OJEU opportunities: 2014 Thresholds & Limits

Proposal writers may have noticed that on the 1st January 2014 the EU published new public procurement financial thresholds. These will apply to all award procedures under the public contracts regulations 2006. With these recent changes, now is a good time to look at what the financial thresholds are and what they mean for proposal writers looking for opportunities.

The UK thresholds for public sector tenders under the latest regulations are:

  • Supply/Service contracts awarded by central government- £111,676.
  • Supply/Service contracts awarded by other contracting authorities – £172,514.
  • Works contracts – £4,322,012.

If the contracting authority wishes to enter into multiple contracts to fulfil the same requirement, then the value of those contracts will be aggregated together to decide whether it crosses the threshold. The rules are very specific about this: when offering public sector tenders contracting authorities must not enter into separate contracts below the thresholds in order to avoid having to apply the regulations.

If the value of a tender exceeds these values then it must be listed in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), which is a major source of public sector tenders for proposal writers. The OJEU is a very good resource for anyone looking for tender opportunities. Win that Bid can help you navigate through these complicated procedures.

Police privatisation: an arresting opportunity?

David Taylor-Smith of the security company G4S recently grabbed headlines by stating that private companies will be running large parts of the UK’s police service within five years. His statements were supported by news that at least 10 police forces are considering outsourcing parts of their service to the private sector in response to funding shortfalls brought on by government cuts.

Taylor-Smith’s statements simply focused minds on a trend already causing consternation among many observers. The American experience in privatised law enforcement has been riddled by stories of corruption, genuinely horrible scandals and enormous pork barrel spending at taxpayer’s expense. And while people laugh at the classic Fry and Laurie sketch from decades ago, areas of London have already reverted to the Victorian situation of overlapping private spaces patrolled by company personnel, disrupting police response times and creating some disturbing civil rights issues. If frontline police services are privatised, precedent suggests that most of those tender contracts will go to established firms with extensive backroom contacts.

Not all of the requirements being investigated by the police are so controversial. Managing the vehicle fleet, providing legal support and even helping victims and witnesses; these opportunities for bid writers are all less likely to be delayed or prevented by political clashes.  Existing companies experienced in public sector tenders for maintenance, human resources or social care could find important roles within the police force.

Bid writers looking to win public sector tenders in the police force must be aware of how politicised the process could potentially become.  Consider the image of the company and be ready to discuss issues of social value during the bidding process. The stated goal of the outsourcing deals is to reduce costs; bid writers will encounter procurers who hope they can reduce their overheads while improving levels of service at the same time.

As more information about potential police tender opportunities becomes available, companies should carefully consider their options. Win that Bid can help bid writers, both in putting together an appropriate tender document, but also in deciding whether an apparently lucrative policing tender contract is going become a dangerous albatross in the long term.

New tender opportunities in Defence?

The Defence white paper released on 1st February 2012 has some important news for bid writers. Notably, it raises the possibility that the MOD will be procuring from a much wider range of sources than they had been previously. The paper states:

“Wherever possible, we will seek to fulfil the UK’s defence and security requirements through open competition in the domestic and global market, buying off-the-shelf where appropriate”

It is debatable how far this aim will be met. It will meet resistance from both vested interests in the defence industry and a number of powerful arguments about the practicalities of defending the nation using equipment sourced from outside. This makes it difficult for bid writers to predict exactly how MOD tenders will work in the future.

The MOD has made some more concrete initiatives of interest to bid writers. The threshold for advertising tendering opportunities has been reduced by 75% to £10,000 and they can now be found on Contracts Finder. Internal guidelines are being changed to ensure that PQQs produced by SMEs are not rejected on the basis of rigid turnover-to-contract value ratios without proper assessment of companies’ actual capacity and potential. This, along with the new Defence Suppliers Forum might present new tendering opportunities for bid writers in the future.

New procurement rules in Scotland

The Sustainable Procurement Bill passing through the Scottish Parliament aims to open up new public sector opportunities by making the public sector tender process more standardised and transparent.

Complaints in the construction industry were a major driving force behind this bill. Industry leaders have been complaining that the existing construction tender rules were unfit for purpose and exacerbating the decline of the sector.

The Scottish government claims that the Sustainable Procurement Bill would ensure that:

  • contract opportunities are advertised or awarded through Public Contracts Scotland;
  • public bodies adopt streamlined procurement processes friendly to Scottish businesses;
  • smaller and medium companies have more opportunities to win public sector tenders.

Alex Neil (MSP) also emphasised that community benefit clauses will be an important part of the new procurement rules. He stated that the “bill will seek to ensure that major public contracts deliver training and employment opportunities”.

If it passes this bill will obviously offer advantages to Scottish businesses aiming for construction tenders. However, the simpler public sector tender processes ought to make it easier for other companies as well, especially those that emphasise their CSR and training programmes.

Check out the latest LOCOG Procurement Schedule

Wondering when it will be your chance to bid for some contracts for the Olympics?  LOCOG have released their schedule of procurement for the next quarter.  Contact us if you need further advice and help on getting your company onto the Compete For site.

