Public sector procurement can be lucrative for suppliers but it can also be an immensely complex process. In this quick guide, Supply2Gov will explain the ins and outs of the procurement process, including details of what happens at each stage and defined definitions of terminology. By the end, your organisation should feel more confident to submit bids for public sector tenders in the future.

What is public sector procurement?

Public sector procurement is the acquisition by public authorities of goods, works and services through a public contract: for example, the supply of hospital beds and other furniture to a public hospital.

Tenders meaning

The term tenders refer to the contract opportunities published by public sector organisations for goods, services, works and utilities.

What is a Tender Process

If you want to tender for government contracts, it is important that you get to know the tendering process.

As public sector procurement must be fair and transparent, public sector bodies such as the NHS, Ministry of defence and local councils have to purchase goods, works and services via the public tendering process.

The public procurement process requires that an Invitation to Tender (ITT) is published to generate competing offers for the specified business the public sector organisation requires. These call for bids take different structured forms – open tenders and restricted tenders – but essentially they will set out details of what the public sector body wants supplied.

The steps taken in this process may differ slightly from those outlined below depending on the value of the contract being awarded and the tendering procedure it follows. So what is involved in a tender process?

1. The contract notice is published

A contract notice, otherwise known as an advertisement of the procurement opportunity to the market, is the first stage of the public sector tender process. It is the most fundamental requirement for a buyer to ensure that a broad range of organisations respond to the bid, encouraging healthy competition in the market. The contract notice will include just enough information about the project for an organisation to decide whether or not they will submit a bid. It summarises the object and scope of the contract and states the basic tendering conditions, such as the submission deadline.

In the European Union, standard contract notices over a certain value threshold are published in the OJEU, an accessible online platform which is free to use. Thousands of contracts are published on there every day from every country in the EU. To sift through them would take a huge amount of time and resource, which is why Supply2Gov’s tender alerts are here to help you maximise your productivity. More on that later.

2. Access the tender documents (call for tenders)

Once a contract notice has been published, organisations are invited to submit their tender bids to the public authority. To do this, organisations will need to obtain the full tender documents, including the detailed technical specifications. Thanks to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, especially Regulation 22, the vast majority of contracting authorities will use e-tendering tools or other online tools, so that all tender documentation is accessed and submitted online. You will need to make sure to read the tender documents thoroughly and understand exactly what the awarding authority requires before submitting. While you may see ways in which your business could add value, a bid which does not wholly meet the buyer’s actual requirements is very likely to fail.

It is important to note the difference in tone between contract notices and tender documents. Contract notices ideally should be written in a clear, honest and logical way so that they are easy to read. Tender documents, however, are heavy on legal conditions and reasons why tenders may be rejected. They are full of terminology and technicalities, but only because they need to be. Tendering conditions must be transparent in advance, so that firms cannot be rejected for reasons they didn’t know existed. The tender documents will also tell you about the selection and award criteria, which are the criteria against which your bid will be judged. Pay attention to these, and to any weightings, they include as they tell you what aspects of the contract the buyer considers most important.

What does contract value mean?

A contract value is the price of a public sector contract. Public sector contracts can range from several hundred pounds to multiple billions, depending on the size of the project and the public authority that issues the proposal. The contract value is not always publicised in the tender documentation, to avoid setting the wrong incentive for firms bidding. It is usually recommended to express the scope of the contract in terms of volume and not in terms of money, for example, ‘we will need 200 hospital beds every month over three years.’ Where the value is stated, contracting authorities are allowed to require bidding companies to have a turnover twice the value of the contract they are applying for. This is to prevent businesses becoming too dependent on one contract for their survival.

3. Submit questions and answers

Asking questions is vital throughout the tendering process. Organisations typically have an opportunity to ask questions to clarify the call for tenders. Some public authorities may choose to set strict deadlines for the questions to be submitted by, some do not. The answers that are given in response to questions are made available to all firms interested in the tender to avoid exclusivity – this reflects the principle of equal treatment of tenderers. Sometimes questions may clarify mistakes that were made in the tender documentation, so all potential tenderers should be made aware of them.

