2015 Procurement Regulations – How They Effect Tenders & PQQs

The new 2015 Procurement Regulations came into force on the 26th February 2015. They contain many changes that affect public sector tenders.

2015 Procurement Regulations - How They Effect Tenders & PQQs?

 Government’s Aims

“For contracting authorities, this means being able to run procurement exercises faster, with less red tape, and more focus on getting the right supplier and the best tender.

“And for suppliers, the process of bidding for public contracts should be quicker, less costly, and less bureaucratic, enabling suppliers to compete more effectively.”

Guide to Main Changes in the 2015 Procurement Regulations

Here are the main changes relating to new 2015 Procurement Regulations.

Helping SMEs

Vince Cable set a target of 25% of public contracts to go to SMEs. The initiatives below are very helpful in that respect:

  • Contracting authorities urged to break contracts into smaller lots to help SMEs take part.
  • A cap on required turnover ratio to help smaller businesses take part in bidding. Authorities cannot set company turnover requirements at more than two-times contract value (except when justified).

The previous ‘turnover yardstick’ was that a contract should not represent more than around 30% of a bidder’s turnover. (But I’ve seen 10-20% at times!) So raising it to 50% is a big change. In light of this, our Fit to Tender Check-list has been updated.

Guide to Bid / Tender Planning Meetings

Bidding for high value tenders is a complex and often difficult task so always be selective. The previous post Bid Managers and Bid Teams explained the importance of teamwork. Tender planning meetings are a vital part of every bid manager’s tool kit. They are the mechanism that pulls together and co-ordinates the bid team to ensure you get the best results.

Tender Planning Meetings Flowchart

How to Run Tender Planning Meetings

I’ve broken down the key elements of running tender planning meetings as follows:

Meeting Preparation

Make sure that, as bid manager, you are totally prepared for tender planning meetings.  Good preparation will help you get the most out of the meeting and the bid team:

100% Bid Team Attendance

Everyone in the bid team should attend. (The exceptions being external support like the bank.) If individuals don’t show up it creates extra work briefing them. Or they they might not understand the tender. This is the start of getting 100% buy-in from the team. Anyone not attending is not demonstrating commitment to winning the tender. They might let you down during the tendering process.

Bid Management Team: Bid Managers and the Bid Team Explained

One of the elements of great bid management is a good bid team. Teamwork really helps improve your chances of winning tenders.

Bid Management Team Organisation Chart

Larger business will often have bid writing departments and bid managers. They will also be used to assembling bid teams to tackle complex tenders. But smaller businesses often overlook how important teamwork is in winning tenders. In our work as Tender Consultants we often find that SMEs only have one person dealing with tenders. This is potentially limiting their chances of success.

Forming a Bid Team and nominating a Bid Manager will help you to produce higher quality tender responses.  The diagram below shows the key elements of a Bid Team:

What is Bid Management?

It is the process of project managing a tender, sales proposal or pitch from start to finish.

It includes completion of the all aspects detailed below, managing people and ensuring everything is completed in a timely manner.

Ideally, bid management starts before before the issue of a tender. That way, the team is better prepared to compete. It ends sometime post-award. That ensures the hand-over to the team running the contract is seamless. And everything agreed in the bid (from the supplier and customer) is covered.

The Bid Manager

The Bid Manager has overall responsibility for the tender or PQQ and leading the Bid Team. He or she will undertake project or ‘Bid Management’ of the tender. This involves pulling together a Bid Team and coordinating the team to ensure that everything is completed properly and on time.

How to Answer Social Value Tender Questions

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 became law on the 8th March 2012 and went live 31st January 2013. Public sector now have to consider social value as part of any procurement. Not just value for money (cost and quality). So now you may have to respond to social value tender questions when bidding for public sector contracts.

How to Answer Social Value Tender Questions

What is Social Value in Tendering?

The Act requires authorities to make the following considerations at the pre-procurement stage:

  • How what is proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the “relevant area
  • How in conducting a procurement process it might act with a view to securing that improvement

Some tenders have method statement questions on what social value you will provide. Others have social value calculator Excel spreadsheets to complete (see below).

Some public sector tenders completely ignored social value when tendering! But the Government’s latest measures (below) reinforce the need to include social value in tender evaluation.

Some tenders weight social value as high as 10-30% of the total possible score! So, there can be a lot at stake.

Social Value Tender Questions

Social value tender questions can appear daunting at first. But once you start to understand social value, they become a lot easier. These types of tender questions can also help local businesses to score higher than non-local competitors. The reason is that they are already contributing to their local “relevant area”. For example:

Economic – employment, training and work-experience opportunities for local people.

Environmental – local staff, local suppliers and local work reduces your carbon footprint.

Social – supporting local community initiatives e.g. charities, local amateur sports teams etc.

Many of the terms used by councils and government can be confusing: “social integration and community cohesion” and “community development and engagement“. But in fact most of it is common sense. Here are some typical areas for social value and how you might respond:

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