Find a Tender: What you need to know
Here's the basics of what you NEED to know about the new Find a Tender service, which came into play after the UK left the EU.
From 1st January 2021, a new procurement process came into play. Since the UK left the EU, a new system was needed to replace that of OJEU. So, the government introduced the Find a Tender service, or FTS for short.
Here’s the key things suppliers should know.
What was OJEU?
OJEU still exists. OJEU is the Official Journal of the European Union, where all contracts over a certain value are published. Up until 31st December 2020, the UK used this to post all future contracts and current ones to be transparent about their procurements. The OJEU system is still in place – and used by the rest of the EU countries (so if you’re looking to sell within the EU, still look there) – but the UK have moved on.
Please note: All contract notices posted before 1st January are still held on the OJEU website. Only ones posted after this date will be on the Find a Tender site.
How does Find a Tender work?
It works a lot like Contracts Finder. A site where all contracts above £10000 in value have to be posted for transparency. Find a Tender takes this model, but uses it solely for larger value contracts. Users of the site are able to search by keywords and also filter by the Procurement stage of the notice, the notice type, industry, location, value and also date.
The key thing to remember is that there are three different types of notice here:
- Future opportunities – which are basically notifications of interest. These are where public sector organisations will publish that they are researching into a potential contract. Which normally means that are undergoing supplier engagement. You might hear this being called a Prior Information Notice, or PIN.
- Opportunity – An opportunity which is currently open. This is when the opportunity goes to Tender.
- Awarded contract – After a tender closes and a supplier has been chosen, a notice of the contract being awarded should be posted. Detailing the procurement process and details about who won the contract.
So, as an example, it’s where you’ll find the notice when a route to market such as Construction Professional Services framework opens for applications – or any framework for that matter, regardless of industry.
You won’t find smaller value contracts here either. Only ones above the following thresholds:
- £122,976 for Central Government
- £378,660 for Defence and Security
- £189,330 for other contracting authorities
- £70,778 for small Lots
Any below these values you’ll find on Contracts Finder.
Where do I find the Find a Tender service?
It’s just your standard .gov site. You can find it here.
You can also sign up to email alerts from the services. Staying notified of any upcoming contracts, or when Tenders open for applications/bids.
So, that’s a short update on the changes we’ve seen this year for those looking to help transform the public sector and its services. Find a Tender is one of the key places to check for opportunities for your company. To stay ahead of the curve (for marketing and targeting), and so that you don’t miss out on when to approach opportunities! Also, it’s a great way of gathering information on what public sector organisations are looking for and their requirements.