How do I find government contracts?


The public sector is made up of numerous organisations run by the government – this includes local councils, emergency services, armed forces and the NHS. Each of these organisations relies on the private sector to supply them with a wide range of goods, works and services, and on average spends over £290 billion on procurement each year.

To ensure there is a competitive marketplace, contracts must be published publicly, and be accessible to any supplier. This means whenever a public body has a procurement need, they have to advertise the contract online using any of the numerous publishing platforms (also known as advertising portals) available to them – details of these can be found at the end of this post.


The Problem with Finding Tenders

You could try and search for notices yourself using the websites above, but due to the sheer number of sources, especially for low-value notices, it would take a significant amount of effort to find suitable notices.

Even if you did find notices this way, they might not actually be as relevant as you had hoped. This is because of CPV codes. There is a CPV (Common Procurement Vocabulary) code for every product or service, and while buyers should use them to let suppliers know what they are looking for, many notices are coded incorrectly. This means they won’t appear in searches and you could miss out on these opportunities.

However, Tenders Direct allows you to avoid these issues by sourcing and reviewing every UK and ROI notice, then making them available to you in one accurate and easy to search database.


Tenders Direct – How does it work? 

We are able to provide full coverage of every tender published in the UK and ROI thanks to our team of Sourcing Specialists, who scour every source to find every tender published. Our Classification Specialists then review each of these notices for accuracy, and re-classify them according to product, service and industry. This Peer Review Process not only ensures you have access to every tender published; it also eliminates irrelevance so you only ever see notices that match your search criteria.

To help you stay ahead of the competition and have more time to prepare your bids, our tender alert service eliminates the need for manual searches by notifying you as soon as relevant opportunities are published. Our Client Experience Managers work with you to learn about your business, identify your needs, and develop your unique alert profile – ensuring you receive notifications tailored specifically to your requirements.

With a Tenders Direct subscription, we guarantee you will never miss a tender. Visit our website for more information about our services, or call our New Business Executives on 0800 222 9009 to discuss your needs.

How Tenders Direct works
Discover how Tenders Direct can help you find and win public contracts.

See for yourself
Request a free sample tender alert direct to your inbox.


Tender Publishing Platforms UK 

Contracts Finder - for English contracts worth over £10,000 with the government and its agencies. 

Public Contracts Scotland – for all Scottish public procurement. 

Sell2Wales – for all Welsh public procurement.

eSourcing NI – for all public procurement in Northern Ireland.

Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) – for high-value tenders published in European Union countries.

Find a Tender – for all high-value notices published across the UK.

Public Buyer Specific – low-value tenders, which make up the majority of all public contracts, can be published on the buyer’s own website or through a third party service such as myTenders – meaning there are hundreds of sites used to publish notices. 


These posts may also be of interest

Why work with
the public sector? 

Our article looks at 6 reasons why you should do business with the Public Sector.

Differences between
the private and public sector 

This infographic looks at the different procurement processes.

What is
a public sector tender? 
An explanation of how tenders work and the different procedures they can use.  

Request a tailored
Market Overview

Discover what types of opportunities are available for your industry with a free Market Overview report.


Tenders Direct is the UK’s most accurate tender alert service. We are the only service to guarantee that with us – you’ll never miss a tender.

For more information about we can help you find and win more work in the public sector, please visit tendersdirect.co.uk or call us on 0800 222 9009.

The Tender Writing Process

Across the UK and ROI, the public sector publishes 1,229 contract opportunities each week – that’s 63,909 a year!
With so much work available, bidding for these contracts should be an action in every business development plan. 
 
The public sector needs suppliers from a wide range of industries, and once you have found an opportunity that is relevant to your business – you’ll want to do everything you can to win the work. 
 
To help you get started, we have created this 9 step tender writing process for you to follow. It details the most efficient way of planning your proposals, helping you to focus on what is needed and avoid dreaded rewrites.


1. Evaluate the Tender – Go/No Go 

The evaluation stage is the first and most important stage of the tender writing process, as it highlights vital information and creates the foundation of your bid strategy.  
 
Before starting any proposals, you will need to consider the criteria which you will use to confidently determine if tenders are worthwhile or not. Without some form of initial evaluation you are likely to encounter problems later on. 
 
Some examples of questions to ask yourself are: 
 
◆ How closely is the tender aligned to our business strategy? 
◆ How well do we match the needs listed? 
◆ Can we meet the requirement? 
◆ What is our win probability? 
◆ Can we complete the proposal on time? 
◆ How familiar are we with the buyer? 
◆ Do we have the experience needed? 
◆ Are there any requirements which we can’t meet? 


