This week techUK is hosting our SME Campaign Week, exploring the barriers SMEs face in procurement and accessing the public sector market while looking at topics that are central to delivering the SME agenda and public sector transformation.
Public sector market research company Tussell have recently published some research into how long Central Government departments gave suppliers to respond to ITTs in 2018, and it makes for interesting reading.
The report states that “A competitive public procurement market is essential to delivering high-quality public services. One of the ways in which government can encourage a competitive marketplace is by ensuring all firms bidding for contracts are on an equal footing. Key to this is providing sufficient time for suppliers to prepare bids for public contracts.”
EU guidelines suggest an average of 35 days to be given for suppliers to respond to an ITT. According to Tussell’s analysis, “Central Government is actually giving suppliers less and less time to submit bids. A 28-day average in 2016 has decreased to 26 days in 2018 - a 7% decrease”. While the data shows that time-scales have been getting shorter, it’s worth remembering the UK government is highly transparent in comparison to other countries, but there is still work to be done. If the government addresses this trend and gives suppliers an appropriate amount of time to respond, it would be a win for companies large and small, and the government would benefit from having more suppliers to choose from.
Tussell are taking advantage of the government’s commitment to being more open when it comes to public procurement, and this report is the first in a series of data-driven analyses they are producing. Click here to see the full report.