The official public contracts regulations which govern UK public sector procurement have been published and are coming in to force on the 26th February 2015.
One of the main aims of the regulations and their precursor strategies ( such as Europe 2020 and the Lord Young report) was to encourage more participation from SME companies in tendering exercises and ultimately to get more SMEs supplying to the public sector.
The current government set the lofty target of 25% of government spend going to SMEs by 2015, a target which is a long way from being met so the key questions for organisations looking to supply into the public sector in light of the new regulations are 1) What has changed? and, more importantly, 2) What does this actually mean for me?
What has changed?
Some of the more significant changes in the new regulations are:
- Tendering documents have to be available from the date of OJEU advertisement – no more registering interest and chasing for updates from the contracting authority.
- Reduced timescales for procurement – on average they have reduced timeframes by a third and have introduced the new Accelerated Open procedure for OJEU tenders and have prohibited the use of a PQQ stage for low value contracts.
Continue reading “New 2015 Procurement Regulations – Will SMEs benefit from the changes?”
For many organisations, particularly SMEs, public sector tendering opportunities are an important way of securing new business, with hundreds of local contracts published every week in every sector from cleaning and office supplies to security and major construction projects.
Nearly all local authorities, NHS trusts and government departments now handle procurement electronically to save money and time and ensure compliance with the latest contracts regulations.
It is therefore vital for businesses to ensure they have their finger on the pulse and do not miss out on any potential opportunities in their own local area, throughout the UK or mainland Europe, says Tim Williams, managing director of electronic tendering specialist Millstream, which runs the Tenders Direct and myTenders websites.
“The days of the printed version of the Official Journal of European Union are long gone and there is no effective way to keep track of all the opportunities without using an online system, particularly in today’s fast-paced world of business.
“Procurement processes will all be conducted entirely online in the near future and the Government’s target is for procurement to be completely electronic by 2016, so it’s vital that companies make sure they don’t miss anything. Continue reading “Be in it to win it, Millstream advises companies looking for public sector work”
I agree with standardised PQQ’s about as much as I agree with world peace; great in principal, but is it a reality? Okay, so maybe it is a touch dramatic to compare PQQ’s to world peace, but standardising PQQ’s will be a colossal mission- can it be done? I asked the question on Twitter a few weeks back, “What annoys you most about PQQ’s” and we got the same answer – Repetition. So can it be done? Here a look at some of the (my) pros and cons.
Read the rest of the post
Are Procurement Standards Slipping or Are the Powers That be getting Stricter?
I feel that every tweet, RSS and blog is talking about another authority getting pulled up and challenged on one of their “sweep-it-under-the-rug” tenders.
The European Commission has requested Greece to ensure full compliance with EU rules on public procurement – the purchase of goods and services by public authorities – as regards school bus services and the supply of underground electricity cables….. Read the rest of the post
The government faces the challenge of making progress on its new procurement operational model while working with departments’ existing contracts, industry experts said.
At the end of 2010, John Collington of the Efficiency Reform Group (ERG), announced that his team aimed to transform the way government buys commonly used goods and services through category management, standard specification and aggregation of spend, to save 25% over 4years.
The 9 categories to begin this central procurement model are:
Energy, office supplies and professional services as the first three categories to be undertaken by March 2011.
Travel, fleet and telecoms will be addressed by June 2011
IT commodities, print management and advertising and media will be tackled by September 2011.
With March 2011 fast approaching, it is the wise supplier who keeps abreast of developments in this area
A spokesman for Price Waterhouse Coopers said, “Some contracts could be terminated, others will have to run their course,” he said. “The costs of ending contracts could be more inefficient than keeping them alive. There could be many different deals kept running when less have been identified as needed. It will take longer than nine months to get all nine areas tackled.”
The Cabinet Office declined to comment on how it would end multiple contracts with existing suppliers in individual Whitehall departments in order to enable the introduction of a centralised model.
Did you know: 1 University, 2 Housing Associations and 3 Councils are installing up to 15k Solar Panels over the next 3 years. And that is just the tenders for one week! Someone out there must be predicting a scorcher this summer!
It is so nice to see the Public Sector looking for alternative means of energy, after all it was in 1997 (Kyoto Protocol) the UK Government promised to reduce greenhouse gases by 12.5% by 2008 to 2012. Last year the UK Government vowed its ‘greenest year ever’ and promised central government would reduce its carbon emissions by 10% within 12 months 60.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases are created by the UK each year and the Public Sector is only responsible for 3%. That is any easy enough target to reduce, only 5.7 million tonnes!
See tips for suppliers after the jump…..>
I recently attended our latest training courses on completing PQQs and Bid Writing. One of the messages I picked up was that the public sectors’ evaluation of suppliers is a lot like a risk assessment exercise. Public sector authorities have to be scrupulous when spending tax-payers’ money. They have to balance various priorities, including quality, budget, delivery, timescales, policies on equality, sustainability, supporting SMES and local businesses, and abiding by the relevant regulations, while also avoiding the risk of anything going wrong during the course of the contract.
So, as a supplier going through the tendering process, your task is not only to demonstrate to the purchasing authority that you can provide the requirement (and more if possible), but also that you can mitigate any risks that might be involved.
Continue reading “Avoiding Risky Business”
Despite the three election debates, none of us are any the wiser precisely how the next Government will cut expenditure in order to pay off the financial deficit. We know that change is (hopefully) coming that will reduce the size of ‘Big Government’ and while change often brings threats, it also brings opportunities.
UK Party Leaders
Continue reading “Public contracts after the General Election”
If you’re looking for new markets and have stumbled upon the public sector option – do not be misled into thinking it will be exactly the same as selling to a private sector client.
The private sector purchaser can largely suit themselves when it comes to what they buy, who they buy from and how much they pay. But the public sector purchaser has a lot of different factors to take into consideration, not least that they are spending public money and have to comply with set processes and legislation.
Continue reading “How well do you know your buyer?”
Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.
Today’s technology is high-speed and merciless; if you miss even one of the latest trends, you’ve practically fallen off the face of the earth. As purchasers move more and more into eProcurement and eTendering, are the suppliers, particularly SME’s feeling left behind?
Do not let eTendering pass you by! Keep reading and have a quick look at my checklist to help you with future eTenders… MORE