2. Review and Deconstruct Available Information 

Ensure you have, and understand, all of the information available to you. Make this easy to access, and refer back to this information when writing your Bid Plan (see step 3) to ensure nothing is missed.  
 
◆ Review the tender, and identify exactly what each question is looking for.  
◆ Can the questions be broken down into individual requirements or themes?  
◆ Do you require any clarifications from the buyer? 
◆ What do you know about the buyer? 
◆ Can any research on previous or similar awards be conducted? 
◆ Are there any formatting requirements you need to consider – layout, document attachments, word count?  
◆ Is there anything missing from the specifications or additional recommendations you would include? 


3. Create your Bid Plan  

With your requirements clearly outlined, and all of the necessary information covered, you will be to plan for how and when you will prepare your responses.  
 
Your plan will consist of dates, names and actions against everything you need up to the submission deadline.  
 
◆ What resources will you need? 
◆ Who will be needed to support you? 
◆ What actions need to be completed? 
◆ What work will be delegated? 
◆ What is the timeline of activity? 
◆ What are your key milestones? 
◆ When will you engage with your team?   


4. Strategy Development    

By going through the initial evaluation, you have already formed the basis of your strategy – the reasons that you would be able to successfully secure this work.

With this information, you should be able to identify overarching themes that you will consistently reference throughout your response. Think here about your positioning, what you know about the competitors, and what is important to the buyer. Identifying these win themes early will ensure your they a factored into your answers.     


5. Answer Planning   

In this stage we combine the work conducted in stages 1 and 2 to prepare a plan for how each question will be answered. 

Your initial evaluation will have highlighted key win themes, and your review will have provided clarification on what the buyer is asking for. Use this information to prepare high level response themes for each question – at this stage you’re only looking to capture key points. 

Look to create a range of headings or bullet points for each question, do not start producing a detailed narrative.   

Is there a word count? This would be the point to start thinking about the answer structure, and how you are you going to divide that word count up among the different topics you want to cover. 


6. Answer Development   

Allow a lot of time for this activity. 

This is where you add more information to your themes, by focusing on what topics will be covered and creating lists of all the information you’ll be required to include – you are building on the bullet points captured in the previous section.  
 
Dedicating time for both Answer Planning and Development will save you significant effort in the long run, by helping you to avoid missing key information and having to conduct rewrites.  


7. Answering    

Do not start this without first planning all of the actions needed to complete your proposal on time, or having first created a plan for your responses. Answering questions and developing a plan as you go will only make the entire process more complicated and will not help you turn it around any quicker. 

Follow the plans you have created in earlier stages, refer back to them, and ensure nothing is overlooked. While you are following a plan to ensure key topics are covered, do not make the mistake of just listing responses. Your proposal needs to be compelling rather than just descriptive. 

Your responses should tell the buyer about the benefits they will receive, rather than just describing what you offer. You need help them understand why choosing you, over the competition, is the best option.  

Also do not feel that you should be limited by the specifications provided. If you feel that they have not fully captured the requirement or their project could benefit from new considerations – include them. Who would you award work to – the company who overlooks issues, or the one who proposes solutions to problems you hadn’t even realised were there?  


8. Proofing and Review     

Involve others who have not been directly involved with the proposal to proof read. They can ensure that your proposal both reads well and makes sense.  

We also tend to miss our own typographical errors, most commonly duplicated or omitted words, so a fresh pair of eyes can ensure your response reads as intended.  


9. Tender Submission     

Always leave time to get your proposal submitted, do not leave until the last minute. Systems can go down, connections can fail, and other unexpected issues can all delay on time submission. 

Try and leave a day to get your document submitted. 

As systems vary significantly, there is no standard submission process. You could find yourself having to get familiar with a new system each time you submit a proposal. Scope out the end-to-end navigation of the portal at the beginning of the project, not the end. 


Tender Writing Support    

We have a range of other articles which may be useful for helping you with your tender writing needs. You can find details of these below.
 
If you require more hands-on support with a specific tender or tenders in general, we offer a wide range of consultancy services and can support you with anything from reviewing proposals to overall bid management. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me directly or visit our Consultancy Services page. 
 
Andrew Watson 
Bid Consultancy and Training Manager 
Tel: 07384 818 704  
E-mail: andrew.watson@proactis.com  


Should you offer  
more than the specification? 
An article looking at what to do if you realise the buyer needs something else… 

Top 5 
Bid Writing Mistakes 
In this series, we look at the most common mistakes made.  

