Tag: Framework Agreement

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 06.11.20

UK tender publishing update




Total UK NoticesLow-Value NoticesOJEU Notices
Tender notices published in the UK between 30.10.20 & 05.11.20

In October 5152 notices were published across the UK. 3529 of these were low-value notices – which is great news for smaller businesses or those with limited experience of working in the public sector. Lower value notices tend to have less competition and fewer restrictions, making your entry to the market much easier.

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

New Epsom and St Helier hospital in Sutton given green light
A new state-of-the-art hospital has been announced as part of the government’s £3.7 billion commitment to build 40 new hospitals by 2030 – for which another eight new schemes have been invited to bid. To discover construction, healthcare and other public sector opportunities, use our tender category search.

£228m Mottram bypass goes out to consultation
The public is being given the chance to influence plans for a new £228 million bypass to between Manchester and Sheffield. There will be a 6 week public consultation for the new two-mile bypass, which will run from the roundabout at the end of the M67 (junction 4) to a new junction on the A57 in Woolley Bridge.
Over the next 5 years, Highways England will be delivering £14 billion of major road projects, increasing the quality, capacity and safety of England’s motorways and major A roads – we can alert you to any projects relevant to your business, find out more here.

£2bn Technology Services 3 framework
This framework agreement will provide a range of local, regional and national services, and is divided into 5 lots: Technology Strategy and Service Design (£320m), Transition and Transformation (£260), Operational Services (£940m), Major Services Transformation Programmes (£580m) & Service Integration and Management (£100m).
For full details, view the notice here.

Top OJEU contract award notices

Title: United Kingdom-Margate: Transport equipment and auxiliary products to transportation
Short description: The supply and installation of a floating vessel in the form of a pontoon or barge at the Port of Ramsgate, to form a commercial aggregate berth which will be sited within the Port estate.
Published By: Thanet District Council
Date Published: 30 October 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £1,299,986.95
Number of tenders received: 2 (Of which were SMEs: 1)
Contractors: BAM Nuttall Ltd
View full award notice with your Tenders Direct login HERE

Title: United Kingdom-Leyland: Construction work
Short description: Development of 55 residential units at land off Westfield Road, Catterall, Preston, Lancashire. 
Published By: Progress Housing Association Ltd
Date Published: 30 October 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £8,413,000.00
Number of tenders received: 1 (Of which were SMEs: 1)
Contractors: Breck Developments Ltd
View full award notice with your Tenders Direct login HERE

Title: United Kingdom-Manchester: Security, fire-fighting, police and defence equipment
Short description: The supply and delivery of a variety of crime reduction products, to be used by police forces as a cost effective way of reducing the risk of vulnerable people becoming victims of crime.
Published By: Greater Manchester Combined Authority — Greater Manchester Police
Date Published: 03 November 2020
Framework/DPS: Yes
Value excluding VAT: £1,700,000.00
Number of tenders received: (Of which were SMEs: 2)
Contractors: JNE Security Ltd
View full award notice with your Tenders Direct login HERE

Boost your skills with our CPD accredited online training courses. Whether you are an experienced bid writer or new to tendering, we have courses for you.
Our course dates for January and February 2021 have just been announced:

Advanced Bid Writing Skills
⬩ 26 – 27 January 2021, 13:00 – 16:30
⬩ 23 – 24 February 2021, 13:00 – 16:30

An introduction to Public Procurement and Bid Writing
⬩ 12 – 13 January 2021, 13:00 – 16:30
⬩ 09 – 10 February 2021, 13:00 – 16:30

Writing Compelling Bids
⬩ 19 – 20 January 2021, 13:00 – 16:30
⬩ 16 – 17 February 2021, 13:00 – 16:30

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.
Visit www.tendersdirect.co.uk to find out more.

Framework Agreements: What You Need to Know

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What are framework agreements?

Frameworks are “umbrella agreements” that sets out the terms – particularly relating to price, quality and quantity – under which individual contracts (call-offs) can be awarded throughout the period of the agreement (normally a maximum of 4 years). They are typically used when the buyer(s) identify a need for specific products or services but are unsure of the scope or time-frame.

Continue reading “Framework Agreements: What You Need to Know”

Why are framework agreements important to SMEs?

Link to Tenders Direct homepage

In our blog about election manifestos one thing that was clear is that all the main parties feel that involvement of SMEs in procurement is the key to economic growth. The current Government set a target of 25% of all Central Governments spend to be with SMEs when it came to power in 2010 and it met this target in the 2013-2014 financial year. Framework agreements represent around 45% of procurements in the UK and compared to other EU nations the UK uses this type the most. The purpose of this blog is to explain how important framework agreements can be for SMEs.

Continue reading “Why are framework agreements important to SMEs?”

Public sector tendering – lost in translation..?

Have you ever come across a tender that looks interesting but you just don’t have a clue what it’s talking about?

Buyers, often with the best intentions, sometimes include terminology that is quite frankly harder to understand than ‘The Theory of Everything’ by Stephen Hawkings. If you’re new to public sector tendering, here’s a simple jargon buster of some of the most commonly used terms that may just save your PC from being thrown out the window…!

Continue reading “Public sector tendering – lost in translation..?”

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