What are Public Tenders?

In business, and especially the procurement industry, the term "tenders" refers to the contract opportunities published by public sector organisations in order to purchase goods, services, works and utilities.

Are you looking to grow your business by tendering for public sector opportunities?

Understanding what public sector tenders are and how to tender for public sector contracts is probably the most important information businesses need to know when looking to enter into this process.

But before you can address the question of “How do public tenders work?”, you first need to ask, “What are public tenders?”. Whether you are looking to find and win public sector tenders in the UK or the European Union, entering into the world of public sector tendering can offer many benefits to your business.

Tracker Intelligence explores what public tenders are, how public tendering works, and how to access public sector tenders below.

The Basics of Public Sector Tenders

In order to understand what a public sector tender is, it is important to understand where it fits into the bigger picture of public procurement.

What is Public Procurement?

Simply put, public sector procurement refers to the act of a public sector organisation (such as the NHS or central government) buying goods or services from suppliers. The organisation will publish a public tender notice on notice boards or tender portals and suppliers will bid on it in.

Tender contracts awarded by public sector organisations are a major source of high value business opportunities that can help SMEs grow and increase their market share.

The public procurement procedures that currently govern this are the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, which brought EU law into UK law. PCR 2015 are designed to ensure transparency, consistency and fairness throughout the tendering process between buyers and suppliers.

What is a Public Tender?

The public procurement process requires that a contract notice is published to generate competing offers for the specified business the public sector organisation requires.

These calls for bids take different structured forms called procedures — open procedure and restricted procedure are the most common — but they will essentially set out details of what the public sector body, also known as the contracting authority, wants supplied.

For this reason, the term ‘tenders’ is now used to cover any public contract opportunity.

What is a Contract Notice?

A contract notice is an advertisement that public bodies publish to notify the market of a new tendering/contract opportunity.

Tracker Intelligence provides tender alerts for all the latest contract notices, making it easy for you to not only find more public tenders but win them too. With Tracker Alerts, you will know about new contract notices as soon as they are published, giving you the maximum time to plan your response and increase your chances of being awarded public sector tenders.

Public Procurement Policies

Public procurement in the United Kingdom is currently governed by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, which brought an EU Directive into UK law, not by government policy. The Public Contracts Regulations (PCR) is a truly comprehensive set of rules and regulations governing the standard procedure for every aspect of public sector procurement.

In 2020, the government published the Transforming Public Procurement Green Paper, which is the basis of the Public Procurement Bill currently making its way through Parliament. This will make considerable changes to the way procurement works, but it is not yet law.

Complete Transparency

As a buyer or commissioner of supplies, services and works for the public sector, public authorities need to demonstrate that they have followed all legal and internal obligations when advertising and reviewing tenders for any works.

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is responsible for the legal framework for public sector procurement and leads the development and implementation of procurement policies for government contracts.

Find Public Sector Tenders with Tracker Intelligence

If you’re looking to find, bid for and win a public procurement tender, Tracker Intelligence will give you the edge at every stage of the public tendering process.

  • Tracker Tender Alerts publishes the latest public sector tender opportunities and public contracts daily, ensuring that you are first to know about tenders that are relevant to your business.
  • With our tailored Market Intelligence tool, you get access to Market Leads, Spend Analysis, and more — equipping you with everything you need when bidding for public contracts.

Sign up for a free trial today and start winning relevant, high-value tenders in the public sector