Industry Date Sector
Facilities Management & Catering July -Sep 2010
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Look, signage and accessories elements
Artists, Performance & Events July -Sep 2010
  • Event Production : Evening celebrations in 2012
  • Event Production : Volunteer orientation
Services July -Sep 2010
  • Interpreters & sign language
Sports July – Sept 2010
  • Hockey Equipment
  • Anemometers
  • On water safety
  • Football Equipment
  • Aquatics Equipment
  • Goal posts Equipment
  • Shooting Equipment
  • Fencing Equipment
  • Horses
  • Beach volleyball
  • Sailing Equipment
  • GPS
  • Flags
  • Goal ball Equipment
  • Water polo Equipment
  • Hockey Equipment
  • Weighing Scales
  • Handball Equipment
  • Equestrian Equipment
  • Cycling Equipment
  • TriathalonEquipment
  • Canoe Equipment
  • Rowing Equipment
Technology July – Sept 2010
  • IT Reseller Agreement
  • Command & Control –incident management Application
  • Work Order Management Application across Venues
  • Customer Relationship Management System
Transport & Logistics July – Sept 2010 Material Handling Equipment
Security Oct -Dec 2010
  • Security fencing
  • Electronic security
Sports Oct – Dec 2010
  • Bocciaequipment
  • Consumables
  • Alcohol test units
  • Scoreboards / charts
  • Chairs / tables
Venues & Infrastructure Oct – Dec 2010
  • Alteration to existing buildings and CAT B fit out
  • Scaffold & Superstructure systems
  • Site works and infrastructure
  • Temporary event fit out
Transport & Logistics Oct – Dec 2010 Vehicle Livery & Graphics

Businesses urged to take advantage of 2012 opportunities with two years to go

With two years to go until the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the London business community is being encouraged to take advantage of the commercial opportunities that are still available for businesses of all sizes.  As Games preparations enter the home stretch, there are still millions of pounds worth of contracts available from both the Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Organising Committee. According to the London Business Network, the organisation responsible for providing 2012 business information and access to opportunities generated by the Games, SMEs are in a prime position to capitalise on the remaining opportunities. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is on track to deliver the Olympic Park and other venues by summer 2011 and although 95% of their direct procurement is already completed, there are still potentially thousands of opportunities available within their supply chains.  According to recent statistics, over 400 tier two contracts are currently at the tender stage and it is anticipated that hundreds more sub-contracting opportunities will be generated as a result*. It is thought that nearly 60% of the London Organising Committee’s (LOCOG) £700 million procurement budget has already been committed, leaving approximately £285 million worth of direct opportunities still to be procured.   The London Business Network anticipates that, like the ODA, LOCOG’s direct opportunities will generate many more sub-contracts that small and medium sized businesses can bid for. Chief Executive of the London Business Network, Mike Mulvey, says ‘supply chain opportunities represent an enormous opportunity for the SME community.  There will be thousands of these opportunities available across a range of sectors and specialisms and from our experience these tend to be more relevant and attainable by SMEs.  For the first time ever, businesses have been able to access supply chain opportunities easily and freely through CompeteFor’. CompeteFor is a ground-breaking tool developed by key London 2012 stakeholders in partnership with the business community. It is designed to open up the London 2012 supply chain and give SMEs a greater chance to benefit from the Games.  This ‘business dating agency’ allows businesses to register as potential suppliers online.  CompeteFor notifies them of 2012 supply chain contracts that are placed on the system which they can apply for quickly and easily online. Mike Mulvey says ‘CompeteFor is a true business legacy of the London 2012 Games.  This is the first time in Olympic and Paralympic Games history that sub-contracting opportunities have been made so freely accessible.  With other public and private sector buyers now using the system; including Crossrail, the Metropolitan Police, TfL, Westminster City Council and Haringey Council; registered businesses also have access to a plethora of contract opportunities beyond London 2012’. To date, over 6,600 opportunities have been advertised on CompeteFor from over 700 public and private sector buying organisations.  Both LOCOG and the ODA are committed to supporting SMEs through CompeteFor and have also encouraged their sub-contractors to open up their supply chains using the innovative system. In the next six months, LOCOG’s procurement will fall into eight key areas – Artists, Performance & Events, Sports (including Medical), Security, Security, Technology, Services, Transport & Logistics, Facilities Management & Catering, and Venues & Infrastructure.  Many of these goods and services, including supply chain opportunities, will be made available through CompeteFor. To register your business on CompeteFor, visit www.competefor.com. For further London 2012 business information, including access to free 2012 business events and network opportunities, visit the London Business Network website – www.londonbusinessnetwork.com. *This is in addition to around £250 million which is earmarked by the ODA for the transformation of the Olympic Park post-Games.

Champagne! CompeteFor celebrates two years of business opportunities.

Hello fellow entrepreneurs. I seem to remember telling you 2010 would be an exiting year. Well, as January is now behind us, it appears we already have a few good reasons to party!

CompeteFor – the chosen website of London 2012 for the publication of Games-related contract opportunities – is celebrating its second birthday. Over 100,000 businesses across the UK have registered on CompeteFor to take advantage of various business opportunities ranging from printing to cleaning and from training to catering services.