4. Visit the premises of the project

In instances where the tender is construction work or where machinery needs to be installed, a contracting authority may set a requirement that tenderers inspect the location where the work is needed before they submit their bid. This is to ensure that tenderers have a realistic idea of what is expected of them, giving the project complete transparency. If this requirement is mandatory rather than just recommended, firms that do not take part in this stage of the procurement process may not tender.

There are pros and cons to demanding premises visits, though. A visit to the premises can limit the competition for the tender, given that it will add costs for. This can be particularly costly if the organisation is based far away. This cost of travel will be added on to the final price, which is then paid by the public authority anyway, so it is arguably more limiting than productive.

5. Submit your bid before the deadline

This is an important part of the tendering process. Writing a response to a tender is a demanding process, combining a vast amount of research over a relatively short time period (again – depending on how big the project is.) Tenderers need to be sure that they have answered all the questions carefully, especially the mandatory ones, and that questions with a higher scoring are given more weight and detail in their response. Often, several people work on aspects of a bid. Suppliers should get someone else to read the complete document through before submission to make sure it is consistent and there are no silly mistakes or annoying typos.

The essential thing for a tenderer is that they submit their bid on time. No matter how good their bid is, if it arrives even a few minutes late, it will automatically be rejected.

Now that you are familiar with the tendering proccess, build your procurement knowledge further with Supply2Gov. We offer blogs rich with resources and tips throughout the procurement process to help you win business. Your organisation can register for free to receive daily tender alerts filtered by geographical location and your business interests. This means you don’t have to search through thousands of public sector tenders every day, taking up valuable time and resource. Instead, you’ll receive relevant contracts straight to your inbox, giving you contract information at the touch of a button.

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The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered his first ever budget to the House of Commons On 11 March 2020.

 Described as a budget that delivers on the Conservative party’s “promises to the British people” by Mr Sunak’s, this much anticipated, post-Brexit announcement, focussed on a number of areas.

 If you are unsure what the latest UK Budget means for SMEs, we explore the number of measures that have been put in place to directly support small businesses.

The power of businesses and supporting SMEs

Small businesses make up 98% of the UK’s business population.

Acknowledging this, Mr Sunak spoke passionately during the budget announcement about the importance of supporting SMEs and the impact that they have on Britains economy.

Before the budget was announced the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for a number of measures from the government, their main concerns being an immediate statutory sick pay rebate for small businesses struggling with the cost of self-isolating employees (due to the Coronavirus pandemic) as well as a number of tax changes, including a review of the business rates system.

Speaking to parliament and public he said that the Conservative party has a plan for prosperity that will “unleash the power of business.” The government plans to support small businesses that want to ”start up, grow and export.”

The main figures around SME investment are listed below.

Budget highlights

  • The Government has introduced a £3,000 cash grant available to 700,000 of the smallest businesses, paid by local authorities, which is worth a total of £2 billion.
  • Abolishing business rates altogether for this year for small firms in England whose rateable values are below £51,000, a tax cut worth a total of £1 billion.
  • Statutory sick pay for businesses with less than 250 employees (SMEs) will be refunded by the Government in full for up to 14 days per employee.
  • The launch of a new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme that will see banks offer loans of up to £1.2 million to support SMEs.

There were also a number of spending plans on broadband, roads, housing and rail announced during the Mr Sunak’s speech which, giving SME suppliers within construction and infrastructure a dose of prosperity as we move into the second quarter of the year.

Small business? Win big

On average the UK public sector spends around £284 billion on goods and services in the process we know as procurement. In recent years has encouraged small businesses to seek opportunities, as aims to spend £1 in every £3 with SMEs, directly or through the supply chain, by 2022.

At Supply2Gov we help new and existing suppliers find contracts that are right for their business, to help them grow in this lucrative market.

Sign up to Supply2Gov tender alerts, and start receiving tender opportunities straight to your inbox. You will gain access to one free geographical location of your choice to help get you started.

Register for free

This month Wales’ largest procurement event of the year returns to Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena for its fifth consecutive year, and Supply2Gov will be attending.

Officially supported by the Welsh Government and other leading procurement organisations, the event provides a fantastic opportunity to engage with SMEs and other suppliers across Wales that wish to grow in public sector procurement.

Get an insight into what topics will be shaping the agenda of the event, and how to engage with Supply2Gov on the day.

