UK Public Procurement 2021 – Brexit and Tenders

You might be wondering what’s happening regards Brexit and tenders? What’s the impact on UK Public Procurement 2021? In short, not much for now. Brexit transition ends in 2020. For 1st January 2021 there are some small changes to public procurement.

Brexit and Tenders – UK Public Procurement 2021

UK Public Procurement for 2021

The Government has issued information on public procurement post-Brexit.

These are the main issues:

Find a Tender Portal

There is new e-tender service Find a Tender. It will replace the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in the UK for above threshold tenders. The Find a Tender service (FTS) will be in place on 1st January 2021.

UK high-value tenders will no longer be posted on TED.

Challenging Tender Awards

Challenging Tender Awards and Public Procurement Decisions

You might think about challenging tender awards when you lose a bid. Was the decision unfair? Was the procurement process flawed? Or have you been scored incorrectly?

Challenging Tender Awards

Associate Consultant, Carl Rogers, is an expert on public procurement. In this post he explains what is involved in challenging tender awards and decisions: Understanding public sector procurement regulations, what you can object to and what to consider before commencing proceedings.

This only applies to public sector tenders and procurement. The private sector is not bound by the same rules. But many large companies have their own processes for making a complaint against a buyer’s decision.

What Are the Obligations on Public Authorities When Purchasing Goods, Services and Works?

All public sector bodies (Contracting Authorities in Public Sector Procurement Parlance) must follow the fundamental principles:

  • Transparency – Clear process undertaken
  • Equal treatment – All have access to the same information
  • Non-discrimination – No bias in favour or against companies
  • Mutual recognition – Market access across the EU
  • Proportionality – Requirements are relative and reasonable

These principles are the guiding light. Contract Authorities must consider them every time they procure goods/services and works. If an Authority believes that it may have breached these, it must take corrective action. Not wait for challenges and be directed by the courts.

New Public Procurement Thresholds for 2020

2020 EU / OJEU Procurement Thresholds

Procurement thresholds for public sector tenders are updated for 2020. Associate Consultant, Carl Rogers, is an expert on public procurement. In this post he explains the changes, the importance of contract values and the effects of Brexit.

Public Sector Procurement Thresholds for 2020

Timings

The new procurement thresholds affect new tenders from 1st January 2020 to 31st December 2021.

Why are Procurement Thresholds Important?

Public sector buyers must be aware of these thresholds. These are the values above which a European (OJEU) advert must be placed to ensure competition. Failure to do so can result in legal action being taken against the contracting body.

The procurement thresholds are applicable to public purchasing. This includes government departments, local authorities, NHS Trusts, utilities, housing associations etc. They cover the following:

See also EU Procurement Rules 2014 which brought in changes to ensure better value for money and improved quality. The reduction of red tape makes it easier for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to tender.

What has changed

The actual thresholds have increased slightly. This might be due to the fluctuating exchange rates compared to the last threshold renewal. The new thresholds are net of VAT and are as follows:

How to Re-tender for an Existing Contract

You have to re-tender for an existing contract. What do you do? Don’t worry, this guide to re-tendering will help. It explains what to do and how to avoid some common pitfalls when re-tendering. Follow these steps to increase your chances of keeping the contract.

Re-tender for an existing contract

Re-tendering for an Existing Contract

The need to re-tender for an existing contract is a common reason for clients contacting us for help with a bid. They tend to fall into these categories:

  1. They have never had to submit a modern, more complex tender before and so are not sure how to approach it. Many clients have held contracts for years. They have won previous re-tenders which were price driven but not so complicated. This is typical of contracts involving public money falling in line with OJEU rules.
  2. A friendly buyer has recommended that they engage a tender consultant. Sometimes the buyer has seen a past submission which was not up to scratch. Or the buyer knows the client’s in-house resources / skills might not be able to create a winning bid.
  3. It’s a must win tender. If they lose it, it will hurt the business.

Whatever the reason, they want to win the tender and keep the contract.

The starting point is to follow tendering best practice.

This is obvious – do everything correctly and you increase your chances of winning! There’s lots of information about this in our blog. Start with how to answer tender questions and writing positive Tenders. Also, make sure that you avoid making the most common mistakes when re-tendering.

Apart from applying best practice, the following steps will help you win the re-tender:

Don’t Assume They Know All About You

It’s common for business owners to say to me “Our customer knows all about us, so we don’t need to write everything down.”. WRONG!

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