CompeteFor’s second birthday saw the 5,000th business opportunity advertised. There are now over 600 ‘buying organisations’ that are placing contract opportunities on the website. Small businesses have been rewarded for thinking big: 74% of contracts awarded have been placed with SME businesses – 18% of them have gone to businesses with 10 or less staff.

And the icing on the cake? The success of CompeteFor has been most felt in London, where local businesses have won almost a third of the contracts awarded so far.

After two years now of Olympics and Paralympics related golden opportunities, there are still over £1 billion worth of Olympic-related contracts to come to the market. So, if you too would like to pop the cork but are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the pre-tendering process, give us a buzz on the Bid phone 0203 405 1850 and we will take care of  everything for you. Now, where’s that ice bucket…

Happy Birthday CompeteFor!!

On Your Marks – LOCOG Advertises New Opportunities – Catering and Cleaning First off the Starter Block

Drum roll please….Working in the cleaning business? As mentioned a couple of weeks ago on this very blog, the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) is now starting to advertise fantastic business opportunities in the field of catering and food services and cleaning and waste.

With approximately £700 million to spend on goods and services in preparation for the London Games in 2012 – 20% of which will go to on catering, cleaning and waste and many provided by small and medium sized enterprises – we just know there is an opportunity out there with your name all over it!  As usual, LOCOG opportunities will be advertised on the online portal www.CompeteFor.co.uk.  So if you haven’t yet registered your business on the site, what are you waiting for?

And if you’d rather not do all this kind of dirty work yourself – why not save yourself some time and energy and employ the services of Win That Bid? We will hunt down the most relevant opportunities for you and make sure you get those bids done and dusted.

Get your Fish and Chips, Pies and Pasties and Chicken Tikka Massala at the London Olympics!

80% of the food served at the Olympics will be sourced from local British businesses!

Hello food lovers and entrepreneurs! Here is some great news for those of you working in the UK food and catering industry: the London 2012 Organising Committee has recently pledged in its ‘Food Vision’ http://www.london2012.com/publications/food-vision.php to serve ‘the best of British food’ during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

And what fantastic opportunities for British businesses: 80% of the food served at the Olympics will be sourced from local British businesses – the remaining 20% being supplied by London 2012 commercial partners, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Cadburys etc.

The recently disclosed London 2012 Food Vision aims to set new standards for catering at UK events; Local, seasonal, healthier and sustainable standards will be favored. All dairy products, beef, lamb and poultry must be British. In addition, bananas, tea, coffee and sugar will be Fairtrade. And 100% of the 19 tonnes of eggs that will be served will have to be cage-free.

And to help you get a feel for the size of the operation – a whopping 14 million meals to be served, this roughly means businesses will need to supply some:

*25,000 loaves of bread
*232 tonnes of potatoes
*82 tonnes of seafood
*31 tonnes of poultry
*100 tonnes of meat
*75,000 litres of milk
*21 tonnes of cheese (yum) and
*330 tonnes of fruit and vegetables

If you would like to be one of the lucky businesses that will cater at the Olympics, the search to find catering suppliers is now underway! For your chance of obtaining a piece of the 2012 pie (sorry couldn’t help it!) get your business onto www.competefor.co.uk And if you’re more pie filling than form filling let us foodies at Win That Bid give you a helping hand. Growing businesses is really what we do best.

Coming Soon!! London 2012 opportunities for Services, Sports, Artists, Catering, Technology, Photography and Flowers too!!

Fresh off the press, get your diaries ready. If you’re in the business of Services, Sports, Art, Performance, Events, Soft Facilities Management, Catering or Technology – Now is your time to be part of history!!

During a seminar held on Friday at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the ODA announced that there’s still a massive £1 billion left to spend on the remaining 50% of the construction of the Olympic sites. And if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, there’s also £700 million of private investor money that LOCOG (London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) will be using to procure. As always, all direct ODA and LOCOG opportunities will be advertised on the online portal www.CompeteFor.co.uk. For your chance at striking gold get your business registered today!

So, here they are…

Services

  • Late 09/early 2010: Graphic Design, Translation and Public Relations
  • January – March: Office Accessories, Supplies and Services
  • April – June: Operational Readiness Support and Information Services

Sports

  • Late 09/early 2010: Equestrian Surface, Gymnastics, Athletics and Archery Equipment and Athletics Flooring
  • January – March: Gym Fitness, Canoeing and Swimming Pool Equipment and Support Boats for Sailing
  • April – June: Rowing, Sailing and Cycling Equipment

Artists, Performance and Events

  • Late 09/early 2010: Major Event Production Services
  • January-March: Photographic and Video Services and Photographic and Filming Equipment

Soft Facilities Management and Catering

  • Early 2010: Catering and Food Services, Cleaning and Waste, Clothing and Uniforms, Signage and Flags, Soft Facilities Management, Luggage and Cases, Plants and Flowers

Technology

  • Late 09/early 2010: IT Master re-seller, Unix Servers
  • January-March: Framework for New Media Providers up to