Promising changes to public sector procurement in Wales

Public sector procurement in Wales is set for an exciting future, and the changes ahead will be the centre of conversation topics at Procurex Wales.

The Welsh Government’s ‘Prosperity for All: Economic Action Plan’ shows a continued focus on delivering against the key areas of economic growth, equality, efficiency savings and collaboration, all with the purpose of creating a stronger, more inclusive Wales.

The National Assembly for Wales’ Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee recently consulted on public procurement in the current state of the economy and set out recommendations for changes for the Welsh Government to adopt in public procurement going forward.

These changes include:

  • Further encouragement and support are crucial for SMEs to get more involved in local procurement. Evidence suggests that small businesses need to receive more business support with the procurement process. To achieve this, the Welsh Government should focus on breaking contracts into small lots and pre-engagement activity, in order that SMEs can bid on lower-value contracts and build their relationships with other suppliers. More needs to be done to support not only SMEs, but public sector bodies who must build their knowledge and relationships with local suppliers.
  • A refinement of local procurement by the Welsh Government is needed – this includes identifying and measuring the impacts of local procurement on economies and providing further clarity on what the successes of local procurement are.
  • Spending public money on procurement that drives social value projects is not enough. More needs to be done to ensure suppliers are delivering on their social value promises and outcomes. One way this can be achieved is by monitoring the social value elements of a contract as the project progresses. The Committee has asked the Welsh Government to provide clarity on how it will be working with the Public Services Boards and the Skills and Capability Plan.

These new approaches show the platform for more effective, efficient and SME-friendly is there. There is also a commitment to build wealth within communities across Wales by encouraging local procurement and increasing the amount of local spend – by how much, we do not yet know.

Join in the conversation at Procurex Wales

Procurex Wales offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with all stakeholders involved in public sector procurement in Wales, including buyers, suppliers and the Welsh Government. Not only is it is the largest event of its kind, but Procurex Wales allows for informative, innovative and hugely important discussions to take place. These discussions will prove to be instrumental in paving the way for positive change in the sector.

Meet Supply2Gov on the day

The Supply2Gov team will be located at the ‘Market Support and Engagement Hub’ from 8:30 – 16:00. Come along and talk with us about how we can support you to win business in public sector procurement in Wales.

In addition to this, Supply2Gov will deliver a ‘Get Ready to Tender’ presentation at 11:50am. The talk will take you through a checklist of things you need to know and have in place before you submit your next bid, as well as what needs to be in your Selection Questionnaire responses. There will be a chance to ask any questions you may have on the presentation, including how Supply2Gov can help you.

Claim your tickets

Tickets to attend Procurex Wales are free for the public sector and £95 for the private sector. If you are an annual member of Supply2Gov, don’t forget that this gives you access to exclusive Procurex Wales tickets – claim here.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Book to attend Procurex Wales

The Scottish Government announced its budget for 2020/21 live from Holyrood yesterday. The budget, delivered by Minister for Public Finance Kate Forbes MSP, addressed government spending plans in response to the climate emergency and in areas such as public services, health and affordable housing.

The budget is significant in the timing of its delivery. The Scotland budget, usually announced after the UK budget, this year comes a full month earlier, meaning that MSPs have had to draw up estimated spending plans; in some cases these plans may change depending on later announcements from Westminster. All will be revealed when Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announces the UK budget on 11 March.

Supply2Gov outlines the key findings from the Scotland budget 2020/21 below, which will help to shape public sector procurement in Scotland over the coming years.

Scotland budget – key findings and statistics

Climate emergency and greener initiatives

  • A total of £461.8 million will be spent on the environment, climate change and land reform – an increase from £426.6 million.
  • Spending on environmental services will go up from £134.1 million to £157.1 million.
  • A new £120 million Heat Transition Deal and a total investment of £151 million in energy efficiency.
  • £1.8 billion of capital investment in specific products to reduce carbon emissions. This is an increase of £500 million compared with last year.
  • The Scottish Government has committed £250 million to peatland restoration over the next ten years, to be spent on large restoration projects which will enhance biodiversity in some of the most important habitats in Europe and generate more jobs in rural communities. This includes £20 million in 2020.