View our full range of  
Consultancy Services 
Bid writing | Bid review and editing | Bid management | Bid strategy | Bespoke support 

Access our free 
On-demand webinars 
Covering a wide range of topics for bid writers of all levels. 

Improved public sector opportunities for SMEs

With no requirements to comply with EU directives for public procurement, the UK Government is able introduce changes to how they procure below threshold goods, works and services.  
 
On 10 December 2020, the Cabinet Office published the Procurement Policy Note (PPN): Reserving Below Threshold Procurements – which outlines how central government buyers are encouraged to reserve low value tenders for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), and suppliers in specific geographical regions from 1 January 2021. 


What does this mean for SMEs?

The introduction of this PPN is aimed at supporting SMEs by making more opportunities available to them, and increasing their chances of securing work with the public sector.

As part of its drive to level up the UK economy, the government is committed to tackling inequality and giving everyone across the country the opportunity to fulfil their potential. An economy with diverse, resilient and innovative supply markets provides the best environment to start and grow a business.

Point 16. Procurement Policy Note – Reserving Below Threshold Procurements

There are two ways that buyers are advised to create tenders which favour SMEs:

Reserving them by supplier location – buyers are able to open tenders which can only be bid on by suppliers located in a specified geographical area. The scope of these tenders can be UK wide or narrowed down by county. Buyers will not be able specify individual nations of the UK.  

Restricting the types of organisations that can bid for the work – buyers are able to specify that only SMEs and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSEs) are eligible to bid for the work. 

While the PPN applies to central government buyers, the wider public sector is “encouraged to apply the principles” outlined within – meaning as familiarity with these practices grows, so too will UK-led and SME specific opportunities. 

The PPN does not apply to low value tenders involving any provision of goods into Northern Ireland – which remains subject to EU regulations under Northern Ireland Protocol, avoiding a hard border with the Republic of Ireland. 


What are low value tenders?

Low value tenders are those which fall below specific thresholds, which have been identified to prevent discriminatory procurement practices. If buyers wish to reserve low value tenders, the current thresholds which tender values must fall below are:

Supplies & Services
< £122,976
ex VAT

Works
< £4,733,252
ex VAT

The EU thresholds introduced on 1 January 2020 will remain in place until 1 January 2022. Future thresholds will be determined by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) – which the UK has been a member of since 1 January 2021. 


How do I find low value tenders?

There are thousands of portals through which public bodies can publish their notices, and it would take a lot of time and effort to try and locate every opportunity relevant to your business.   
 
Thankfully, Tenders Direct eliminates your need to search for tenders by collating every UK and ROI notice in one place, and alerts you to the tenders relevant to you. Our unique service ensures we are aware of every tender published, and allows us to guarantee that with Tenders Direct – you will never miss a tender again.  


Top 5 bid writing mistakes  
You’ll want to avoid these mistakes to take full advantage of these SME specific opportunities. 

Request a free demo 
See how our system works, and discover the opportunities available for business like yours.

Brexit and Public Procurement 
Read about the other changes introduced with Brexit’s conclusion on 1 January 2021.

Reserving Below Threshold Procurements 
View the full policy procurement note on GOV.UK 

Public Sector Round-Up 18.12.20


Weekly UK tender publishing update

1,084

764

320

Total UK
Tenders
Low-Value
Tenders
OJEU
Tenders

170

63

362

Frameworks
or DPS
Prior Information
Notices
OJEU
Award Notices
Tender notices published in the UK between 11.12.20 & 17.12.20

Tenders Direct provides full coverage of public sector tenders of any value across the UK and ROI. Our team of specialists source every notice and then reclassifies each one for accuracy. We rely on humans, not algorithms, to ensure you never miss a tender.
Request a free demo of our service to search through these notices, and discover what opportunities the public sector has to offer.


In the news this week

Largest council housing scheme for 50 years in Salford
Salford City has approved the creation of 417 new eco-friendly homes, to help tackle the housing crisis in the city. Of the homes, 188 will be available for social rent, 127 for affordable rent, 52 to the private rented sector and 50 will be sold. They will provide a quality and sustainable range of house types and size to meet local needs.

Ambitious plans for £100million investment in Council housing will transform Renfrewshire
Proposals for a major investment programme which will transform council housing in Renfrewshire over the next decade have been given the go-ahead. The Regeneration and Renewal Programme will invest at least £100million in council housing over the next 10 years, creating 300 newbuild homes, and improve existing housing in eight areas in Johnstone, Paisley and Renfrew in its first phase.

