Government Tenders

If your organisation is looking for business growth opportunities in public sector procurement, government tenders are a great place to start. Every year, government in the UK spends approximately £284 billion on procuring goods, works and services from external suppliers – across central government, local government, the NHS and other public bodies. Government relies on the competitive public sector supply market to keep services across the UK running; therefore, government contracts are a key area for businesses looking to expand, with plenty of lucrative opportunities.

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What are government contracts?

Government contracts are public sector tenders where either a department within UK central government or one of the devolved administrations – Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Assembly – is listed as the contracting authority or buyer of the goods, works or services in question. Everything that government buys needs to be bought through the public procurement process by way of a tender notice. This is in order that the expenditure of public money can be commercially justified, with the service received balancing public interest requirements such as value for money, quality and sustainability.

Government is a particularly attractive buyer for suppliers of all sizes and specialisms – not only because of the huge sums of money the government spends each year on procurement, but because it requires a vast range of goods, works and services across all industries and sectors. Whether your organisation can provide consultancy services, IT equipment or building works, chances are that central government will have a steady demand for whatever your organisation offers, and tender opportunities which you can realistically deliver.

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How can SMEs get government tenders?

The UK Government and the devolved administrations are keen to encourage new suppliers, particularly SMEs, to supply to them, either directly or as part of the wider supply chain. Measures put in place by central government are designed to support SMEs to bid for, win and successfully deliver government tenders, such as the target of spending fully £1 in every £3 of its procurement activities with SMEs by 2022.

This initiative was introduced in 2015, when 26% of UK central government spend was with SMEs, then an unprecedented £11.6 billion. By increasing that overall value spend with smaller businesses to at least 33%, the Government is recognising the immense contribution and innovation that SMEs bring to the UK economy every year.

Percentage by which S2G contract notice volumes exceed national government portals*

government tenders

* Source: Business Intelligence Research Team Jan 2017 – December 2017

Legislation to support SMEs

Other new SME-friendly legislation introduced in the last five years has been designed to help both new and existing suppliers navigate the public sector procurement process. A good example is the prompt payment requirement, which specifies that all organisations need to comply with government-mandated 30-day payment plans – including main government contractors and suppliers with regard to paying their sub-contractors and lower-tier supply chain. This is to help SMEs who are more likely to work to tighter margins and therefore rely upon quicker payments when completing tenders, to ensure business continuity.

Burdensome pre-selection questionnaires have also been abolished for low-value contracts, effectively ‘skipping a step’ in the public sector procurement process. SMEs no longer have to fill out unnecessary paperwork involved with the pre-selection stage, in turn saving smaller businesses valuable time, resources and money. The UK Government is expected to make further changes to procurement legislation in the near future to help all organisations access tender opportunities within the public sector.

In Scotland, the statistics for SME procurement success with government tenders speak for themselves. The Scottish Government’s approach to government procurement activity has positively impacted smaller businesses; in 2019 direct spend increased by 15% to £103 million, with over 1000 SMEs benefiting from business with Scottish central government. This is a powerful example of how the UK’s devolved administrations are showing their commitment to all types and sizes of business winning government tenders.

While the tendering process can be complicated and confusing at times, it is worth remembering that opportunities within government tenders, and other related tenders, can be found on Supply2Gov every day. These public sector contracts are suitable for organisations with little to no previous experience in public sector procurement. Supply2Gov supports organisations of all sizes to work in the public sector through exclusive access to the largest tenders and awards database in the UK and Ireland, while providing organisations with the information they need to start tendering successfully – such as the resources included within our ‘Tender Ready toolkit’.

Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs) abolished for contracts below the EU threshold (around £100,000)

Larger contracts split into smaller lots to create even more opportunities

Public bodies now have the legal duty to pay supplier invoices within 30 days

To make your life easier, we research government tenders from over 3,000 sources and put them all in one place. Our unrivalled experience means we publish more opportunities than anyone else, even the Government’s own national contract services.

In partnership with CompeteFor, Supply also delivers exclusive FREE supply chain opportunities from major public and private sector buyers across the UK.

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Current Government Tenders

Carbon Management Software - Early Engagement

Published: 01/07/2022 | Value: Not Disclosed | Buyer: UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH

University of Plymouth is looking for software to help manage it's carbon accounting. Key requirements include: • Capture and store carbon [...]

Public Finance Resource Centre (PFRC) - Early Engagement

Published: 08/06/2022 | Value: Not Disclosed | Buyer: Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office

The PFRC is a new programme that is designed to achieve results in the fields of tax and public finance [...]

United Kingdom-SOUTHAMPTON: A Framework Agreement for the Provision of Independent Fostering Agencies (IFA) Services

Published: 02/08/2022 | Deadline: 02/09/2022 | Value: Not Disclosed | Buyer: SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL

This procurement invites tenders from both new applicants to The Councils’ Framework for the Provision of Independent Fostering Agencies (IFA) [...]

Grants to Promote Peace and Security, and Environmental Sustainability

Published: 19/07/2022 | Deadline: 02/09/2022 | Value: Not Disclosed | Buyer: Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation

Grants are available to specified location registered charitable non-governmental organisations that help to promote peace and security, and environmental sustainability.

UK-London: Architectural, construction, engineering and inspection services.

Published: 18/07/2014 | Value: Not Disclosed | Buyer: London Legacy Development Corporation

Architectural, construction, engineering and inspection services. Architectural and related services. Advisory architectural services. Architectural design services. Urban areas mapping services. [...]

How to find government tenders

‘Meet the buyer’ events are a great way for SMEs and other businesses new to public sector procurement to start networking. These events are run across the UK every year and encourage all types of businesses to get involved and engage early with buyers. They also present an opportunity for larger buyers to learn about smaller businesses and the products, solutions and services they offer.

Meeting directly with important decision makers is one of the most effective ways to win government tenders and to build your connections within the market. They also give you an early insight into new tender opportunities coming up, long before the tender notices themselves are even published. Departments will advertise these events on their respective pages on – make sure you put the dates in your diary.


How can Supply2Gov help you find tender opportunities?

The Supply2Gov service is designed to help organisations find, bid for and win tenders in the public sector. Our team of researchers comb through over 3000 unique sources of government contracts to send you tender alerts that are relevant to your organisation’s business interests. You will receive these tender alerts every day delivered straight to your inbox, saving your organisation valuable time and resource.

Registration to Supply2Gov is free, and you will receive instant access to tender opportunities in one region or location of your choice as soon as they become available. You will then have the option to add more locations if you wish to, with flexible packages to suit your business growth needs.

Start receiving tender alerts for government tenders today.

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Take out one of our country plans and you can add another country for 30% discount, add 2 more for 35%, add 3 for 40% or add 4 for 45%!

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Select Countries

Take out one of our country plans and you can add another country for 30% discount, add 2 more for 35%, add 3 for 40% or add 4 for 45%!

Get Started