There are numerous other spending allocations to address the climate emergency, including investing more in sustainable methods of transport such as cycling, electric buses and electric cars.

Of these proposals to the environment, Kate Forbes MSP said:

“These measures alone represent a substantial plan of action for the year ahead, but we must, and we will, go further. The climate emergency demands immediate action, but it also requires genuine long-term commitment if we are to deliver against our statutory emissions reduction targets.”

Public services

A crucial area of the budget, the Scottish Government has stated investment in public and health services will increase to over £15 billion for the first time ever to protect and improve services. The primary announcements are:

  • Investment of £9.4 billion in health and social care partnerships.
  • £117 million investment in mental health services for all ages and stages of life.
  • A real-terms increase in resource funding for local government, with total overall support given through the settlement of £11.3 billion.
  • Delivering an increase of nearly 60% in targeted funding to reduce harm from alcohol and drugs.
  • £72 million investment for Police Scotland, which is above the increase the Scottish Government had promised, in order to effectively maintain officer numbers.
  • An increase in overall funding for rail and bus services of £286 million, bringing total investment in 2020/21 to £1.55 billion.

Finance, business and affordable housing

  • A Scottish National Investment Bank is intended to be operational in 2020, supported by the £150 million Building Scotland Fund and a further £220 million in direct investment in 2020/21.
  • Total spending on finance, economy and fair work will increase from £5,336.8 million to £6,271.6 million.
  • Infrastructure investment will grow to nearly £1 billion in the first year of the National Infrastructure Mission.
  • Affordable Housing Supply programme spending will increase to £843 million.
  • A commitment of more than £800 million to help the Scottish Government continue to progress towards the target of building 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.
  • Scottish income tax is expected to drive £12 billion of investment.
  • No Scottish taxpayer will pay more income tax than they did last year. According to the budget, 56% of Scottish taxpayers will pay less income tax than if they lived elsewhere in the UK.

If Scotland’s budget, put forward by the Scottish National Party (SNP), is approved, the changes will come into effect from 6 April 2020.

Find out more information on what the Scotland budget 2020/21 means for your business on the Scottish Government website.

Where does Supply2Gov come into it?

Each year, the UK public sector spends around £284 billion on goods and services in the process we know as procurement. At Supply2Gov we help new and existing suppliers find contracts that are right for their business, to help them grow in this lucrative market.

Sign up to Supply2Gov tender alerts, and start receiving tender opportunities straight to your inbox. You will gain access to one free geographical location of your choice to help get you started.

Register for free

The NHS stands at the dawn of a new decade, facing great challenges ahead. A rising population, the integration of advanced technology and machinery into healthcare, support for medical research and the drive to secure improvements in patient care will continue to be key areas affecting performance. Crucial to meeting these challenges will be any extra funding that is allocated to the NHS in Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid’s budget announcement in March 2020.

It is important that new suppliers to the NHS are aware of all these factors. If you want to find and win NHS tenders in 2020, Supply2Gov can help.

NHS procurement – what you need to know

The NHS operates through different models in the UK under NHS England, NHS Scotland, NHS Wales and NHS Northern Ireland. Currently, the NHS:

  • Accounts for around 80% of all healthcare spending in the UK
  • Is free to use for people who have lived in the UK for at least six months
  • Is the fifth largest employer in the world, with over 1.5 million employees
  • Deals with over one million patients every 36 hours
  • Is supported by UK health expenditure

Every year, the NHS spends about £27 billion on procuring goods, works and services. That statistic indicates the sheer size of the NHS and the volume of public sector healthcare tenders available. The NHS is constantly looking for new suppliers which can help solve the many complex problems the organisation faces. The health service is therefore an attractive buyer for businesses of all shapes, sizes and specialisms.

Benefits of working with the NHS

There are numerous reasons why supplying to the NHS should appeal to private sector businesses. Winning NHS contracts comes with a great number of benefits, including:

  • Gain credibility and get the references your business needs to win wider work
  • High quantity and quality business opportunities
  • The Government’s ‘Prompt Payment’ policy means that 80% of all invoices submitted by suppliers to the public sector are paid within five days, with the rest being paid within 30 days
  • Opportunity to forge innovative and collaborative strategies in procurement, to solve the complex challenges the NHS faces

The NHS is an amazingly versatile buyer to work with. The organisation’s demand for services and solutions of all kinds is constant, which is great news for suppliers looking to work with a reputable UK authority whose requirements span all industry sectors.