Construction, particularly for new homes, continues to receive heavy investment across the UK. Use our Construction Search Category to get an idea of the types of opportunities currently available.

Council committed to delivering delayed £130m Albion Square development
Hull City Council remains committed to delivering the stalled £130m Albion Square development. The council plans to re-develop the site with a mix of new retail, housing, offices and leisure – including a new ice rink to replace the facility at Hull Arena. Delays have been encountered due to issues with securing commercial partners, the Grade II listed Three Ships mural on the old Bhs building, and the impact of Covid-19.



We will be taking a break from posting to our blog and social media from Monday 21 December 2020, until Monday 4 January 2021.  

Other than the days detailed below, our offices will be open as usual during the festive period: Mon – Fri, 8am – 5pm. 

Festive Closure 
◆ Thursday 24 December 2020 – from 1pm 
◆ Friday 25 December 2020 – ALL DAY 
◆ Monday 28 December 2020 – ALL DAY 
◆ Thursday 31 December 2020 – from 1pm 
◆ Frida, 1 January 2020 – ALL DAY 

Got an enquiry? Get in touch. 
◆ Customer Services – 0800 222 9010  
◆ New Business Team – 0800 222 9009  
◆ Email – askus@tendersdirect.co.uk  
◆ Live chat – http://www.tendersdirect.co.uk&nbsp;

Wishing you all the best for the festive season and New Year.  
The Tenders Direct team 


Top OJEU contract award notices

Title: United Kingdom-Livingston: Security software development services
Short description: To enhance the existing safety and security of Glow, Education Scotland has a requirement to place a contract with an external service provider for the creation and ongoing support of a bespoke safeguarding product and services to function within Scotland’s national digital learning platform known as Glow.
Published By: Education Scotland
Date Published: 15 December 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £841,250.00
Number of tenders received: 2 (Of which were SMEs: 1)
Contractors: Seric Systems Ltd
View full notice on Tenders Direct

Title: United Kingdom-Manchester: Construction work for buildings relating to education and research
Short description: Construction of a new building and refurbishment works on the John Dalton site for the Faculty of Science and Engineering. 
Published by: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date Published: 16 December 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £82,000,000.00
Number of tenders received: 3
Contractors: Bowmer + Kirkland Ltd
View full notice on Tenders Direct

Title: United Kingdom-London: IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support
Short description: Contract for the provision of a Managed Service Provider (MSP) that could help develop and deliver ARDS.
Published By: Home Office
Date Published: 16 December 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £30,000,000.00
Number of tenders received: 5
Contractors: Leidos Innovations UK Ltd
View full notice on Tenders Direct



Online training courses: January – February 2021

Our CPD accredited courses are delivered live and online over 2 days, offering you the same benefits of classroom training but with the added comfort and convenience of doing them from home.

Our upcoming courses are:

An Introduction to Public Procurement and Bid Writing
◆ 12 – 13 January, 13.00-16.30
◆ 9 – 10 February, 13.00-16.30

Writing Compelling Bids
◆ 19 – 20 January, 13.00-16.30
◆ 16 – 17 February, 13.00-16.30

Advanced Bid Writing Skills
◆ 26 – 27 January, 13.00-16.30
◆ 23 – 24 February, 13.00-16.30

Your tutor for these sessions will be Jamie Edwards, who is an expert bid writer with over 20 years’ experience. His sessions are interactive, meaning you will be able to ask questions throughout and benefit from tailored feedback and advice.

These courses are delivered over Microsoft teams and you can attend without any installation required to your computer – but it is highly recommended that you join using a desktop or laptop computer rather than a tablet or mobile phone. Ideally you will have both a webcam and microphone.

In-house Training
Having the right skills is critical. We can deliver bespoke in-house training to give your team the exact skills they need to find and win contracts in 2021 and beyond. Get in touch on 0800 222 9009 or email askus@tendersdirect.co.uk to discuss your needs, and find out what we can offer.


Tenders Direct is the UK’s most accurate tender alert service. We are the only service to guarantee that with us – you’ll never miss a tender.

For more information about we can help you find and win more work in the public sector, please visit www.tendersdirect.co.uk or call us on 0800 222 9009.

