Top 5 Trends in Public Sector Spending

Fact checked by Eddie Regan, BiP Solutions Principal Procurement Consultant

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Choosing where to prioritise your new business efforts can be a challenge. Many businesses simply don’t have insight into key areas of opportunity, while others may not have the time or resources in-house to support bidding for the opportunities they are aware of.

We seek to make your life easier, which is why we have compiled this Top 5 Trends in Public Sector Spending from our recently published report ‘Fresh Opportunities in Public Spending – How Government’s procurement priorities are changing and what it means for you.’

Current Trends in the Public Sector Market

  1. The public sector is open for business

The public sector has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in a number of ways, with fluctuating requirements and pace of contract notice publication since the pandemic started back in March 2020. However, as the situation stabilises key patterns are emerging. Using data from Tracker itself, we’ve identified:

  • More and more central and local buying authorities are beginning to publish contract notices.
  • In the week prior to the easing of lockdown restrictions on 12 April 2021, 633 individual buying authorities published contract notices.
  • As of June 2021, that number has almost doubled to 1149.

And with contract notice volumes remaining steady throughout that same period, it’s clear to see that the public sector is indeed very much open for business.

  1. Recovery is high on the agenda

The UK Government is firmly focused on both Brexit and socio-economic recovery post-COVID. In order to stimulate growth, between £29 billion and £37 billion of contracts across economic and social infrastructure are expected to be brought to market during 2021/22 – bringing a slew of supply chain opportunities to SMEs up and down the country.

  1. Local government is leading the way

Again using researched and qualified data from our Tracker platform, we’ve identified that local government:

  • Consistently publishes the highest volume of public sector contract notices.
  • Contributes to around one-third of total notices (January to June 2021).
  • Requires a diverse range of goods, works and services.
  • Is an ideal tendering opportunity for suppliers of all shapes and sizes.
  1. Education sector is thriving

Outside of local government tenders, we have identified that the education market has produced the second highest volume of contract notices over the past six months. While healthcare understandably has had a boom over the past 12 months, education has consistently been active throughout.

  1. SME engagement remains a priority

One of the most encouraging trends for SMEs is the volume of contracts with a value below £100k. Between January and June 2021, 31%-41% of all public sector contracts published matched this criterion. Given the scale of the goods, services and works involved, these contracts are perfect entry points for skilled SMEs with limited resources. This trend is also indicative of the UK Government’s broader ambitions to engage with forward-thinking SMEs and start-ups, and make public procurement more accessible to them.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to get on top of the opportunity and seek to improve your win rate – all the while maximising efficiency.

Read the full report

The above blog provides a snippet from our recently published guide to Fresh Opportunities in Public Spending, including information on the planned procurement reforms following the 20 December 2020 release of the Government’s Green Paper.

Get your copy here >

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