IT Procurement and Cyber Essentials

cyber essentials

Cyber Essentials certification will help your organisation to guard against 80% of common cyber threats and is a cost-effective way of ensuring a standard level of cyber security assurance is in place. The certification is also the perfect way for an organisation to demonstrate their commitment to cyber security.

When embarking on IT procurement, anything that can help you stand out from the crowd may well be beneficial. Displaying a strong understanding of cyber security whilst simultaneously showing that your organisation has taken steps to implement a cyber security plan is likely to look good when dealing in IT procurement. Cyber Essentials certification allows you to show that your organisation is prepared in the event of cyber attack and secure against the threats out there.

 

WannaCry

As last May’s WannaCry ransomware attack showed, outdated IT systems are vulnerable to cyber attacks. The NHS was effectively crippled and the finger has been pointed towards the outdated systems and software that the NHS uses. Of course more systems were infected than just the NHS –  whilst the National Health Service dominated the headlines, WannaCry spread to an estimated 200,000+ computers across 150 countries.

Still, an independent investigation conducted by the National Audit Office found that WannaCry would not have had such a devastating impact on the NHS had it had basic IT security measures in place, while an estimated 5% of NHS systems were still using the Windows XP system, practically a dinosaur in the realms of cyber security.

 

The cost of cyber security

According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 46%  of businesses detected breaches in the 12 months leading up to the survey with the average cost of each attack being £1,570.

However, for the average large firm, the price is actually much higher at £19,600, though the average medium firm (£3,070) and micro and small firm (£1,380) also incur sizeable costs. These are high prices to pay for basic failings in cyber security.

 

Cyber Essentials

Through Tracker Intelligence you can become Cyber Essentials certified from just £300 ex VAT. If you would like to learn more about the certification, you can start by downloading our free Cyber Essentials scheme summary.

Alternatively, you can start your journey to becoming certified by following this link.

Finance Wales Fund and Construction Contracts

construction contracts

Earlier in 2017 an extra £30 million was made available to small and medium-sized construction companies.

The loan fund is run by Finance Wales and helps such companies to get projects started that they may traditionally have struggled to finance.

At the time the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant, stated:

“We have a challenging target of delivering 20,000 affordable homes over this term of government. In working to meet our target, I want as many homes as possible to be delivered by SMEs, creating new capacity in this sector. I want to see people thinking innovatively about how we can do things differently to address the challenges we all face.”

Following this, we look at some of the different types of construction contracts available to organisations that are looking to make the most of this cash injection but might not be totally sure about the types of contracts available to them.

 

Lump Sum Construction Contracts

For this type of contract, it is agreed that contractors are to be paid a lump sum on completion of their work. This means that whatever the end cost of a project, the contractor will receive the same amount of money, meaning that it could work out very profitably. However, there is risk attached if the contractor goes over budget.

Lump Sum and Scheduled Construction Contracts

The difference between this and a Lump Sum Contract is that this type of contract requires a specific cost breakdown.

Cost Plus Contract

For this type of construction contract, the contractor is paid an amount over and above the documented cost of the work that is done, covering their overheads and making a profit in the process.

Cost plus Percentage of Cost Contract

This requires a detailed account of expenses as the contractor is paid the documented cost plus a percentage on top of that.

More about the fund can be read here

Find, bid for and win contracts with Tracker

Tracker makes it easy for you to identify construction opportunities large and small, whilst providing access to meaningful market and industry news and the vital insight you need to keep your business one step ahead of the competition.

Using Tracker, you can easily access opportunity documents, upload and work on winning responses, track progress and collaborate with anyone, anywhere, at any time – all at the click of a button.

Tracker is the only end-to-end business development solution with the unique intelligence you need to find, bid for and win more construction contracts – try the Tracker Premier package and see the results for yourself with a free trial.

Autumn Budget 2017: Need to know

Autumn Budget 2017

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has presented the Autumn Budget 2017 to parliament.

While the abolition of Stamp Duty for first-time home buyers up to £300,000 and the increase of the living wage may grab the headlines we’ve noted some of the other takeaways from the Budget that may affect organisations like yours.

 

Transport

£1.7 billion is to go towards improving transport in English cities. £337 million will go towards paying for new trains on the Tyne and Wear Metro, £6 million will go towards Midlands Connect motorway and rail projects, and transport links along the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor will be improved as well.

The Chancellor stated that the UK will set out rules so that self-driving cars can be tested without a safety operator. £100 million will go to help people buy electric cars with new homes built with the right cables for electric car charge points.

