Public buyers urged to prepare for Find a Tender

30 November 2020

Public sector buyers will be required to publish notices for procurements to the new UK e-notification service Find a Tender (FTS) from 11pm on 31 December 2020.

In a Procurement Policy Note (PPN), the Cabinet Office said public sector buyers must use FTS rather than European public procurement systems such as OJEU and TED from 11pm, as the Brexit transition period comes to a close on 31 December.

It said: “All legal and policy requirements to advertise on other platforms such as Contracts Finder and MoD Defence Contracts Online or devolved administration systems such as Public Contracts Scotland, Sell2Wales, eSourcing NI and eTendersNI will not be affected by these changes”.

For procurements launched before 11pm on 31 December 2020 that have not been finalised by that date, “the current requirement to publish notices to OJEU/TED will continue to apply after the end of the transition period”, it said.

“This includes any relevant notices such as contract notice, contract award notice, contract amendments notice and corrigenda.”

A procurement is launched when a contract has been advertised or notified to those involved where an advertisement is not required, the PPN said. 

“The procurement is finalised on publication of a contract award notice or, where such a notice is not required, when the contract is entered into, or when bidders are informed why the contract was not awarded if there was a decision not to award,” it added. 

Contracting authorities have also been asked to send notices, which are required to be sent to OJEU/TED for publication, to FTS, so suppliers have only one place to look for UK opportunities, though this is not a legal requirement, it added.

Earlier this month, Julia Lopez, parliamentary undersecretary at the Cabinet Office, said she had been assured the new system “will be up and running by 11 o’clock on 31 December”.

During a debate to pass a statutory instrument to ensure the legality of public procurement regulations at the end of the Brexit transition period, Paul Blomfield, Labour MP for Sheffield Central, called for public procurement to be used to improve supply chains and tackle carbon emissions.

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