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Welcome to BiP – Supply2Gov Ireland

Supply2Gov Ireland

Supply2Gov Ireland, which launched last week, aims to help Irish businesses win tenders in Ireland and expand into the UK market.

Simon Burges, BiP Chief Executive Officer, is delighted to release the latest BiP brand:

“There has never been a better time to consider working with public sector. The launch of the free to register Supply2Gov Ireland service provides small and micro businesses and sole traders with an unprecedented opportunity to access thousands of public procurement opportunities from across Ireland, in addition to being able to connect directly with the UK public sector, valued at over €270 billion annually.”

The Supply2Gov subscription levels give customers the freedom to pick and mix the tender plans that are right for their business.

Users can start with the FREE Ready To Take Flight subscription. This will give them access to tenders from the Irish local area of their choice!

Would you like to access the €12 billion the Irish government spends every year on goods and services? Sign up to Supply2Gov Ireland today!

Procurex Ireland

Supply2Gov Ireland will be attending the Procurex Ireland event at RDS Dublin on 26 April 2018. BiP CEO Simon Burges notes:

“The expansion of the S2G service within Ireland further supports and demonstrates our growth ambitions moving forward, especially within Ireland.”

Tickets for the Procurex Ireland 2018 showcase are FREE for public sector delegates and cost just €95 for the private sector.

About BiP Solutions

BiP Solutions is a leading provider of business intelligence services for organisations of all sizes. With over 30 years’ experience working with both buyers and suppliers, BiP helps businesses to identify and win contracts with both the public and private sector.

BiP brands include the Tracker business intelligence service and Delta eSourcing solution for public sector buyers, as well as Defence Contracts International (DCI), training and consultancy provider PASS Procurement and a procurement-related events portfolio covering defence, health and the wider public sector.

For more information on the BiP Group, please visit www.bipsolutions.com.

For additional information, please contact:

Melissa Russell

Supply2Gov Senior Marketing Executive

melissa.russell@bipsolutions.com

Ingenium Set to Deliver Digital Services for the Crown Commercial Service

digital - Ingenium IDS

In April, BiP announced the launch of our new North of England office in the Media City area of Manchester, which is now home to two of the BiP Group’s brands, Ingenium and Promark Media.

Over the past eight months, the Glasgow and Manchester offices have been working increasingly closely and we are delighted with the process so far.

Ingenium has recently announced some exciting news.  The team in Manchester has been contracted to deliver digital services for the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and will be creating a database for them. This innovative new project will support the delivery of a series of targeted e-marketing campaigns, designed to raise the profile of CCS.

What does Ingenium do?

Ingenium IDS specialises in lead generation, content creation, data, surveys and online events. The team has a list of high-profile clients including BT, Capita, KPMG, Deloitte, Hays, Apple and IBM.

Ingenium IDS is an established brand and has been helping businesses to communicate successfully with the UK public sector via digital marketing for over ten years. Unlike other digital specialists, Ingenium IDS works across all industries, combining data excellence with purpose-built technology.

What’s Next?

This new project will promote CCS across sectors including local government, the NHS, education, housing associations, and charities.

CCS-Logo

Sam Gilding, Head of Sales at Ingenium IDS, is incredibly pleased with the contract win.

“In September 2017, Ingenium IDS was invited to respond to a Crown Commercial Service (CCS) mini-competition. CCS was interested in contracting with a supplier that could provide licensed access to a third-party database of organisation and individual contacts across the whole of the public sector.

I’m delighted to share that Ingenium delivered a response that demonstrated, coverage, quality and compliance and has now contracted to deliver this service.”

To find out more about BiP’s products and services, please visit our website.

Securing public and private cyberspace: Procurex Wales

cyber security

A recent report from McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC estimated that globally cyber crime costs $400 billion a year. Here – ahead of his talk at Procurex Wales – Paul Clarke, Managing Director of cyber security firm Xenubis, tells BiP journalist Julie Shennan how the threat is evolving and what the supply chain can do to tackle it.

Xenubis is a global IT firm that provides intelligence and security solutions to identify cyber espionage and criminal activity across the physical, human and digital dimensions. Managing Director Paul Clarke is a passionate advocate of cyber awareness, speaking at events such as DPRTE and Procurex Wales on the topic.

Mr Clarke’s concern is well reasoned; earlier this year internet service provider (ISP) Beaming surveyed over 500 UK firms and found that one in eight had suffered malware attacks costing an average of £10,516 to manage.

