A new online tender system has been launched in Northern Ireland to make it easier for companies to submit tenders for government contracts.
The eTendersNI portal has been developed by the Department of Finance and Personnel’s Central Procurement Directorate (CPD), which carries out procurements on behalf of central government departments, agencies and arms-length bodies.
eTendersNI will be the principal source of information for public sector tender opportunities in Northern Ireland, with more organisations using it to advertise their tenders than the previous portal, eSourcing NI.
Acting first minister and finance minister Arlene Foster said its functionality would improve efficiency for suppliers, by making it easier and faster to bid for government contracts.
"Each year Northern Ireland public sector contracts account for more than £2.5 billion of expenditure. Of those contracts awarded in a year 75 per cent go to local businesses, the majority of which are SMEs,” she said. “I want to see that success continue and CPD has been working closely with the private sector and the CEF [Construction Employers Federation], to improve procurement processes and the visibility of construction procurement projects in the pipeline to help businesses compete for more government contracts.”
CEF managing director, John Armstrong, welcomed the eTendersNI system as positive news for the construction industry in Northern Ireland, and said the federation had been working with CPD to reduce bureaucracy in tendering and procurement.
“We will be working closely with our members in the coming months to ensure that they are able to adapt quickly to the new eTendersNI system and avail of every opportunity that it may bring to grow the construction sector in Northern Ireland,” he said.
The other Centres of Procurement Expertise for Northern Ireland, (Business Service Organisation - Procurement and Logistics Service, Education Authority NI, NI Housing Executive, NI Water, Translink and Transport NI) will begin using eTendersNI in a phased approach. A number of other public sector bodies are also finalising plans to begin using eTendersNI.