Public Sector Round-Up 11.12.20


Weekly UK tender publishing update

1,133

797

336

Total UK
Tenders
Low-Value
Tenders
OJEU
Tenders

63

65

276

Frameworks
or DPS
Prior Information
Notices
OJEU
Award Notices
Tender notices published in the UK between 04.11.20 & 10.12.20

If you are interested in finding out what the market looks like for your industry, get in touch and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free overview for your business. Alternatively, start looking for opportunities with our tender search tool on www.tendersdirect.co.uk


In the news this week

Procurement Policy Note – The Construction Playbook
The UK Government have published a Construction Playbook, which sets out 14 policies for how procurement for public works projects and programmes should be conducted. The PPN applies to Central Government Departments, their Executive Agencies and Non Departmental Public Bodies. The guidance within the playbook is, however, considered to be good practice, and the wider UK public sector is encouraged to acknowledge the policies detailed within.
The Playbook also addresses the key role of construction in Covid-19 recovery, and how the sector will contribute towards the UK’s environmental objectives.


Top OJEU contract award notices

Title: United Kingdom-Gloucester: Construction work
Short description: A 2-year contract for the provision of surfacing works for Gloucestershire County Council from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2022. 
Published by: Gloucestershire County Council
Date Published: 04 December 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £55,000,000.00
Number of tenders received: 3
Contractors: Tarmac Trading Ltd
View full notice on Tenders Direct

Title: United Kingdom-Worthing: Construction work for multi-dwelling buildings and individual houses
Short description: The project consists of the construction of two separate buildings, served by on joint access road entrance building. Block one consists of 29 apartments and block two of 15 apartments, together with the provision of all associated services.
Published By: Adur District Council
Date Published: 04 December 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £9,978,301.24
Number of tenders received: 3 (Of which were SMEs: 2)
Contractors: Westridge Construction LTd
View full notice on Tenders Direct

Title: United Kingdom-London: Environmental auditing
Short description: This requirement is to source a number of suppliers to provide consultant support to the Environment Agency’s Climate Change, Trading and Regulatory Services team (CCTRS), with skills, knowledge and experience to support our operational activities.
Published By: Defra Network eTendering Portal
Date Published: 04 December 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £2,650,000.00
Number of tenders received, lot 1: 2
Number of tenders received, lot 2: 6
Number of tenders received, lot 3: 3
Contractors: Ricardo-AEA Ltd | Capita Property and Infrastructure Ltd | Jacobs UK Ltd
View full notice on Tenders Direct



If festive annual leave or deadlines are working against you, our consultants can take on a range of support roles to help manage your workload.

Whether it’s checking a bid before submission, or managing your bids from start to finish – we can help.
Strategy Development
Bid Management
Bid Writing
Reviewing & Editing

If you have a more bespoke need, we would be happy to discuss what support options are available to you. We can be reached at askus@tendersdirect.co.uk or by calling 0800 222 9009.


Tenders Direct is the UK’s most accurate tender alert service. We are the only service to guarantee that with us – you’ll never miss a tender.

For more information about we can help you find and win more work in the public sector, please visit www.tendersdirect.co.uk or call us on 0800 222 9009.

Public Sector Round-Up 04.12.20


Weekly UK tender publishing update

1,112

826

286

Total UK
Tenders
Low-Value
Tenders
OJEU
Tenders

133

57

362

Frameworks
or DPS
Prior Information
Notices
OJEU
Award Notices
Tender notices published in the UK between 27.11.20 & 03.12.20


An incredible 6,469 tender notices were published across the UK & ROI last month, creating a significant number of opportunities to secure work for 2021. View the full stats for November 2020.


In the news this week

£29 million to be invested in Stoke-on-Trent’s transport network
The Transforming Cities Fund will allow for major improvements around Stoke-on-Trent and Longton train stations, along with new cycling and walking links, plus upgrades to city centre bus station.
The funding aims to better connect the community and open up access to jobs, housing and services.

Prime Minister announces £20m to grow medicines manufacturing in the UK
The Medicines and Diagnostic Manufacturing Transformation Fund will open up investment opportunities for medicine manufacturers in England, Scotland and Wales. The aim of this funding is to put UK companies ahead of global competitors in advanced medicines manufacturing, while helping them respond to future healthcare needs – and increasing the overall health resilience of the UK.