Mr Clarke noted: That is only the cost that we know of; a lot of companies don’t make their breaches or attacks public knowledge. This cost also does not count the effects on reputation and customer confidence.”

He went on to explain that globally cyber crime was outpacing traditional crime.

He said: “It is bigger than the global drugs trade. Cyber crime is more convenient to criminals than analogue crime; they don’t have to leave home or smuggle anything, so there is no way that the criminals are going to stop committing it.”

Hacktivist culture is also making cyber breaches easier to commit.

Mr Clarke warned: “Cyber attackers’ skills and tools are more advanced than ever; you can go to the Dark Net now and get a hackers kit which comes equipped with a fully managed helpdesk, allowing people with no experience to attempt a breach. So the threat is not now just from state-sponsored activists, it is also from organised criminals and collectives, such as Anonymous, who might have other motives.”

This increasing range of hacker types, Mr Clarke observed, is facilitated by the mobilisation of the Internet of Things. “The increasing connectivity of smartphones will in turn provide an increased marketplace for criminals,” he cautioned.

“So if you are thinking of making your business mobile-responsive then you need to think about cyber risk and cyber security. This threat is not going to go away; it is just going to get more advanced.”

Mr Clarke speaks from years of experience – having worked as a security advisor to government, as a private cyber security consultant and as a former Serviceman. However, he explained that the facts of the cyber threat were plain for all to see.

He said: “There is a lot of information out there on cyber breaches; TalkTalk, LinkedIn and the Panama Papers data leak all show how common cyber attacks are. Every bit of information in the news shows that the cyber threat is real and will affect most people at some point.”  

SMEs, Mr Clarke added, are no exception.

He emphasised: “SMEs, especially non-finance SMEs, might be tempted to think that they are too insignificant to be targeted, but this not the case. Money is going lost in normal transactions and through breaches of customers’ emails.”

With that in mind Mr Clarke urged suppliers of all sizes to invest in good cyber security.

He said: “The threat is real; it’s a case of when not if an attacker will target your company. Companies need to approach the topic of cyber security, understand how cyber threats manifest themselves in their business and how they can protect themselves at the highest level possible.”

This means prime contractors examining their whole supply chain and identifying any soft spots that hackers could target. “Attackers will target the easiest route into this supply chain, so it is up to the prime contractors to ensure that their partners are protected,” he explained.

Mr Clarke also urged the CEOs of all companies to take ownership of their organisation’s cyber security.

He said: “CEOs must start from the top down and implement education, training and awareness to ensure that everything possible is being done to protect data, money and reputation.

CEOs and senior executives need to understand that it is up to them to protect their own and their customers’ data by mitigating risk. Ministers are now discussing the consequences for company leaders who do not protect their data, such as fines from regulatory boards.”

While cyber security failures could be cause for punishment, cyber vigilance could equally be cause for reward, with the Government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme (CES) recognising responsible organisations.

Mr Clarke explained: “If you want to be on government supply chains you need to ensure you are signed up to the Cyber Essential programme. You must also ensure your IT team have the relevant external tools – to understand where the cyber threat come from and how to mitigate the threat – and if the IT team don’t have these tools then they must outsource them.”

Mr Clarke recognises the UK cyber skills shortage, saying not enough operational and academic training is currently on offer – to the right people – to tackle the cyber threat head-on. However, he remains optimistic that the public and private sectors can work together to make up this shortfall.

He concluded: “Government should work with the private sector to help suppliers raise awareness, increase compliance with Cyber Essentials and increase access to cyber protection tools.”

For more information come to see Mr Clarke speak at Procurex Wales Digital Procurement Zone    on 6 October 2016.

BiP Solutions’ expansion plans continue with Ingenium IDS acquisition

PartnershipLogosGlasgow-based BiP Solutions has today acquired data marketing experts Ingenium IDS Ltd. This acquisition is a perfect match for BiP which, for more than 30 years, has led the way in helping the public and private sectors work together. Ingenium IDS is a leading provider of advanced data marketing services including lead generation, content creation, data, surveys and online events that help deliver the right messages, to the right people, at the right time.

This latest acquisition, following its purchase of Promark Media in 2015, further strengthens BiP’s leading position as a provider of services that create value for buyers and suppliers at every stage of the supply chain.

