Tag: procurement thresholds

What is Find a Tender?

Since 1 January 2021, high value (above threshold) tenders in the UK have been published via the Government’s e-procurement portal, Find a Tender service(FTS). 
 
FTS is the public portal for all high value notices published in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The portal is used by public buyers to advertise contracts, and by suppliers to access these opportunities.


What are high value notices? 

High value notices make up around 34% of all contract opportunities in the UK, with lower value notices making the other 66%. The thresholds which determine if contracts are higher or lower value change biennially, and vary in value for goods, works and services. Details of current thresholds can be found here
 
Prior to 1 January 2021, high-value notices were published to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). With the conclusion of Brexit, high-value notices from the UK are no longer advertised on the OJEU. UK business can, however, still bid for applicable high value EU contracts. Further details on the changes introduced with Brexit can be found here. 


What is the best way to search for tenders?

Find a Tender is a portal just for high value UK notices, meaning you cannot use it to access lower value tenders, notices of any value from the ROI, or high value EU notices. For full coverage of high and low value notices across the UK and ROI, as well as applicable OJEU notices – you need Tenders Direct. 
 
Tenders Direct is the UK’s most accurate tender alert service. With our unique Peer Review Process and tailored business profiles, we can guarantee you regular, timely and relevant business opportunities. 


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.

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 

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