 

Housing

The Chancellor announced a construction target of 300,000 new homes a year, a figure not achieved in nearly 50 years. Another £15.3 billion has been promised to help support house building in the next five years, bringing the total to at least £44 billion.

The Government will look to buy land to build more homes and support the building of housing as well as the creation of five new ‘garden’ towns. £28 million will be spent in three new housing pilot schemes in Liverpool, Manchester and the West Midlands with the aim to halve rough sleeping by 2002 and eliminate it totally by 2027.

A further £34 million is to go towards training new construction workers and teaching construction skills like bricklaying and plastering.

 

Healthcare

£6.3 billion of new funding has been promised to the NHS. This will be split between £3.5 billion invested in upgrading NHS buildings and improving care and £2.8 billion going towards improving A&E performance, looking to reduce waiting times and treat more people this winter.

 

Brexit

The Chancellor has made an extra £3 billion available to prepare the Government for day one of exit from the EU with the intention of preparing the border, the immigration system and new trade relationships.

£700 million had previously been set aside so this substantial increase is perhaps a sign that the Government is looking to be ready in the event of leaving the EU with no deal in place – a ‘hard Brexit’.

 

How Tracker can help

Tracker makes it easy for you to identify public and private sector opportunities and access meaningful market and industry news, while providing you with the vital competitor insight you need to keep your business one step ahead during uncertain times.

Using Tracker you can easily access opportunity documents, upload and work on winning responses, track progress and collaborate with anyone, anywhere, at any time – all at the click of a button.

Tracker is the only end-to-end business development solution with the unique intelligence you need to find, bid for and win more business – try the Tracker Premier package and see the results for yourself with a free trial.

Autumn Budget 2017 Predictions

Autumn Budget 2017

It doesn’t feel all that long since the Spring Budget in March this year but the Chancellor Philip Hammond is set to announce his Autumn Budget on Wednesday 22 November 2017. In this article, we look at some of the predictions that are being made and what they could mean for your organisation.

This Budget is sure to prove challenging. The political and economic landscape in the UK is uncertain and the Conservatives lost their majority in Parliament as a result of the disastrous snap election in June. The Chancellor may also find himself under pressure to build a budget surplus that the UK can use once it leaves the European Union.

 

NHS

The BBC has reported that the Chancellor will be targeting housing and health in the Autumn Budget, although the Chancellor glibly dismissed calls from the head of the NHS for an emergency cash injection of £4bn, stating that people running public services always predict “Armageddon” in the run-up to a Budget. The underfunding of the NHS has been an ongoing story for many months now and was a big factor in the Leave campaign’s advertising in the run up to the EU Referendum so this dismissal may be controversial. Hammond has, however, hinted that the NHS could get more money to end the public sector pay freeze and many expect to see the NHS receive an injection of money.

 

Housing

Promisingly, the Chancellor looks set to pledge the building of 300,000 new homes a year. This would be nearly 40% more than the number built in 2016 and would provide a boost to the construction sector as well as making a start on tackling the housing crisis in London and the South East.

 

Corporation Tax

In the 2016 Budget the Government stated it would reduce Corporation Tax – which currently sits at 20% – to 17% by 2020. However, taking action towards meeting this commitment is complicated. With less than 18 months remaining until the UK exits the EU, Britain needs to show big business that it is ‘open for business’ on a global scale – an argument for pressing ahead with a corporation tax cut. However, the release of the Paradise Papers has been seen as another example of big business and the rich not paying their way. Politically it appears that whatever the Chancellor chooses to do he will incur the wrath of someone.

 

Self-Employed VAT

The Chancellor is expected use the Autumn Budget to lower the threshold at which businesses must pay VAT. This currently sits at £85,000 but the average VAT threshold across the EU is £20,000 and the Chancellor is expected to bring it more in line with this number. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has already expressed alarm, warning that the more freelancers and small companies are affected by this change, the more it will affect the UK’s output. The Association of the Professionals and Self-Employed simply described the possibility as “disastrous” for the nearly 5 million self-employed people in the UK.

 

Technology

The Chancellor is expected to promise millions to help boost Britain’s position as a world leader in world technology. Projects expected to receive a funding boost include electric car charge points, 5G technology and AI. In addition, it is likely that there will be moves to allow driverless cars, made by companies such as Tesla, on the roads in around four years’ time.

 

How Tracker can help

Something that can be taken away from the Autumn Budget news is that opportunities for business are still out there; however, they may be more limited than they have been in the past. Tracker makes it easy for you to identify public and private sector opportunities large and small as well as providing access to meaningful market and industry news, all while providing you with the vital insight you need to keep your business one step ahead of the competition.