CEO of BiP Solutions, Simon Burges, said: “This is an important step for the BiP Group and is a clear demonstration of our ongoing commitment to invest in and grow the business. Ingenium IDS has developed a fantastic range of innovative products and services that through this strategic acquisition will provide many benefits to the BiP Group and its customers. It’s a perfect fit and I am delighted to welcome their staff and senior management team into the BiP family.”

Director of Ingenium IDS, David Cross, said: “We are proud of what we have achieved over the last ten years in helping our clients to secure meaningful long-term business across the public sector, which started as a result of a marketing campaign initiated by ourselves. We are excited to join the BiP Group of companies which will allow us to grow and innovate to achieve outstanding results for our current and future clients.”

Since 2005 Ingenium IDS has helped companies to successfully market and generate demand for their products and services into different parts of the public sector, including Central and Local Government, Healthcare and Education. More recently they have extended their reach into the enterprise private sector space. Ingenium IDS addresses the challenges faced by sales and marketing departments to identify key organisations and stakeholders and to use tailored digital communications as a platform for demand creation.

Their services include:

  • Audience Generation for Events
  • Driving Whitepaper/Case Study Downloads
  • Independent Online Surveys
  • CRM Database Audit, Cleanse and Append

Ingenium IDS achieves outstanding results for its clients with a focus on transparent and measurable outcomes.

Contact Details:

Kenny Brogan

Head of Marketing

BiP Solutions

E – kenny.brogan@bipsolutions.com

T – 0141 270 7613

EU Referendum: Business Finance Implications

EU Referendum

Rely on facts not feelings

With just two weeks until the EU Referendum vote have you considered how it will affect the money you make?

Both SMEs and large corporations need business finance to grow and employ new staff, functions that will be impacted should access to this finance change.

Both sides of the EU Referendum debate claim that cash flow will rise – or at least not fall – should voters back them. Theses arguments are analysed in BiP Solutions White Paper EU Referendum: The Ins and Outs for Business. The White Paper examines the referendum and its potential implications for UK exports, trade arrangements, business finance, procurement legislation and jobs – all of which will affect the country’s livelihood.

Here’s a sneak peek at the fourth  chapter of EU Referendum: The Ins and Outs for Business – covering Business Finance.

Pro-Brexit commentators argue that high street banks have traditionally provided the major source of SME finance and that this arrangement would be unaffected by a Brexit, as Centre for European Policy Studies Director, Daniel Gros, reflected in the Guardian newspaper.

He said: “Finance to SMEs – and households – is usually provided by local retail banks. In this sense there is no reason why leaving the EU would have a material impact on the availability of finance for SMEs.

“Part of the UK’s retail banking system is owned by EU banks. This investment would of course have a different legal status after Brexit, but presumably the change in legal status would not have a direct impact on retail operations, such as lending to SMEs.”

They also cite the increasingly intercontinental nature of foreign direct investment in the UK, which they argue would largely be unaffected by a Brexit.

However, pro-Europe campaigners forecast that leaving the EU would cause economic uncertainty and devalue UK sterling. An article in the Independent newspaper highlighted the wider implications a Brexit could have on UK business finance. The article published minutes from the Bank of England’s meeting, which said a vote to leave the EU would “result in an extended period of uncertainty about the economic outlook including the prospects for export growth”.

Teamed with this, they say a Brexit would lead to the removal of all EU subsidies, such as CAP, upon which many UK firms depend.

Northern Irish Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “In terms of Agriculture and Rural Development, we will have drawn down over £1.9bn of European funding between 2014 and 2020. I fear that a significant reduction in direct support would see production go into free-fall.”

While acknowledging the challenges a Brexit would bring, Vote Leave campaigners argue that it would also bring opportunity to reform UK banks and rid them of the bad habits they have adopted. In the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)’s Brexit thesis competition, the winning report, Britain outside the European Union, suggests this could be achieved by introducing a free banking system, which would rid the UK of “excessive financial regulation, central banks and an inconvertible paper currency”.

To read more about the economic implications of the EU Referendum, download EU Referendum: The Ins and Outs for Business.

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EU Referendum: The Ins and Outs for Business

EU Referendum

Rely on facts not feelings

Are you ready to vote in the EU referendum on 23 June? The latest YouGov poll showed significant support for both sides with 13% of people still undecided.

Professionals across the country are wondering what the vote will mean for their businesses, jobs and bank balances and there is no shortage of opinions in the newspapers and on TV.

Unfortunately, these tend to be biased towards one side or another which is why the UK’s leading procurement service provider, BiP Solutions, is launching its free White Paper, EU Referendum: The Ins and Outs for Business.

