designed to satisfy your procurement needs and you will see our branding transition to Millstream. In a world where people in procurement are having to write bids to secure contracts themselves and supplier are in turn facing an increasingly competitive marketplace and may need additional training and support we want you to know that we have it all covered for you.
We encourage you to start following Millstream on our new social media channels (all our existing social media channels, such as our Tenders Direct group on Linkedin, will be migrated across) and enjoy all our new content. We have already vastly increased the activity on our Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + sharing content and we believe our followers will find it engaging and informative.
We would love to hear your feedback so let us know what you think of our new image and if you have any questions at all please feel free to ask and we will get back to you.
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Posted by Gemma Waring on July 29, 2015
Here at Millstream we speak to public sector suppliers every day both new and old and it is staggering just how many do not have a documented strategy that outlines how they should decide which tenders to bid on. Often is it left to the Bid Manager or another individual to sift through the notices and decide what to bid on. These are the same organisations that devote time and money every year to developing detailed sales and marketing plans but fail to put the same spotlight on tendering. So, why not have a documented approach to tendering to help guide your organisation to success? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in General Procurement, Tender Tips | Tagged: bid, Bid Manager, Bid Team, no-bid | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Gemma Waring on June 4, 2015
Millstream will be attending the Public Sector Show on the 23rd of June at London’s Excel Centre.
We will be showcasing our mytenders etendering system which helps Buyers to compile and publish contract notices automatically to both Contracts Finder and OJEU and our Training and Consultancy services which are there to support you to get the most out of the mytenders system and tackle common procurement challenges and skills gaps.
Come down and see us on stand 352 opposite the Crown Commercial Services stand and find out more about what we do and how we can support you and your procurement teams to remain compliant with new legislation, simplify your procurement Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in General Procurement | Tagged: consultancy, eProcurement, exhibition, public sector, training | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Gemma Waring on May 27, 2015
A lot of potential suppliers to the public sector are put off by the amount of work it takes to become tender ready and what seems to be a chicken and egg situation where you need references to pass the PQQ (selection) stage but can’t get references until you win a contract!
The changes to the procurement regulations this year have made in roads to this situation with the abolition of PQQs for below threshold contracts and the removal of the burden of proof for above threshold contracts but there are a number of steps SMEs (and all organisations new to public sector tendering) can take to get a foot in the door and start supplying to the public sector. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Tender Tips | Tagged: New business opportunities, PQQ, Public contracts, public sector, SME, tendering, Tenders Direct, Winning Tenders | 3 Comments »
Posted by Gemma Waring on May 20, 2015
This blog covers the remedies directive for the public sector and when/how you can raise a challenge against a contracting authority.
The EU Remedies Directive was created in 2007 and transposed into UK law with the updated Public Contracts Regulations in 2009. The Directive brought in two very clear and important changes for suppliers to be aware of which were:
- a right to challenge the buyer if a contract is entered into before the compulsory standstill period has ended (standstill being the minimum 10 day period where buyers notify all bidders of the intended outcome before contracts can begin); and
- an automatic right to challenge an award decision and have the contract cancelled or modified if there has been any breach of the wider procurement rules.
In addition, the 2009 Regulations introduced a number of other changes, including: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in General Procurement, Procurement Law, Tender Tips | Tagged: bid, challenges, procurement, Public Contracts Regulations, remedies | 4 Comments »