Brexit

Finding tender opportunities after the official Brexit deadline of 31st January 2020

By | Blog, Public Sector Tenders, Tendering | No Comments

This is an update to our earlier blogs on Brexit published in February & October 2019

We focus on what will happen to the UK and EU system of public sector contract procurement and finding tender notifications following Brexit.

Today, 31st January 2020, is the official date that the UK will leave the EU with a deal in place. Now the UK enters into a transition period until December 31st 2020 where there may be changes to the way public sector procurements are advertised, the route that UK public sector organisations will need to follow to issue their invitations to tender, and therefore how suppliers need to go about finding them. The UK Government provided an update on 14th January 2020 to confirm that during the Brexit transition period, the existing EU Public Procurement Directives and UK Public Procurement Regulations will continue to apply.  Complete Tenders has therefore set out below what suppliers need to know to find a tender – for the time being anyway!

If you’d like to talk to one of our experts about anything to do with tenders, please call 01707 244713 or email info@completetenders.com.

Brexit

Current situation (through 2020) to find a tender

Currently there are a set of procurement regulations that must be followed, which include the fact that all public sector procurements above EU thresholds must legally be publicised through the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU).  This is the central contract notice board for all EU member states where live contract opportunities in all EU countries, including the UK, can be viewed and searched.  The EU thresholds are £181,302 for supplies and services and £4,551,413 for works. All opportunities can be found here: https://ted.europa.eu/TED/search/search.do

Below these EU thresholds, all UK public contracts must be advertised on the government website Contracts Finder (or the sites specific to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Ministry of Defence).  The threshold for contracts to be posted here is £10,000 for central government authorities and £25,000 for the rest of the public sector. Opportunities can be found here: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

To find a tender after the 2020 transition period (i.e. after Dec 31st 2020)

After the Brexit transition period, the UK government has stated that the procurement regulations will remain broadly the same. However, one change that may be coming is that contracting authorities must advertise their opportunities on a new UK e-notification service instead of OJEU. This new e-notification service is potentially going to be called Find a Tender and all suppliers wishing to access UK public sector contract opportunities will need to use this site.

Find a Tender will look the same as Contracts Finder and will be free to use.  You will also be able to register to set up email alerts and use the same login details.

Suppliers still wishing to access EU contract opportunities should continue to do so using OJEU TED.

The requirement to advertise on domestic portals, i.e. Contracts Finder, Public Contracts Scotland, Sell2Wales, eTendersNI and MOD Defence Contracts Online will remain unchanged following the transition period.

So how do I find tenders from 31st January 2020?

To search for opportunities in the UK, you will need to use https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search or use Complete Tenders free tender listings service https://www.completetenders.com/open-tenders/.

To search for opportunities in the EU, you will need to use https://ted.europa.eu/TED/search/search.do.

Depending on the type of trade deal Britain is able to achieve with the EU in 2020, UK companies may end up with the same status as companies from countries outside the EU and therefore will be subject to the rules that currently apply to those countries. This may make winning tenders in France etc, more difficult due to changes in tariffs etc. The EU has published guidelines on this here: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/file_import/public_procurement_en.pdf

Additional Information sources

You can read more about Brexit from the UK government here: https://www.gov.uk/transition

The Complete Tenders website will also be updated with more information as it becomes available.

Complete Tenders provides a comprehensive Bid Management Service using specialists with a proven track record to create compelling responses and win contracts.
Call us now on 01707 244713 to talk to our writers and get help to tender more effectively.

“Complete Tenders assisted me in the process of re-tendering for our NHS orthodontic contract as part of a large procurement project. From the outset Matthew was an excellent listener and provided a high level of support in the whole process. I found him easy to communicate with and responsive, with quick turnaround when I posed questions via email or telephone. His team assisted with the writing of the documentation for the submission - I had concerns that using a Company to assist in this process would lead to a generic submission and that this would have a negative impact to the submission. On the contrary - Matthew and his team helped me to create a thorough and robust framework to which I could add the stamp of how I wanted the submission to be presented so that it reflected my practice in the best light. Thanks to Matthew and his Team we have successfully secured a new contract. I have no hesitation in highly recommending Complete Tenders”

Dr Beth RichardsonBasingstoke Orthodontics
Jargon Buster

Jargon Buster

By | Blog, Tendering | No Comments

Don't understand all the tender process jargon?

Here’s a brief guide to get you started.

The world of bids and tenders has a huge number of acronyms and jargon that can be very confusing. To help you understand what’s what, here’s a brief guide, a jargon buster, to some of the most common terms.

Bid – a response submitted in response to an Invitation to Tender (ITT).

Bidder – a single operating organisation or person that is participating in the procurement exercise.