Using Tracker you can easily access opportunity documents, upload and work on winning responses, track progress and collaborate with anyone, anywhere, at any time – all at the click of a button.

Tracker is the only end-to-end business development solution with the unique intelligence you need to find, bid for and win more business – try the Tracker Premier package and see the results for yourself with a free trial.

Small businesses benefit from more than £12 billion of government spending

government spending

Between 2015 and 2016 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) benefited from £12.2 billion of government spending.

Government spending directly with SMEs stands at £5.6 billion with the proportion of total government spending going to SMEs standing at around one pound out of every four spent. The Government hopes to be spending one pound out of every three with these types of businesses by 2022.

The Government’s commitment to small and medium-sized businesses was underlined by the Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency, who stated:

“SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy, fuelling economic growth and providing more than 15 million jobs. These businesses also play a vital role in helping government to deliver efficient, effective public services that meet the needs of our citizens and provide value for money for taxpayers.”

Caroline Nokes, Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency

It’s also well worth noting that government spending with SMEs is around £5 billion more than it was between 2011 and 2012, when around one pound in six was spent with SMEs, showing that the Government’s strategy has been not just words but actions – and that those actions have had an effect.

You can read more about this story and the Government’s commitment to spend more with small and medium-sized businesses in the article below.

 

Small firms benefitted from over £12 billion of government spending – GOV.UK

Government spent £12.2 billion with small and medium sized businesses in 2015 to 2016.

How Tracker can help

Tracker makes it easy for you to identify public sector opportunities and access meaningful market and industry news, while providing you with the vital competitor insight you need to keep your business one step ahead.

Using Tracker you can easily access opportunity documents, upload and work on winning responses, track progress and collaborate with anyone, anywhere, at any time – all at the click of a button.

Tracker is the only end-to-end business development solution with the unique intelligence you need to find, bid for and win more business – try the Tracker Premier package and see the results for yourself with a free trial.

government spending

Details emerge of billion-pound HS2 urban quarter project

HS2

Featured Market Lead alert from Tracker Intelligence

Details of the vision to create an urban quarter around the new HS2 Interchange Station in Solihull have been unveiled, with the potential for £1.6bn of infrastructure investment to be delivered over the next ten years.

The Urban Growth Company (UGC) has published its Framework Plan outlining the primary and secondary infrastructure requirements and timings to deliver sustained and coordinated growth across The Hub area including Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre, Jaguar Land Rover and Birmingham Business Park.

The Framework Plan builds on the initial detail in the Hub Growth and Infrastructure Plan first published in March 2017, which has since been updated to include the latest development plans from the NEC, Birmingham Airport and Jaguar Land Rover.

The plan also looks at market demand for a range of suitable developments to be delivered over the next 15 years, and provides evidence to inform and support Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s Local Plan Review.

 

Keeping you one step ahead of the competition

Market Leads from Tracker is an amazing tool that gives you instant visibility of potential private sector leads, public sector framework opportunities and pipeline contracts long before they’ve even been tendered.

Large-scale deals like this are supported by many suppliers and having early insight about upcoming tender opportunities is what keeps you ahead of your competition. Once a contract has been awarded, there are potentially many further opportunities to win work as a sub-contractor. With Tracker you can grow your network and make direct contact with the right people.

 

Latest plans for £1.6bn development around HS2 station in Solihull – Government Opportunities

Government Opportunities (GO) is the essential intelligence hub for all involved in buying for and supplying to the public sector. It delivers the latest news, reports, insight and cutting-edge analysis on the current and emerging issues affecting public sector procurement, finance and service delivery in the UK and further afield.

More about Market Insight from Tracker

Knowledge is power. By combining Market Intelligence with Market Leads, Tracker customers are able to keep up to date with developments across the public and private sectors. You will be the first to hear about everything from acquisitions and mergers to new government initiatives, spending plans and legislation changes that could impact upon your business.

 

Free Tender Search

Searching for tenders has never been easier. As Europe’s largest publisher of tender and award notices, every day Tracker publishes thousands of public and private sector awards and notices. Run a free tender search.

 

Coverage

Tracker delivers an abundance of opportunities to grow your business, with an average of 50,000 tenders and awards published each month from around the world (including over 2500 low-value tenders not included in the OJEU).

£9m Government funding for two A120 pinch-point schemes

Government funding

Featured Market Lead alert from Tracker Intelligence

The Government is to contribute nearly £9m towards the cost of two schemes on the A120 in Essex.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is to fund improvements to the junction of the A120 and M11 near Stansted Airport, and to a junction on the A120 at Braintree.