Win NHS tenders in 2020

How can Supply2Gov help? 

Supply2Gov’s portal is powered by the UK’s largest database of health sector tenders. If your micro or small business wants to grow its client base and work with the NHS, find more opportunities with Supply2Gov.

We can help you get started by sending you NHS tenders straight to your inbox, for free. We offer all new users access to a local area of their choice.

Never miss an NHS tender opportunity again.

Get started for free

Training services are a major area of investment for the Government. The Conservative government elected at the General Election in December 2019 will announce its spending plans in the Budget in March 2020. Training and education are expected to be a key area of focus. With more investment and allocated budget in this area, there will be more UK training tenders opportunities for businesses that offer training and education services.

This is encouraging news for organisations looking to grow their business in this market in the years ahead. With thousands of UK training tenders being published every month, now is the time to explore your opportunities in training tenders.

What are training tenders?

Training tenders are an extremely lucrative market. In 2019, 4.2% of total UK GDP was spent on education. According to the 2019 annual report undertaken by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on education spending in England, education formed the second-largest element of public service spending in the UK, behind only the health sector. The sheer size of the market should give businesses looking to work in this sector a real indication of the wealth of opportunities on offer, in the following areas:

  • Primary and secondary education
  • Medical and safety education
  • Health and first aid training
  • Educational software
  • E-learning services and solutions
  • Vocational training and education
  • Training and simulation for defence
  • Training aids and equipment

Training opportunities for SMEs

In the high-paced technological environment of today, the Government wants to ensure that the UK is fully up to speed with the latest technology and is continually advancing its modern processes. For this reason, it is keen to enlist the help of SMEs with specialist knowledge through training tenders.

The latest investment in education and training

The most up to date news on investment in education and training comes from the Conservative manifesto, published in the lead-up to the General Election in 2019. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced an extra £14 billion in funding for schools, which translates to roughly £150 million more a week. £4.3 billion of this will be allocated to England for 2022-23, and the rest distributed across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Other key statistics worth noting include:

  • The Government has allocated an extra £300 million for further education colleges and sixth forms for 2020-21. This will lead to increases in real terms per pupil of over 4% than recent years.
  • Spending on adult education and training is increasingly focused on apprenticeships. Since the early 2000s, government spend on adult education and apprenticeships has dramatically increased by around 54% equating to billions of pounds more each year. In the Conservative manifesto, it stated that the Government’s investments in this area has generated more than 3.8 million more apprenticeships and technical qualifications since 2010.
  • The Conservative manifesto also included information about the launch of a new National Skills Fund worth £3 billion, which will provide matching funding for individuals and SMEs for high-quality education and training. This fund will be developed in the course of the current Parliament, with more information due to be included in the Budget in March.
  • School spending per pupil is highest in Scotland and lowest in Northern Ireland. Total school spending per pupil was about £6,600 in Scotland in 2018-19, which is £600 higher than spending per pupil in England (£6,000), with spending per pupil in Wales £200 lower at £5,800. Spending is lowest in Northern Ireland, at £5,500 per pupil. Figures like these indicate the comparative nature of opportunities based on regions of the UK.

*All these statistics are accurate at the time of publication.

Training tender alerts

Find live opportunities that are relevant to your industry sector and start receiving training tender alerts today for free.

You can choose the area or region that your business wants to work in and update your Supplier Profile to match your precise business requirements.

Sign up today and gain instant access to UK training tender opportunities.

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Every year, the UK government spends around £284 billion acquiring goods, works and services from suppliers. The public sector procurement market is an attractive market to supply in, because not only is work constantly required, but the government has specific initiatives in place to support SMEs to win business. If you want to win government tenders, Supply2Gov can help.

If you haven’t done so already, read our blog on ‘5 reasons you should bid for UK government tenders’ to give you a wider context on government tenders, then come back here for top tips to help you structure your bid and get ready to tender.

