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What is a V.E.A.T notice?

This was a question I was asked recently by a delegate on our Compelling Bid course and this was the explanation provided. The abbreviation stands for Voluntary Ex-Ante Transparency notice and it is covered by the Remedies Directive.

Continue reading “What is a V.E.A.T notice?”

Making the most out of public procurement portals

Tendering procedures can be time-consuming, stressful and difficult to navigate for both purchasers in the public sector and private companies seeking business opportunities, writes Duncan Dallas, Millstream’s head of procurement portals.

However, with many European governments and public authorities now handling procurement electronically to save time and comply with the latest EU legislation, national procurement portals have helped to standardise tendering processes into one much simpler online system.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own dedicated public sector procurement websites, while Contracts Finder is the UK Government’s equivalent.

Duncan Dallas, Head of Portals at Millstream Associates

Duncan Dallas, Head of Procurement Portals at Millstream

Publishing all available opportunities in one place means it is much easier for businesses to find suitable tenders.

Indeed, recent figures released in Scotland alone show that more small businesses than ever before are securing public contracts through Public Contracts Scotland, with 80 per cent of 13,308 suppliers awarded contracts through the online portal in 2012 being based north of the border.

Portals simplify the creation and management of the tender documentation required by EU and UK regulations, which means that contracting authorities must adhere to transparent, non-discriminatory and proportional principles when purchasing goods and services, and they must also advertise all contracts above a certain value in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

As the only company providing national public procurement websites for several European member states, Millstream has operated the national procurement portal for Norway for the past seven years and the Public Contracts Scotland portal for the past five years, on behalf of the Scottish Government. We also provided the Irish Government’s eTenders website from 2003 until 2012 and have just started work with the Welsh Government. Continue reading “Making the most out of public procurement portals”

National Audit Office confirms savings by improved public procurement

The National Audit Office (NAO) has backed up the government’s figures regarding £1.020 million in procurement savings through better public procurement by the UK government’s Efficiency and Reform Group, but it has not assessed the accuracy of the total savings claimed. The reason why is due to uncertainties about the underlying data in departments, however the NAO have said that if improvements in the ERG processes and methodologies continue, then they may be able to provide formal assurance in the future. Continue reading “National Audit Office confirms savings by improved public procurement”

Bidder launches legal action after missing out on £1.2bn waste contract

Covanta, an aggrieved bidder is taking legal action over a 30year contract award by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), to SITA UK. The legal team for rival bidder Covanta said that it was flawed procurement process, that failed to take into account the economic savings in their clients bid. Continue reading “Bidder launches legal action after missing out on £1.2bn waste contract”

Millstream secures contract extensions for Scottish and Irish procurement portals

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. Continue reading “Millstream secures contract extensions for Scottish and Irish procurement portals”

To Bid or Not to Bid

Selecting the right contracts to go for is critical to the growth of your business. So often we waste a huge amount of time responding to tenders we are destined never to win. It can be due to a lack of resources, limited experience or it simply just doesn’t fit with your core business.

Here’s a quick and effective checklist for deciding whether you should go for a contract or not.

Step 1
Rank your response from 1 to 5, with 1 as the most negative and 5 as the most positive answer. If the total score is below 20, you should seriously consider whether it is worth proceeding to Step 2.

1. Were we aware of the opportunity before it was advertised?
2. Do we know the decision-maker(s)?
3. Do we have a significant technical or other competitive advantage?
4. Have we done an effective job of pre-selling for this project?
5. Do we have a champion in-house who is motivated to win?
6. Have we allowed enough time for preparing the proposal?

Step 2
Answer yes or no to the following Qualitative Factors:

1. Will our price be competitive?
2. Does the opportunity match our target market area and services?
3. Does the project present us with an unusual opportunity to break into a new market?
4. Will the submittal effort be proportional with the expected fee?
5. Is the project consistent with our minimum/maximum project size objectives?
6. Can we make a profit doing this project?
7. If we cannot make a profit, are there any prevailing reasons to want the project?
8. Do we have qualified staff available to perform the work?
9. Do we have the staff and time available to prepare a quality proposal?
10. Do we have the track record/experience for the project?

If you have answered ‘no’ to more than two of these questions, you should seriously consider whether this is the right contract for you.

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