Top OJEU contract award notices

Title: United Kingdom-Glasgow: Ground investigation work
Short description: A Multi-supplier Framework Agreement (MFA) with a number of ground investigation contractors to carry out and report on ground investigation works of varying scope, complexity and value in connection with trunk road and other transport infrastructure schemes promoted by the Scottish Ministers through Transport Scotland. 
Date Published: 27 November 2020
Framework/DPS: Yes
Value excluding VAT: £50,000,000.00
Number of tenders received: 7 (Of which were SMEs: 5)
Contractors: Fugro GeoServices Ltd | Ian Farmer Associates (1998) Ltd | Raeburn Drilling and Geotechnical Ltd | Soil Engineering Geoservices Ltd | WYG Group
View full notice on Tenders Direct

Title: United Kingdom-London: Construction work
Short description: The refurbishment of Highgate Newtown Community Centre and Fresh Youth Academy. The works will provide an estimated 1 754 m2 of community centre facilities, comprising Highgate Newtown Community Centre and the Fresh Youth Academy, and approximately 3 610 m2 of residential floor space.
Published By: London Borough of Camden
Date Published: 01 December 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £16,570,417.15
Number of tenders received: 5
Contractors: Farrans Construction trading as a division of Northstone (NI) Ltd
View full notice on Tenders Direct

Title: United Kingdom-Croydon: Scanning services
Short description: This requirement was to procure a replacement contract for scanning, processing and data extraction services which are located off HM Land Registry premises.
Date Published: 01 December 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £9,500,000.00
Number of tenders received: 6
Contractors: Xerox (UK) Ltd
View full notice on Tenders Direct



Ask the Experts Q&A: Wednesday 16 December 2020, 1.00 – 1.45PM


Are there specific questions about tendering you would love to have answered?
Join our webinar where we will be taking questions from the floor!

Whether you want to know more about finding the right tenders, or what to do once you’ve found them – our experts will answer any questions you have.
This webinar is totally free of charge, and you can ask your questions when you register or live during the session.


Tenders Direct is the UK’s most accurate tender alert service. We are the only service to guarantee that with us – you’ll never miss a tender.

For more information about we can help you find and win more work in the public sector, please visit www.tendersdirect.co.uk or call us on 0800 222 9009.

November was an extraordinary month for tenders!

6,469

4,685

1,784

Total UK & ROI
Tenders
Low-Value
Tenders
OJEU
Tenders

967

324

6,305

Frameworks
or DPS
Prior Information
Notices
Live Notices
on 01.12.20
Tender notices published in the UK & ROI between 01.11.20 & 30.11.20

Last month an incredible 6,469 tender notices were published across the UK & ROI.
This level of activity means that we move into December with plenty of opportunities to secure work for 2021.
On 1 December 2020, there were 6,305 live notices in the UK and ROI, across a wide range of industries.


Find opportunities you can bid for

With so many opportunities for work available right now, you’ll want to know how many of them are relevant to you.
We can give you an idea of how much work is available in the public sector, as well as ensuring you never miss a relevant opportunity.

Market Overview
We can supply you with the number of tender opportunities published for your industry, the search categories we recommend using, and links to all the contracts published in the last year. Our Market Overviews are free, and can be requested by clicking this link.

Tender Alerts
Rather than put a lot of effort into scouring the internet for public contracts, you could instead spend your time on other tasks and let our tender alerts keep you informed of all relevant opportunities. Tenders Direct is the UK’s most accurate tender alert service, and we guarantee you will never miss a tender. Visit our website or call us on 0800 222 9009 for more information.


Case Study: Robinsons Facilities Services Ltd

In this post we catch up with Robinsons Facilities Services Ltd to find out why they chose to renew their subscription with Tenders Direct.

Tell us about your company

Robinsons Facilities Services Ltd is Yorkshire’s leading HVAC maintenance and repair provider providing 24-7-365 cover to commercial clients throughout Yorkshire and surrounding areas.

How important is public sector work to your business?

Public contracts currently account for around 10-20% of our total work, but we’d like to increase this.

What business challenges did you face before using Tenders Direct?

Before Tenders Direct, we would spend a lot of effort manually searching separate public portals, and having to fill out multiple profiles for tenders sites which may/may not have been relevant to us.

Why did you choose Tenders Direct?

From looking at a range of tender alert services, Tenders Direct was the most robust system for opportunities, and sensibly priced.

How would you describe your experience of using Tenders Direct?

Great! We just use the e-mail alerts, and rely on getting tenders sent direct to our mailbox. This has been incredibly handy, and saved us a lot of time and effort. The service has highlighted plenty of opportunities to tender for!


You can find out more about Robinsons Facilities Services Ltd using the following links
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

What is a public tender?

Whenever the public sector has a need for goods, works, or services (which are over a certain contract value), they are required to publicly advertise this need, and encourage businesses to compete for the work.