The White Paper examines the referendum and its potential implications for UK exports, trade arrangements, business finance, procurement legislation and jobs – all of which will affect the country’s livelihood.

Here’s a sneak peek at the first two chapters of EU Referendum: The Ins and Outs for Business – covering Exports and Trade Agreements.

At the forefront of the referendum debate is the issue of exports. Brexit leaders argue that the EU membership fees paid by the UK outweigh the UK gains from exports to the European Economic Area (EEA). However, HM Treasury’s latest European Union Finances statistics appear to contradict this argument.

These figures show that in 2015 EU membership cost the UK £8.4bn (net sum). This cost though was outweighed by the value of UK exports to the EEA in 2015, which reached £133.9bn (HMRC UK Overseas Trade Statistics December 2015).

This trend is, however, not reflective of the wider UK export picture; as the latest (February 2016) Office of National Statistics UK Trade Statistical Bulletin shows, between November 2015 and February 2016, UK exports to non-EEA countries totalled more than those to EEA countries (£36bn compared to £33bn).

This highlights the opportunity for greater UK trade beyond the European Union, and shows the appeal of a Brexit in which the UK could form autonomous international trade partnerships, without having to negotiate with other EU members.

Another pro-Brexit argument is that, should it leave the EU, the UK could re-negotiate a deal that allowed it to trade with the EEA without having to adhere to the EU Public Contracts Regulations, which are said to cost UK businesses £33.3bn annually to implement.

However, pro-EU campaigners highlight current European law stipulates that to benefit from European Single Market trade rates countries must adhere to EU regulations.

This means that should the UK cease to do so, it would have to pay more to trade with EEA countries. Establishment of alternative trade partnerships is a challenge that could create economic instability; however, it could also create the opportunity to forge new markets and procurement practices.

Read more about the economic implications of the EU referendum, with EU Referendum: The Ins and Outs for Business.

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Leading Healthcare Procurement Innovation: P4H

P4H

Revolution is coming to the NHS, with efficiency at its heart. Spurring this efficiency drive is the UK Government commissioned Review of Operational Productivity in NHS providers, which set the NHS the goal of making 10-15% real-terms cost savings by April 2021. Here, BiP journalist Julie Shennan examines the report’s recommendations and how the forthcoming P4H conference – on 13 July, at the NEC Birmingham – can help suppliers meet them.

Background

In 2015, Lord Patrick Carter forecast that £5bn annually could be saved by encouraging NHS England Trusts to use the same e-tendering portals and key performance indicators, as well as by improving purchase ordering and staff attendance levels.

These guidelines were contained in the Carter Review of Operational Productivity (an Independent Report for the Department of Health) commissioned in 2014, drafted in 2015 and finalised in 2016. In this Review, Lord Carter compared 22 leading English hospitals to see how the NHS could get best value for money.

Wider picture

Although concentrating on operational productivity across the NHS in England, the Carter Review has relevance for all the home nations of the UK, with health authorities facing universal pressures of ageing populations and tightening budgets that require efficiencies to be made.

This challenge was acknowledged by BSO Health and Social Care Executive Director of Operations (UK and Ireland) Sam Waide, who said: “One of the big issues the health and social care sector faces is greater demand for community services. This is a positive thing for patients, as they get more tailored care, but it also brings strain on decreasing budgets.”

Recommendations

Recognising the need for NHS buyers and private sector suppliers to deliver more services with fewer resources, Lord Carter proposed changes that could tighten the supply chain.

He suggested:

  • Improving workflow by minimising absences;
  • Optimising hospital pharmacies, medicines and estates;
  • Unifying NHS ordering into one e-procurement catalogue;
  • Sharing best practice models to promote good procurement.

Government agenda

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is now calling on the NHS to ensure every penny is spent in the most effective way for patients to improve standards of care while reducing costs. The Government particularly wants to see lessons learnt by hospitals that are not as efficient as they could be across all areas of their work, thereby driving bigger gains for patient care.

Mr Hunt said: “Nothing better embodies our belief in ‘one nation’ than the NHS, so I want to see a seven-day health service that delivers for working people. That means cutting out the waste and making sure every penny counts so that the quality of care continues to improve.”

How P4H can help

Both Mr Hunt and Lord Carter suggest sharing best practice is essential to smart health procurement. However, the vast size of the sector can mean that healthcare buyers and suppliers often miss the chance to learn from their peers.

