Tendering expert fuels new business wins

Sitting in a university library in the early 1990s, trawling through a copy of the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in search of potential business, Tim Williams realised the information on tender opportunities was valuable not only to his own company, but to thousands of others.

Having turned his back on his plans to become a natural history filmmaker in favour of a global career as a diver and then project manager in the 80s oil boom, Tim set up Millstream, now a leading electronic tendering specialist which runs myTenders and Tenders Direct.

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

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One-stop solution for public sector procurement

It goes without saying that ensuring best value for money is vital for any public sector organisation – but particularly in times of recession.

Local authorities, NHS trusts, transport operators and other public bodies are also bound by strict rules on procurement, which affect every purchasing decision made in the public sector.

Public procurement regulations apply to all public sector contracts over threshold values – starting at £113,000 – and are designed to ensure free and fair access to, and competition for, public sector contracts.

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New website launched to rival eTenders portal

Leading e-tendering services provider Millstream has launched a new website as an alternative to the Irish Government’s revamped national eTenders portal, which has attracted well-documented criticism from users since it moved to a new operator last week.

Millstream had operated the eTenders portal on behalf of the Government since 2003, and its success was widely acknowledged. The contract was re-tendered and moved to a new provider this month.

It has now launched its own myTenders Ireland website, at www.mytenders.ie, to offer public authorities an alternative option when publishing tender notices and crucially to make it easy for Irish companies to find and win public contracts.

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Procurement opens up opportunities for construction companies

Leading e-procurement services provider Millstream has reported a rise in the number of low value construction tenders over the past 12 months, which it believes is opening up opportunities for UK companies to secure work from the public sector.

Millstream operates the myTenders and Tenders Direct websites, which allow public sector organisations to publish tenders and private sector companies to bid for new business, as well as national procurement portals for Scotland, Ireland and Norway.

Around 70% of the 14,000 construction tenders published by Millstream over the past year have been below the EU threshold of £4.3million, which means they do not need to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

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West Coast Rail Franchise – the latest procurement fiasco

At midnight last night the Department of Transport released the following announcement:

Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said “I have had to cancel the competition for the running of the West Coast franchise because of deeply regrettable and completely unacceptable mistakes made by my department in the way it managed the process.”

Bombardier Zefiro High Speed Train

Any of us who tender for public contracts are only too fully aware of the sometimes less than perfect award criteria and a decision making process that owes more to being able to write a creative tender, stuffed with ISO standards, Prince2, ITIL and other accreditations, rather than a process that identifys the most suitable supplier, but how can things go so wrong with such a high profile decision?

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Improving NHS Procurement

Operating theatre

Earlier this summer the Department of Health published two documents aimed at improving procurement within the NHS. The first titled NHS Procurement:Raising Our Game is guidance setting out the immediate steps that the NHS needs to take in order to save £1.2 Billion of the current £18 Billion annual procurement spend under the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme. The second document NHS Procurement Standards sets out the standards against which Trusts should be measuring themselves in order to ensure that they improve procurement performance and ensure Value for Money (VfM).Operating theatre

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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”

Millstream brings business value to the public sector

Value is a strong ingredient in any good business proposition, but when your business is connecting suppliers with public-sector buyers, practising what you preach is all the more important.

Millstream Associates is a business connecting 7,500 public purchasing authorities to more than 200,000 suppliers through an online system which sends tenders to relevant businesses depending on their products and services and their ability to deliver. Continue reading “Millstream brings business value to the public sector”

Millstream wins £5 million contract to provide national procurement website for Norway

Alex Salmond

Millstream, the company behind the Tenders Direct service, has secured a £4.8million deal to run Norway’s national procurement database, cementing the company’s expertise in connecting suppliers with public sector buyers.

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has praised the contract win, citing it as an excellent example of Scottish companies developing strong ties with Norway, a key export partner.

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MoD civil servants plead guilty in CCTV contract corruption case

CCTV cameras

An investigation into the corruption of civil servants has concluded at  Belfast Crown Court after all four defendants admitted their involvement. The case centred around payments to show favour for the tendering and continuation of CCTV CamerasCCTV contracts in Northern Ireland.

Their guilty pleas mark the conclusion of a joint investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and the Ministry of Defence Police, into bribery allegations, which began in 2002.

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