This process is referred to as publishing an ‘Invitation to Tender’ or ‘ITT’, and the associated documents have become more commonly known as tenders.


Why are public tenders needed? 

As the public sector relies on public funding to make decisions, all procurement must be made respectfully, encourage free and open competition, achieve best value for money and ultimately benefit the public.   

These requirements prevent unethical procurement practices, while also allowing businesses, regardless of size, to enter the market. For more information about this, please read our article ‘6 reasons to do business with the Public Sector?’


What types of tender are there? 

 
Low and High Value Tenders

The value of a tender determines the rules in place for how the notice must be advertised.

High-Value Tenders, also known as Above Threshold Tenders, are those which have a value above the EU public procurement threshold, and must be advertised in the OJEU to encourage competition from other EU countries. From 1 January 2021, the rule will be changing and these notices will instead be posted to the new government portal ‘Find a Tender’. More information is still to be announced, but you can find out more in our article Brexit and Public Procurement. 

Low-Value Tenders, also known as Below Threshold Tenders, have a value which is below the EU threshold and are advertised within the UK. These contracts are much smaller than High-value tenders, making them a great starting point for businesses entering the market for the first time. The procedures for low-value notices are simpler, and bidding for these provides suppliers with valuable experience to help them go after high-value tenders in the future. For more information, read our article ‘Why we love low-value tenders’.  

For details on the current public procurement thresholds, please see ‘New Public Procurement thresholds 2020/2021’. 

Public Procurement Procedures

Open procedure 
Is the standard procedure and for public procurement within the UK. This type of procedure allows any business to respond to a tender, access associated documents and bid for the tender.  

Restricted Procedure 
Is a two-stage procedure which involves creating a shortlist of the most suitable suppliers, by having them first complete a selection questionnaire. Those shortlisted will receive an invitation to tender, and are allowed to bid for the contract. This type of procedure is generally used if a high volume of bidders is expected. 

Competitive Dialogue Procedure 
Is a multi-stage procedure which allows discussion with suppliers before issuing an invitation to tender. It is used where procurement needs are complex, and as with Restricted Procedures, bidders will first be shortlisted. After the selection stage, the requirements and solutions will be discussed with shortlisted suppliers. From these discussions, the requirements will be finalised and an invitation to tender will be issued. 
 
Competitive procedure with negotiation   
Is a multi-stage procedure which allows negotiation with suppliers after they have submitted their bids. This procedure includes a selection stage questionnaire, and the final negotiation stage is optional – as along as this has been stated within the tender. Much like the Competitive Dialogue Procedure, it is used where procurement needs are complex. 

Innovation partnership 
Is a unique procedure which is used when no goods, services or works exist to meet the procurement need. Selection stage questionnaires are used to identify the most suitable suppliers before invitations to tender are issued. The products produced as a result of this partnership may be purchased by the public body, but only if they meet the minimum requirements identified within the tender. 

Framework Agreement
Is an umbrella agreement that sets out the terms – particularly relating to price, quality and quantity – under which individual contracts (call-offs) can be awarded at any point during the lifespan of the framework. Frameworks are typically used when the buyer has identified a need for specific products or services but is unsure of the scope or time-frame. The agreements created give buyers access to a range of qualified suppliers, allowing them to avoid the need to continuously re-tender. Being an a framework does not guarantee work, as there may be multiple suppliers offering the same goods, works or services – in such instances, mini competitions or best value will determine who wins the work. Full details of these agreements can be found in ‘Framework Agreements: What you need to know’.

Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS)

Is similar to a framework, however new suppliers can join at any time, and is used for goods, works and services commonly available on the market. A DPS must be set-up using the restricted procedure, and the process is required to be entirely electronic. Unlike a framework, there is no limit on the number of suppliers that may join a DPS, and any supplier may join during the tender’s lifespan. DPS are used to streamline procurement for both buyers and suppliers, as suppliers only need to demonstrate suitability once, and buyers can award contracts quicker than other methods allow.


How do I find public tenders?

There are thousands of portals through which public bodies can publish their notices, and it would take a significant amount of time and effort to try and locate every opportunity relevant to your business.  

Thankfully, Tenders Direct eliminates your need to search for tenders by collating every UK and ROI notice in one place, and alerting you to the tenders you want to bid for. Our unique service ensures we are aware of every tender published, and allows us to guarantee that with Tenders Direct – you will never miss a public sector notice.   
   
Request a demo today and discover all the opportunities you could be bidding for.  

