The government policy concerning public procurement states that any and all government contracts must have a basis in value for money and be transparency which they define as “the best mix of effectiveness and quality for the least outlay for the usage period for the services or goods purchased.” Government and associated agencies must obtain these goods or services through open tenders unless they have well-founded reasons to proceed otherwise.
Additionally, both open tenders and government contracts have a legal framework in place which encourages open and free competition and value for money. These things must conform to national and internationally agreed-on regulations and Data Standards. The government aligns all procurement policies within this set legal framework and aligned with the wider policy objectives Open Standard Principles.
Government contracts made available through open tenders make up a very large percentage of the UK’s total spend in the economy, this makes it an important source of data and potential business.
- To date just under 30,000 companies have gained some sort of business
- There are currently 1,906 opportunities available
- £284 billion was spent in 2018 through the public procurement process, according to HM Treasury, PESA 2018
UK Government, via Crown Commercial Service, has created a single ‘Contract Finder’ web site that provides direct access to government contract opportunities. Although the site is primarily focused on England it also list some UK-wide opportunities. Devolved administrations (Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) have their own variants of Contract Finder.
Open Tenders and Awarded Contracts
All contracts for the local government that have a value of £10,000 or more and all contracts for the National Government that have a value of £25,000 or more should be made available to the public through an open tender process and via open Government Contracts and Tenders Data.
Currently, these are available via publicly accessible sites such as Contract Finder, which allow buyers to list tenders on a central site open to all potential suppliers.
With so many tenders and contracts listed there are daily changes – newly opened tenders, changes to tender terms, status updates and results of tenders.
There’s a lot going on!
With thousands of buyers and suppliers interacting there’s a lot going on.
- At any given time, it’s possible to see over 1,000 open tenders with a value of X
- Since its inception over 92,000 contracts worth £717 Billion have been awarded
- Software Box Ltd has been awarded contracts worth £5,632,403,669