It is hoped the schemes will help traffic heading to and from Stansted Airport from the east and the west and ease two serious bottlenecks.

 

Keeping you one step ahead of the competition

Market Leads from Tracker is an amazing tool that gives you instant visibility of potential private sector leads, public sector framework opportunities and pipeline contracts long before they’ve even been tendered.

Large-scale deals like this are supported by many suppliers and having early insight about upcoming tender opportunities is what keeps you ahead of your competition. Once a contract has been awarded, there are potentially many further opportunities to win work as a sub-contractor. With Tracker you can grow your network and make direct contact with the right people.

 

Pinch-point

£4.09m has been promised by the DfT towards a £10m project to upgrade Junction 8 on the M11.

It has been identified as a pinch-point for commuters and holidaymakers using the M11, A120 and nearby Stansted Airport.

The scheme is being part-funded by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and the Greater Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LEP as well as Stansted Airport.

£4.95m has also been pledged towards new slip roads linking the A120 to Millennium Way giving much-needed relief to the pinch-point at Galleys Corner, which sees long queues at rush hour.

The scheme will provide better access to Freeport Shopping Village, and take pressure off through-traffic travelling along the A120 on towards east Essex.

Given the scheme’s importance to accommodating growth it is being part-funded by Braintree District Council, Highways England and Essex County Council.

 

£9m Government funding for two A120 pinch-point schemes – Government Opportunities

Government Opportunities (GO) is the essential intelligence hub for all involved in buying for and supplying to the public sector. It delivers the latest news, reports, insight and cutting-edge analysis on the current and emerging issues affecting public sector procurement, finance and service delivery in the UK and further afield.

 

More about Market Insight from Tracker

Knowledge is power. By combining Market Intelligence with Market Leads, Tracker customers are able to keep up to date with developments across the public and private sectors. You will be the first to hear about everything from acquisitions and mergers to new government initiatives, spending plans and legislation changes that could impact upon your business.

 

Free Tender Search

Searching for tenders has never been easier. As Europe’s largest publisher of tender and award notices, every day Tracker publishes thousands of public and private sector awards and notices. Run a free tender search.

 

Coverage

Tracker delivers an abundance of opportunities to grow your business, with an average of 50,000 tenders and awards published each month from around the world (including over 2500 low-value tenders not included in the OJEU).

New York-inspired High Line path planned as new Forth & Clyde Canal link

Forth & Clyde Canal link

Featured Market Lead alert from Tracker Intelligence

A new linear park inspired by New York City’s High Line could be set for the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal following the restoration of an iconic 120-year-old swing bridge at Bowling Harbour in West Dunbartonshire, per Scottish Canals.

 

Keeping you one step ahead of the competition

Market Leads from Tracker is an amazing tool that gives you instant visibility of potential private sector leads, public sector framework opportunities and pipeline contracts long before they’ve even been tendered.

Large-scale deals like this are supported by many suppliers and having early insight about upcoming tender opportunities is what keeps you ahead of your competition. Once a contract has been awarded, there are potentially many further opportunities to win work as a sub-contractor. With Tracker you can grow your network and make direct contact with the right people.

 

£3.2 million transformation

Thanks to funding support from Sustrans and Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Canals has undertaken vital repairs to the structure’s badly corroded metalwork and repainted the entire span.

The latest stage of a £3.2 million transformation of the area, the completion of the bridge, together with the recent refurbishment of the bridge’s railway arches into commercial units, has ensured the structure will continue to play an important role in the area for years to come.

The transformational work at Bowling Harbour, undertaken in partnership with the local community, has brought new businesses, activity, vibrancy and economic benefits to the canal and celebrated Bowling’s important role in Scotland’s industrial past.

 

More about Market Insight from Tracker

Knowledge is power. By combining Market Intelligence with Market Leads, Tracker customers are able to keep up to date with developments across both the public and private sector. You will be the first to hear about everything from acquisitions and mergers to new government initiatives, spending plans and legislation changes that could impact upon your business.

 

Free Tender Search

Searching for tenders has never been easier. As Europe’s largest publisher of tender and award notices, every day Tracker publishes thousands of public and private sector opportunities and awards. Run a free tender search.

 

Coverage

Tracker delivers an abundance of opportunities to grow your business, with an average of 50,000 tenders and awards published each month from around the world (including over 2500 low-value tenders not included in the OJEU).

Latest phase of £130m Barnsley development underway

£130m Barnsley development

Featured Market Lead alert from Tracker Intelligence

Planning permission has been granted for the next phase of the £130m Barnsley development scheme known as Glass Works in Barnsley town centre.