This is where P4H, the UK’s premier healthcare procurement event, can help.

On 13 July 2016, at the NEC Birmingham, P4H will welcome hundreds of healthcare buyers and suppliers, from all parts of the UK supply chain.

The event will facilitate professional networking in the dedicated Buyer Engagement Village, Product Showcase Exhibition and Collaboration Zones. Knowledge sharing will be high on the agenda in the P4H Keynote Arena, where healthcare thought leaders will discuss their experiences and give pointers to future best practice. Finally, in tailored workshop settings, the P4H Best Practice Case Study Zone and Procurement Advice Hub will give guidance to those seeking to implement procurement change.

All this advice will be backed with procurement training in the P4H Buyer Skills Development,Supplier and eProcurement Training Zones.

Gain these and many more invaluable healthcare insights.

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Looking back at DPRTE 2016: Richard Hall [video]

DPRTE 2016: Richard Hal

BiP event Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE)  2016 took place on 16 March at Cardiff’s Motorpoint. The event showcased innovative  solutions and defence procurement advice. In this video MOD Defence Contracts Bulletin Editor Paul Elliott hears from DPRTE Keynote speaker, BT  Global Defence and Aerospace Sales Director Richard Hall about his highlights of the conference.

  • Why did BT support DPRTE 2016?
  • What were its objectives at the event?
  • All will be explained in this short video.

Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE) provides a unique opportunity for organisations – to not only to meet over 1000 key decision makers – but to grow their business by supplying to the industry.

The UK Ministry of Defence spends over £19 billion a year on equipment and services, and the Department’s current Ten Year Equipment Plan details its commitment to spend £160 billion on major defence procurement projects by 2022.

In his 2015 Budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that the MOD’s budget will rise by 0.5% above inflation each year up to 2020/21, and  that an additional £1.5 billion for defence and intelligence will be made available within the same timeframe.

To gain a share of this government spend or discover other opportunities within the defence supply chain, REGISTER YOUR INTEREST FOR DPRTE 2017.

Budget 2016: Preview

The number10 on the door of the Prime Minister's official residence in Downing Street, London. 10 Downing Street vies with the White House as being the most important political building anywhere in the world in the modern era.

On Wednesday 16 March 2016, Chancellor George Osborne will deliver his fourth fiscal summary in the last 12 months – but what can businesses expect to see in the Budget 2016? Here BiP Solutions reporter Donald MacInnes overviews the hopes of industry leaders.

The Chancellor

In advance of tomorrow’s budget, the Chancellor has signalled tough times ahead stating that Britain must ‘act now to make sure we don’t pay later’.

In his November 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that Whitehall spending would be reduced by 19% in order to cut the deficit and secure a £10.1bn surplus by 2019/20. However, the Chancellor has recently said that spending must now be cut by another £4bn within this parliament to achieve this surplus.

In reaction to this some of the UK’s biggest business groups and think tanks have released their budget recommendations.

Leading industry representatives are looking to the Chancellor to spare UK companies any more financial burdens and instead aid them to grow their businesses.

Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

According to recent analysis from the Confederation of British Industry, a combination of inaction on business rates accompanied by recent Government policy changes, including the National Living Wage and the Apprenticeship Levy, will cost businesses around £9bn every year to 2020/21. The CBI has called on the Chancellor to strive for increased investment in businesses to harness and fuel innovation.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director of Economics, said: “Businesses will want to see concrete action to reform the UK’s business rates system, support investment through the capital allowance system and equip our world-class innovators with the tools they need to compete globally.”

A key recommendation of the CBI is to reform the current business rates system, switching the uprating of the tax rate (‘multiplier’) from RPI to CPI and furthermore removing the smallest businesses from the tax entirely.

The CBI has also recommended an increase in the scope of capital allowances and the UK remaining competitive on interest deductions for Corporation Tax. Furthermore, the CBI wants to see an increase in the level of access to research and development (R&D) incentives, allowing companies to innovate better.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

The British Chambers of Commerce has also recommended that businesses be spared any hardships in the form of costs, taxes or obligations. The BCC has made three primary recommendations for Budget 2016 which directly involve businesses.

Due to the burden placed on businesses from pensions auto-enrolment, the National Living Wage, the Apprenticeship Levy, higher dividend taxes and other measures, the BCC has recommended that businesses should not have to endure any new taxes for the remainder of this parliament.