Public Sector Round-Up 27.11.20


UK tender publishing update

1204

849

355

Total UK
Tenders
Low-Value
Tenders
OJEU
Tenders

123

71

396

Frameworks
or DPS
Prior Information
Notices
OJEU
Award Notices
Tender notices published in the UK between 20.11.20 & 27.11.20

With 1204 tender notices published, this week has one of the highest weekly totals seen this year.

We currently have over 4700 UK live notices, across a range of industries. To see what opportunities have been created for your industry, use our search categories and filters to find opportunities relevant to you.


In the news this week

£10 billion package to build more homes and level up communities
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will receive £10 billion of funding in the next financial year to build more homes and improve communities across England.

  • £7.1 billion National Home Building Fund to build more affordable, sustainable and beautiful homes across England, over the next 4 years.
  • Funding to level up and strengthen communities, including new £4 billion Levelling Up Fund
  • More than £70 million to implement an ambitious package of new laws to improve building safety

The National Home Building Fund aims to shake up the housing market by backing smaller developers, unlocking brownfield land and supporting innovative construction techniques. It is expected that this will create up to 660,000 jobs and around 860,000 homes.


HMRC and Home Office the big winners as spending review commits £600m to ‘fix outdated government IT’
New funding has been announced to bring government technology up to date. The funds will be used to ensure core systems can better support administration by making them more secure, reducing risk of failures and improving efficiency.

  • HMRC has been awarded £268m
  • The Home Office has been awarded £232m
  • The Department for Education will receive £64m
  • The Ministry of Justice will receive £40m

This review is only a one-year stopgap measure, with a full, four-year review due to take place next year. View our Tech categories to see current public sector opportunities, or register to receive alerts relevant to your industry – direct to your inbox.


Manchester council writes to government calling for extra funding for parks
We have seen a lot of articles similar to this one this year, and seen plenty of notices published to improve outdoor spaces across the UK in response to the outbreak.
Developing outdoor spaces can create numerous opportunities for contractors, and it could be worthwhile keeping an eye out for similar stories, developing a relationship with the potential buyers, and staying aware of updates.


Extraordinary notices

Title: UK-St Helens: M&Y Maintenance & Construction Subcontractor Dynamic Purchasing System v2
Short description: A DPS for the provision of sub-contractors to assist with the delivery of a wide range of service including repairs, maintenance, refurbishment and construction. The DPS has been sub-divided into 49 categories; sub-contractors can apply for one or more categories. It is intended that the DPS will run for an initial period of 10 years. 
Published By: Regenda Limited
Date Published: 23 November 2020
Deadline: 15 November 2030
Framework/DPS: Yes
Value excluding VAT: £461,750,000
View full notice on Tenders Direct



Ask the Experts Q&A: Wednesday 16 December 2020, 1.00 – 1.45PM


Are there specific questions about tendering you would love to have answered?
Join our webinar where we will be taking questions from the floor!

Whether you want to know more about finding the right tenders, or what to do once you’ve found them – our experts will answer any questions you have.
This webinar is totally free of charge, and you can ask your questions when you register or live during the session.


Top OJEU contract award notices

Title: United Kingdom-Manchester: International payment transfer services
Short description: Manchester Metropolitan University (‘the University’) is seeking to appoint through a competitive tender process, a suitably qualified and experienced supplier to deliver an integrated payment platform and all related payment functionality. 
Published By: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date Published: 20 November 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £2,400,000.00
Number of tenders received: 3
Contractors: Flywire Payments Ltd
View full notice on Tenders Direct

Title: United Kingdom-Birkenhead: Construction work for buildings relating to health
Short description: The provision of a Health and Wellbeing Centre – approximately 2 200 m2 of accommodation for health and social care services, with a small provision for a commercial opportunity space on the ground floor.
Published By: Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
Date Published: 25 November 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £5,329,056.00
Number of tenders received: 4 (Of which were SMEs: 4)
Contractors: Eric Wright Construction Ltd
View full notice on Tenders Direct

Title: United Kingdom-London: Construction work for railways and cable transport systems
Short description: The provision of signalling civils works, location case, signal bases and cable route works to support the main signalling project.
Published By: Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd
Date Published: 25 November 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £17,634,009.90
Number of tenders received: 5 (Of which were SMEs: 5)
Contractors: Global Rail Construction
View full notice on Tenders Direct


Tenders Direct is the UK’s most accurate tender alert service. We are the only service to guarantee that with us – you’ll never miss a tender.

For more information about we can help you find and win more work in the public sector, please visit www.tendersdirect.co.uk or call us on 0800 222 9009.

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