Introduce your organisation and what you do

It has never been easier to become a government supplier, and we are not just saying that. The government is continually striving to make the application process quicker and easier so that public sector procurement is more accessible and fairer for everyone. Your chances of winning government tenders are slim if government buyers do not know who you are. Introduce your organisation and your goods, works or services to potential government buyers as early as you can. Then, conduct market research in your field to understand what your competitors are doing and pinpoint what sets you apart from them. Your first point of call when starting your research should be signing up to Supply2Gov’s tender alerts and filtering government tender opportunities based on the geographical location you want to supply in.

Offer innovative solutions to buyers’ problems

The main difference between SMEs and larger organisations is their size. Therefore, smaller organisations should play to the strengths their size gives them – the ability to be innovative, sustainable and offer intelligent solutions to complex problems government suppliers have. The government is always looking for buyers that can add more than just cost-effective procurement. Give evidence showing how your organisation has used technology to reduce waste. Show how you have helped wider communities by giving apprenticeship or training opportunities to young people. Do all of this for the most cost-effective price and your organisation will have a great chance of winning the contract.

Look for sub-contracting opportunities

Many SMEs win government work through another larger contractor via the supply chain. A large organisation may win the contract, but that does not mean they will deliver all aspects of it. SMEs can contact the main supplier to find out whether there are sub-contracting opportunities available. This is seen as a valuable way for smaller businesses to establish relationships, win public sector business and build credentials.

Start low, aim high

The quickest way to build a government customer base is to aim for government tender opportunities that are below £100,000. For these low value contracts, the government has removed the requirement for Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs). This simplifies the application process, which works in SMEs’ favour. Use smaller contracts to build up your experience working for government and set yourself in a good position for winning bigger contracts in the future.

Ask for feedback

Any tenderer, whether successful or unsuccessful is entitled to ask for feedback, which can be very helpful for bidders looking to learn what they could do better in future. The Crown Commercial Service encourages unsuccessful applicants to ask for feedback. This is to ensure potential suppliers, especially SMEs, get the information they need to improve their bid responses and have a better chance of winning business next time. Ask the government buyer to outline your strengths and weaknesses and use this to improve your next pitch. Remember, even if you win the bid, it is still good practice to seek feedback – there is always room for improvement.

How Supply2Gov can help you win government tenders

Supply2Gov helps SMEs and first-time tenderers win business in public sector procurement. With a free tender alert service for one geographical location, plus the option to upgrade to a wider range of tender alerts for just £25, Supply2Gov is an absolute essential service to win government tenders in the near future. Why not see how we can help you?

Sign up for government tenders

The UK government spends billions of pounds every year buying goods, works and services from external suppliers in the process we know as procurement. Procurement in the public sector is a great way to grow your business and raise your profile in the supply chain. Supply2Gov supports businesses of all sizes to win public sector contracts, including government tenders in the UK.

Here’s five reasons why your organisation should strongly consider bidding for government tenders. When your organisation is ready to tender, read our top tips for winning government tenders.

1. Government constantly requires a vast array of business services and solutions

Whether you’re selling consulting services, food and drink supplies, garden landscaping or PR support, the UK government is sure to require and buy what your business offers. In fact, it is highly likely that government will buy what your business has to offer on more than one occasion. There are billions of pounds worth of contracts up for grabs every year, all to be spent with businesses like yours.

2. The UK government has set ambitious targets to help SMEs grow

Central government has set itself a target of spending £1 in every £3 on SMEs in its procurement activities by 2022. This initiative was introduced in 2015 to help boost the economy and represents a huge opportunity for small businesses looking to grow.

3. The public sector procurement process is simpler and quicker than ever

Government has been making a sustained effort to support SMEs to win more business. New legislation introduced in the last five years has included the requirement that all organisations in the supply chain must comply with government 30-day payment terms, including suppliers and sub-contractors. Most central government departments are meeting this target, with 80% of suppliers in most cases being paid within five days. Pre-selection questionnaires have also been abolished for low-value contracts, saving SMEs valuable time and resource when bidding. These examples show the procurement process is becoming more friendly to smaller businesses; it is important that SMEs are making the most of this opportunity.

