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Find a Tender and Contracting Opportunities in the New Year

by Wendy Morse

Invicta Law’s Wendy Morse looks at the Find a Tender Service, the replacement for the Official Journal of the European Union and Tenders Electronic Daily for contracting opportunities moving into 2021.

With 2020 almost behind us we thought it may be helpful to look ahead to one of the things that local government procurement professionals will need to do differently in 2021.

The UK e-notification Find a Tender Service (FTS) will replace the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) or Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) as the go to place to publish your contracting opportunities an hour before the clock strikes time on 2020.

Transition Period

The Cabinet Office has produced a really handy flow chart to support with the transition period, and working out where to publish if your procurement process was already underway before 23:00h on 31 December 2020, which is available here: ‘Where to publish your procurement notices after the end of the Transition Period’.

The requirement to publish on Contracts Finder will not be affected and you must still publish there if legally required to do so or if Policy requires.

Find a Tender and Third-Party Providers

PPN08/20 gives you all the background to the introduction of FTS as a result of Brexit and has an associated useful FAQ document: ‘Procurement Policy Note – Introduction of Find a Tender’.

If you use a third-party provider or their software to currently publish to OJEU make sure that they have registered and integrated to FTS to enable them to publish there for you instead. You can check those suppliers that have registered here: ‘Public-sector procurement from 1 January 2021’.

Certain providers have notified that they will not be ready to switch to FTS by 23:00h on 31 December and so you will need to follow the PPN to register directly, as will those contracting authorities not using a third party e-sender.

Supplier Registration Service

Certain providers cannot parallel publish in OJEU and FTS, so will switch over to FTS only, meaning you may need to register on TED to manually publish notices relating to your procurements that are already underway.

To publish to FTS, you will need a Supplier Registration Service (SRS) account:

  • If you already use Contracts Finder you will automatically be able to publish to FTS;
  • if you have neither a Contracts Finder nor SRS account you will need to register; or
  • if you have an SRS but not Contracts Finder account, go and login to Contracts Finder with your SRS login and then apply to publish notices.

For new procurements all notices published after 23:00h on 31 December must be published to FTS first before Contracts Finder or elsewhere.

Compliant Solutions

The Cabinet Office guidance available is very helpful. We wish you all the best with converting the theory into practice and are here to help and support you along the way.

Invicta Law’s Procurement team can assist with any queries about the transition to FTS. We help public sector bodies to develop compliant solutions and achieve best value for money when buying goods and services. Contact us on 03000 411100, email info@invicta.law or get in touch directly with one of our experts.

Contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute professional or legal advice. Invicta Law cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

Download our leaflet to find out more about our Procurement services or get in touch with our team today on 03000 411100

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