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Procurement in a Nutshell – Introduction of Find a Tender

'Find a Tender' (FTS) is the new UK e-notification service. This will replace the current requirement for notices of new procurements to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union's Tenders Electronic Daily (OJEU/TED).

The PPN applies to all contracting authorities regulated by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the Utilities Contract Regulations 2016 and the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 and The Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011.

The new service will apply from the end of the Transition Period  at 23:00 on 31 December 2020.

Action

The framework and principles underlying the public procurement regime will not substantially change. The significant change introduced by the PPN is that from the end of the transition period all contracting authorities are required to publish public procurement notices for new procurements to the new e-notification service.

Other requirements to advertise on platforms such as Contracts Finder are not affected.

How to publish on FTS

If a contracting authority currently uses a third party provider (eSender) to submit notices to OJEU/TED then the eSender must complete integration work to post notices to FTS. Contracting authorities should check this with their eSenders.

Alternatively, a contracting authority may publish directly on FTS, for which it will need to apply for a Supplier Registration Service (SRS) account.

Existing Contracts Finder users will be enabled automatically to publish to FTS.

Contracting authorities without a Contracts Finder or a Supplier Registration Service account will need to register as a buyer and apply to post notices, click here.

Contracting authorities with an SRS account but not a Contracts Finder account can sign in to Contracts Finder with their SRS credentials, click here.

Procurements in process at the end of the transition period

For procurements which are in progress at the end of the transition period the requirement to  publish on the OJEU/TED will continue to apply until the procurement is finalised either by publication of a contract aware notice or, where a notice is not required, the contract is entered into or the bidders are informed that the contract was not awarded.

Contracting authorities are requested to send notices to the FTS in addition to the OJEU/TED so that there is only one place for suppliers to look for UK tenders.

Details must also be published to Contracts Finder, the Devolved Administration or other portals as previously required.

Changes for business

Suppliers wishing to access public sector opportunities in the UK after 23:00 on 31 December 2020 will need to access FTS. Other domestic portals such as Contracts Finder, MOD Defence Contracts Online, Public Contracts Scotland, Sell2Wales and eTendersNI will continue to be available.

The Find a Tender service will be available from 23:00 on 31 December 2020, click here.

If you have any queries regarding the above please no not hesitate to contact Melanie Pears or any member of the Public Sector team.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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