4. There are ‘meet the buyer’ events across the UK to encourage early market engagement

Events like these provide SMEs with the opportunity to talk to government departments about their upcoming plans and projects. They are also an opportunity for government buyers to learn about your services and products, and how you can offer something different from other suppliers. Meeting directly with important decision makers is one of the most effective ways to win in the government tendering market, so make sure you note these events in your diary. Departments will advertise these events on their respective pages on

5. Government framework agreements can help you become a preferred contractor

You can compete to join a government ‘framework agreement’ specific to the goods and services you offer, such as IT solutions, health services or vehicle parts. If successful, your business will become a preferred government contractor. (Although there will be further competition for contracts, they will only be open to businesses on the framework.) Plus, it means your business will be viewed as trustworthy and reliable when you bid for government tenders in the future. You can find more information about government framework agreements at

Start winning government tenders

Is your business ready to start bidding for government tenders? Your next step is to sign up for Supply2Gov’s tender alerts in government contracts. From there, we’ll make sure you have all the tender documentation you need in order to start bidding.

Sign up for UK government tenders



Since the UK voted to leave the European Union in the Brexit referendum in 2016, it has been a turbulent time in and for the UK Government. The political division that arose as a result of the referendum has meant that public and private sectors across the UK have slowed down, sped up, or in some cases, suffered no real impact at all. This may be about to change.

With the Conservative Party winning a large majority at the December 2019 General Election, the elected UK Government is set to be more stable than it has been in recent years, and the UK now seems set to depart the EU on 31 January.

This is set to have a huge impact on how sectors across the UK perform in 2020. The start of 2020 has already seen the announcement that the first Budget since the General Election will take place on 11 March. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, indicated that environmental issues and infrastructure would be two areas of priority in the upcoming government budget.

We take a closer look at what sectors are tipped for success and how businesses looking to climb the procurement ladder this year can get involved with Supply2Gov’s help.


The NHS is expected to be a huge talking point when the Government announces its Budget in March. Public funding is expected to increase in areas including social care, recruitment (up to 50,000 more nurses), public health and investment in artificial intelligence technology to detect emerging diseases in patients.

Throughout the Conservative party’s election campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated many times that the NHS would receive a £34 billion funding increase. If this were to happen, this would ease current NHS pressures and transform the opportunity for businesses looking to work in the healthcare sector. The manifesto also stated the promise of building 40 new hospitals over the next ten years – another potential opportunity for the construction sector as well as all those involved in equipping them.

The Spending Round in 2019 stated that adult social care alone would receive an additional £1 billion which would be available for local councils in 2020/21. This is an increase of 3.4 per cent in real terms and will help adult social care services to meet the rising demand.

Whilst these figures may be expected to change in the Budget in March, this is an exciting time to find work in the healthcare sector. Find out more about finding healthcare tenders that are right for your business.

Construction and Infrastructure

Infrastructure is a key area of growth going into 2020. Sajid Javid said that there will be an infrastructure revolution under way after the Budget announcement in March.

This may not be surprising, given the Conservative Manifesto in the December 2019 General Election allowed room for £100 billion additional funding for new infrastructure projects, including £2 billion for fixing potholes and £2.2 billion for a public sector carbon reduction scheme. This is great news for businesses wanting to tap into construction tenders or supply chain opportunities provided through over £100 billion of investment. Key areas expected to benefit are the North of England and the Midlands, with the development of high-speed rail projects like the Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Defence and security

The UK Ministry of Defence fared pretty well in the Spending Round of 2019. An additional £2.2 billion was given to the budget, with £1.9 billion of that for 2020-21. These funds will go towards pension contributions, continued development of a nuclear-powered submarine and ship-building plans. Cyber security is also an integral part of the future of defence, with the advancement of AI protecting against new cyber threats.

As ever, NATO remains a huge factor in the UK’s defence and security plans. In 2017, the UK was the second highest spender in NATO, spending 2.1% of global GDP per year. Under the Conservative government, the UK is set to continue to exceed the NATO target of 2%.

The opportunities for business across defence are massive and diverse, and small businesses across the UK are vital to the defence supply chain. Find out more about defence and security tenders.

The Budget is on its way

The full details of government spending will be announced in the Budget on 11 March 2020. Therefore, the information in this blog may be subject to change. Supply2Gov will keep you updated on its progress.

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