The BCC is also pushing for business rates reform, urging the Chancellor to prioritise resetting the valuation, collection and setting of the rates. The BCC has furthermore recommended greater support from HMRC for SMEs and is pushing to make compliance easier for businesses.

Engineering Employers’ Federation(EFF)

The call for business rates reform is being made by companies all over the UK, including those in manufacturing.

The manufacturing industry is pushing for plant and machinery to be withdrawn from rateable calculations. The EEF – The Manufacturers’ Organisation says that to do so would provide a boost for sectors such as steel, releasing figures which claim that 42% of companies surveyed said they would be likely to invest if plant and machinery were removed from the calculation of business rates.

Companies with a turnover below £5m and those with a turnover over £50m would be the ones most likely to increase investment, the figures suggest.

EEF Chief Economist Lee Hopley said: “Our evidence shows that removing plant and machinery from the calculation of business rates could help tip the balance for some companies, notably small manufacturers looking to scale up, and large manufacturers facing international competition.”

The Chancellor George Osborne is expected at the dispatch box around 12:30 pm on 16 March, immediately after Prime Minister’s Questions.

For updates and industry reaction to the Budget 2016, keep following the BiP Solutions news and blog section.

PIN down Prior Information Notice Updates

Prior Information Notice

The new UK Public Contract Regulations have changed the way Prior Information Notices (PINs) can be utilised by sub-central authorities. Here BiP journalist Julie Shennan talks to Principal PASS (Procurement Advice Support Service) Consultant Eddie Regan about the implications these changes will have on suppliers.

In the past, Prior Information Noticess were used to inform suppliers that a contract notice was on its way and if the contracting authority so chose, the timescale for tenders could be reduced in the Open, Restricted and Negotiated Procedures. While this functionality is maintained for for central government authorities, PINs now have a wider scope of use for sub-central authorities.

Sub-central authorities, including local councils and certain NHS Trusts, can now use a PIN:

  • As a means to notify the market of a forthcoming opportunity;
  • With the specific intent to reduce the tender timescales in the Open, Restricted and Competitive Procedure with Negotiation or
  • As a ‘Call for Competition’ which negates the need for a further Contract Notice and means that only those suppliers that respond as required will be invited to participate at PQQ in the Restricted and Competitive Procedure with Negotiation.

Commenting on the changes, BiP’s Principal PASS (Procurement Advice Support Service) Consultant Eddie Regan warned that suppliers must be vigilant to catch opportunities.

He said: “When a Prior Information Notice is used as a Call for Competition there will be no further Contract Notice published, so the PIN will begin the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire cycle. When the authority is ready to proceed with competition it will only consider those suppliers that have responded to the PIN. Only those that reconfirm their interest, when asked to do so, will receive the PQQ.”

Mr Regan further cautioned: “Suppliers must keep an eye out for PINs that act as a Call for Competition and respond to them providing the information that is requested. There is no second opportunity in this process.”

Important information in Call for Competition PINs includes:

  • The contracting authority’s contact details and links to tender documents.
  • NUTS and CPV codes.
  • A description of the goods or services sought.
  • The expected value of the goods/services sought.
  • Invitation to dialogue with the contracting authority.
  • Type of award procedure that will be followed (including collaborative models).
  • Conditions for participation, including mandatory social clauses for suppliers.
  • Description of the selection and award criteria.
  • Expression of Interest deadlines.
  • Expectations of the minimum and maximum number of companies that will be invited to tender.
  • Estimated delivery timescale of the contract.

Timescales also differ at the tender stage when Prior Information Notices have been used with the intent to reduce timescales. In the Open Proccedure, which allows 35 days for response, a PIN can cut the timescale to 15 days.

In both the Restricted and Competitive Procuedure with Negotiation, the 30 day minimum timescale can be slashed as low as 10 days.

To meet this new challenge, Mr Regan suggested suppliers prepare for a fast turn- around.

He said: “Suppliers really need to build a database of their company information, answering the common questions asked during the tender process. The new EU Public Contract Regulations make the selection criteria clear, explaining the information that can be asked of suppliers. Suppliers must use these resources to build a profile of their business.”

Online guides and training also act as vital aids in the tendering process, as Mr Regan explained.

He said: “Suppliers who are new to the marketplace can read the ‘Ultimate Guide to Winning Government Contracts’ or undertake a PASS training course to get a better understanding of the process.”

For more information on the tendering process, visit the BiP Solutions website.