The public sector is a lucrative market. There is a lot to know and a lot to consider when trying to win public sector contracts, no matter what industry they lie in. Whether you are looking to work in healthcare, construction or defence, to name a few, there are contracts published every day in the OJEU which are there for the taking if you have the knowledge to win them.
Supply2Gov’s parent company, BiP Solutions, has over 35 years of experience helping organisations, both large and small, find their feet in public sector procurement. In this blog we will go over the process for OJEU tenders and the key definitions you are likely to come across in the tendering process.
First things first – what is the OJEU?
The OJEU stands for the Official Journal of the European Union. Simply put, it is an online journal that hosts all contract opportunities over a certain value published by a public sector organisation. Public sector contracts must be published here in accordance with EU legislation, which has become part of UK law through the Public Contracts Regulations (2015) and the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations (2015).
The OJEU can be viewed on several websites, including our sister product Tracker Intelligence, which collates all public sector contracts into one searchable database.
Let’s talk about thresholds
When we mentioned contracts over a certain value earlier, we are talking about contract thresholds. There are different thresholds in place depending on the type of contract being awarded, and the sector the contract is being advertised for. Trust us – it’s not as complex as it sounds.
You may have heard people differentiate public sector contracts into two categories.
This is where contracts are less than the threshold for publishing in the OJEU. These contracts may also be termed ‘non-OJEU’ or ‘low value’. To give you an idea of value in money, it is currently just over £106,000 (or 144,000 Euros) for most supplies and service contracts from the central government.
Contracts advertising higher-value procurements worth more than the OJEU threshold requirement. These contracts will be published in the OJEU and will follow an EU bidding process (or tendering procedure), depending on the type of contract that is being awarded.
What is a tendering procedure?
A Tendering procedure is the process organisations must go through to bid for and win a OJEU tender (all being well). The tendering procedure will appear in the contract notice, a document which explains all the important details of the contract.
In OJEU tendering, there are five commonly used tendering procedures.
The types of tendering procedures explained
Open procedure: The most frequently used tendering procedure, in an Open procedure anyone may submit a full tender. Pretty straightforward, it is the only procedure with a one-stage process, where organisations need to complete the selection questionnaire and the tender at the same time.
Restricted procedure: A two-stage tendering procedure, with the first stage being the Selection Stage or Selection Questionnaire. Any organisation can ask to participate by completing the SQ, and after the SQs are evaluated, only those selected by the buyer and invited to tender can actually go on to submit tenders.
Competitive dialogue: Like the restricted procedure, this is also a two-stage tendering procedure that can used by any contracting authority. After the SQ stage evaluation, there is a stage called ‘Invitation to Participate in Dialogue’, where buyers will discuss with those successful at the SQ stage. Once the dialogue has been exhausted and can go no further, buyers will come to a decision and award the contract.
Competitive procedure with negotiation: A procedure used for procurement in circumstances where a specification cannot be easily produced, or when negotiation with bidders is needed. Before an award decision is made, negotiation takes place with the selected tenderers.
Innovation partnership: A new tendering procedure for procurement designed to encourage innovation, Innovation Partnership mirrors the competitive procedure with negotiation. It allows the buyer to undertake research and development. Then, the buyer may contract with a single partner or several partners to complete the tender.
Find out more about how OJEU tenders work with Supply2Gov. Find more tender opportunities your organisation wants to win with daily tender alerts suited to your business interests.