The 9.4-acre, £130m development scheme funded by Barnsley Council is set to transform the heart of the town centre.

 

Keeping you one step ahead of the competition

Market Leads from Tracker is an amazing tool that gives you instant visibility of potential private sector leads, public sector framework opportunities and pipeline contracts long before they’ve even been tendered.

Large-scale deals like this are supported by many suppliers and having early insight about upcoming tender opportunities is what keeps you ahead of your competition. Once a contract has been awarded, there are potentially many further opportunities to win work as a sub-contractor.  With Tracker you can grow your network and make direct contact with the right people.

 

Construction

Construction has already started on the initial phase of the scheme, which includes a new Library @ the Lightbox and a contemporary transformation of the Metropolitan Centre, which will provide a brand-new home for the town’s famous markets. Both are scheduled to open next year.

The second stage of the development will begin in autumn 2018 and develop 25 new retail units and ten family-friendly restaurants, framing a new public square and shopping route.

This phase will also see the delivery of The Glass Works’ two key leisure anchors, a 13-screen Cineworld and Superbowl UK; both signed 20-year leases earlier this year.

Barnsley Council and development manager Queensberry are working towards a completion date of 2020 for the entire scheme.

You can read more about these plans by following the link below:

 

Next phase of ‘The Glass Works’ development given the pink light – Government Opportunities

Government Opportunities (GO) is the essential intelligence hub for all involved in buying for and supplying to the public sector. It delivers the latest news, reports, insight and cutting-edge analysis on the current and emerging issues affecting public sector procurement, finance and service delivery in the UK and further afield.

 

More about Market Insight from Tracker

Knowledge is power. By combining Market Intelligence with Market Leads, Tracker customers are able to keep up to date with developments across the public and private sector. You will be the first to hear about everything from acquisitions and mergers to new government initiatives, spending plans and legislation changes that could impact upon your business.

 

Free Tender Search

Searching for tenders has never been easier. As Europe’s largest publisher of Tender and Award notices, every day Tracker publishes thousands of public and private sector awards and notices. Run a free tender search.

 

Coverage

Tracker delivers an abundance of opportunities to grow your business, with an average of 50,000 tenders and awards published each month from around the world (including over 2500 low-value tenders not included in the OJEU).

University of Strathclyde unveils designs for £60m learning and teaching hub

Featured Market Lead alert from Tracker Intelligence

The University of Strathclyde has revealed plans for a £60 million learning and teaching hub at the heart of its campus in Glasgow city centre.

The facility, which represents the University’s biggest single investment in a building project to date, will provide students with leading-edge teaching resources, digital technologies and new modes of learning that will support a first-class student experience.

Keeping you one step ahead of the competition

Market Leads from Tracker is an amazing tool that gives you instant visibility of potential private sector leads, public sector framework opportunities and pipeline contracts long before they’ve even been tendered.

Large-scale deals like this are supported by many suppliers and having early insight about upcoming tender opportunities is what keeps you ahead of your competition. Once a contract has been awarded, there are potentially many further opportunities to win work as a sub-contractor.  With Tracker you can grow your network and make direct contact with the right people.

Location is Key

Designed by BDP, the hub is being developed in close consultation with the University’s student community, and will also become the new base for Strathclyde’s student union and students’ association, as well as bringing the University’s student support services under one roof.

The plans form part of a wider £650 million investment in transforming the Strathclyde campus over the current decade – including a new centre for sports, health and wellbeing, and research and innovation hubs that connect Strathclyde’s world-class research to high-tech industry and business.

You can read more about the University of Strathclyde’s plans on the UK Construction website below:

 

University of Strathclyde unveils £60M learning and teaching hub

Representing the single biggest investment in Strathclyde’s university infrastructure to date, the hub will provide prospective students with cutting-edge teaching resources, access to digital technologies and exciting new programmes of study. It is thought that the facility will occupy the footprint of the former Architecture and Colville buildings.

More about Market Insight from Tracker

Knowledge is power. By combining Market Intelligence with Market Leads, Tracker customers are able to keep up to date with developments across the public and private sector. You will be the first to hear about everything from acquisitions and mergers to new government initiatives, spending plans and legislation changes that could impact upon your business.

Free Tender Search

Searching for tenders has never been easier. As Europe’s largest publisher of Tender and Award notices, every day Tracker publishes thousands of public and private sector awards and notices. Run a free tender search.

Coverage

Tracker delivers an abundance of opportunities to grow your business, with an average of 50,000 tenders and awards published each month from around the world (including over 2500 low-value tenders not included in the OJEU).

University of Strathclyde