Buyer – this is the buying organisation or Contracting Authority that is the ‘customer’ offering the contract.

Potential Bidder – a single entity/business/operating organisation/person that has applied to participate in the procurement exercise.

Contract Notice – the notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) or UK Contracts Finder i.e. the advertisement of the procurement opportunity to the supplier market.

Contracting Authority – means the State, regional or local authority, body governed by public law or associations formed by one or more such authorities or one or more such bodies governed by public law that will effectively be the buying organisation offering the contract.

CCG – Clinical Commissioning Group.

Deadline – a deadline is a deadline – in the public contracts tendering process if a deadline is at midday, 12.01pm is too late!

DPS: ‘Dynamic Purchasing System’ – a DPS is similar to a framework contract except new suppliers can join at any timeover the course of the contract. It can speed up and simplify some procurement procedures particularly where there are large volumes of transactions.

EOI: ‘Expression of Interest’ – is sometimes issued by the buying organisation who intends to start a formal bidding process. It is effectively the customer asking which competitors want to be considered for the formal bidding process.

Framework – a framework is an agreement with 1 or more providers that allows public bodies to buy a range of goods or services without running a full procurement process each time. Suppliers will have qualified through a procurement process to be on a framework. There is no guarantee with a framework that any services will be bought. When one of the public bodies wishes to buy something from the framework they ‘call off’ the framework either directly, or using a mini-competition.

ITT: ‘Invitation to Tender’ – this is effectively the main step in the process where suppliers are invited to provide offers to supply services or products and win a contract with the buying organisation. This requires the supplier to respond to detailed questions about the service or product and usually submit pricesby a specified deadline.

MEAT: ‘Most Economically Advantageous Tender’ – this is fundamentally the basis upon which the buying organisation evaluates and selects the winning bidder. It ensures the award of the contract is based on all aspects of the tender rather than just on price.

OJEU: ‘Official Journal of the European Union’ – this is the central noticeboard on which all public sector ITT’s above a specified threshold must be advertised by the Contracting Authority.

Jargon Buster

PIN: ‘Prior Information Notice’ – this is a notice from the buying organisation’s procurement team that they intend to purchase in the future. There is no guarantee that they will go ahead and procure nor is there any guarantee that they will do so at the times that they specify. At this stage they sometimes ask the market to engage with them to help formulate their procurement strategy.

Portal – all tender documentation including the specification, terms, questionnaire etc. needed for responding to a tender is stored and made available to bidders on an electronic portal on the internet. A portal is usually a page on the buying organisation’s own website, or a specific site e.g. ProContract, In-Tend, which are managed by a third party on behalf of buying organisations to facilitate the procurement exercise. The portal is also where the response to the ITT is submitted.

PQQ: ‘Pre-qualification Questionnaire’ – a stage prior to the tender submission (ITT) with several standard questions. The pre-qualification stage aims to create a short-list of qualified suppliers and eliminate others that do not meet some basic requirements before the ITT stage. Typical requirements usually include financial stability, insurances, previous experience. Once this has been approved, criteria met, the supplier is selected for the shortlist and invited to tender.

Providers – the successful Bidders who have entered into a contract with the Contracting Authority to provide the service or goods.

SQ: ‘Selection Questionnaire’ – effectively the same as a PQQ. This is still about pre-qualifying so that suppliers meet baseline criteria prior to submitting a bid. The term Selection Questionnaire was supposed to supersede PQQ but both are still being used.

RFI: ‘Request for Information’ – here a procurement team are asking the supplier market to provide general information about products or services prior to any formal tender process. There is no guarantee of business at this stage. This term may also be used (loosely) by private buying organisations instead of calling it an ITT as a way of selecting preferred suppliers.

RFQ: ‘Request for Quote’ – this is the buying organisation asking the supplier to provide a quote for goods or services.This is usually focused on submitting pricing through which the procurement team can make an evaluation of the best bidder. Again,this is not binding and not a guarantee of work.

Regulations – usually in the tender context this refers to The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (as amended from time to time).

Tender – a tender is actually a bid but the term is often applied to mean the whole tendering process.

TUPE: ‘Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations’ –  this is relevant to any redundancy decisions where a business or part of it is transferred from one owner to another.

Value for Money or VfM – the optimum combination of whole-life cost and quality (fitness for purpose) to meet the Contracting Authority’s requirements.

We hope this ‘jargon buster’ helped to make things clearer!

If you have any questions on the tender process or would like to know how we can use our proven success to help you, call us now on 01707 244713 to talk to our writers.
Tender Writing

7 Reason You Won a Tender

By | Blog, Tendering

Success! After a few (or maybe several) attempts at winning a tender, you successfully beat the competition and came out on top. But why? What were the reasons that made your bid better than the competition, or better than your previous efforts?

Read More