Navigation path

Share on 
	Share on Facebook
  
	Tweet it
  
	Share on google+
  
	Share on linkedIn
  
    
      E-mail
Set page to normal font sizeIncrease font size by 200 percentBookmark this pageChoose high-contrast version

United Kingdom

Public contracts

Updated 03/2011

Legal requirements

The main law on public procurement in the UK is set out in the Public Contracts Regulations of 2006.

Contracts with public bodies are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Information must be disclosed to anyone who asks for it, unless there is an exemption under law.

The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) which is responsible for procurement policy in the UK provides a full guide to the legal framework.

Types of public procurement

Four award procedures are provided for in the 2006 Public Contracts Regulations:

  • open procedure   - following an advertisement in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ), any interested party may submit a tender;
  • restricted procedure   - a selection is made from those who respond to the advertisement and only they can submit a tender;
  • competitive dialogue procedure   - following an OJ Contract Notice and selection process, the authority enters into dialogue with potential bidders to develop one or more solutions for its requirements. Based on this, selected bidders are invited to tender;
  • negotiated procedure   - a purchaser may select one or more potential bidders with whom it negotiates contract terms. One example is when, due to technical or artistic reasons or to exclusive rights, the contract can only be carried out by a specific bidder.

The procurement process to be followed depends on the value of the work to be carried out. Thresholds for utility projects are also different from those for public bodies. Details of the current procurement thresholds can be found on the website of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).

Administrative procedures

Tendering procedure: step-by-step guide

There is normally a strict process to follow when bidding for public sector contracts. Once through the pre-qualification stage, an invitation to tender or contract notice is sent out. Contracts are awarded on the basis of value for money, with lifetime costs and maintenance arrangements taken into account.

Further information on tendering for public procurements is available on Business Link.

The Business Link website also provides a guide to businesses interested in selling to Government.

Types of public contracts

There are various forms of public contracts, e.g. works contracts (building and civil engineering); supply contracts and service contracts. The tendering process for these will vary due to value of these contracts.

National public procurement authorities

Individual government departments are responsible for public contracts, while overall policy falls under the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).

Resources

Businesses and the general public can use Contracts Finder - a free new service on Business Link - to find opportunities to supply goods and services to government.

Contracts Finder is part of a series of government measures aimed at making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to find and apply for public sector contracts. It will become the main source of government opportunities worth more than £10,000.

European public procurement tools include eNotices, a web-based tool which simplifies and speeds up preparation and publication of tender notices. An eSenders service allows approved organisations to submit notices directly as XML files. Some public sector bodies also advertise lower value contracts here.

The Official Journal S is available exclusively in electronic format and is accessible from the Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) website, or on CD-ROM (provided twice weekly by subscription). Contracts above the EU threshold must be advertised in the 'S' series.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

Country

Austria

Feldkirch

Graz

Innsbruck

Klagenfurt

Linz

Salzburg

Wien

Belgium

Antwerpen

Arlon

Brugge

Brussels

Charleroi

Gent

Hasselt

Leuven

Libramont

Liège

Mons

Namur

Nivelles

Bulgaria

Dobrich

Plovidiv

Ruse

Sandanski

Sofia

Sofia

Stara Zagora

Vratsa

Yambol

Croatia

Osijek

Rijeka

Split

Varazdin

Zagreb

Cyprus

Nicosia

Czech Republic

Brno

Liberec

Ostrava

Ostrava

Pardubice

Plzen

Praha

Usti nad Labem

Denmark

Aalborg

Copenhagen

Herning

Kolding

Viborg

Estonia

Tallinn

Finland

Helsinki

Oulu

Tampere

Turku

Vantaa

France

Amiens

Annecy

Aulnat

Besançon

Bordeaux

Bourg en Bresse

Caen

Cayenne

Chalons-en-Champagne

Chambéry

Dijon

Fort-de-France

Grenoble

Lille

Limoges

Lyon

Marseille

Marseille

Marseille

Montpellier

Montpellier

Nancy

Nantes

Orléans

Paris

Pointe-à-Pitre

Poitiers

Privas

Rennes

Rouen

Saint-Denis

Saint-Etienne

Strasbourg

Toulouse

Valence

Germany

Berlin

Bremen

Bremenhaven

Chemnitz

Dresden

Düsseldorf

Erfurt

Frankfurt/Oder

Freiburg

Hamburg

Hannover

Kaiserslautern

Kiel

Konstanz

Leipzig

Magdeburg

Mannheim

Mülheim an der Ruhr

München

Potsdam

Reutlingen

Rostock

Saabrücken

Stuttgart

Trier

Ulm

Villingen-Schwenningen

Wiesbaden

Greece

Athens

Heraklion

Ioannina

Kavala

Kozani

Thessaloniki

Tripolis

Volos

Hungary

Budapest

Debrecen

Győr

Nyíregyháza

Pécs

Szeged

Székesfehérvár

Zalaegerszeg

Ireland

Dublin

Italy

Abruzzo

Aosta

Apulia

Apulia

Ascoli Piceno

Basilicata

Bologna

Bologna

Cagliari

Calabria

Calabria

Campania

Catania

Catania

Florence

Genova

Gorizia

Milano

Milano

Milano

Molise

Naples

Naples

Palermo

Palermo

Perugia

Pesaro

Pordenone

Ravenna

Rome

Rovereto

Sassari

Sicily

Terni

Torino

Torino

Torino

Trieste

Trieste

Udine

Venezia

Venezia

Venezia

Latvia

Riga

Lithuania

Kaunas

Klaipėda

Vilnius

Luxembourg

Luxembourg

Malta

Pieta`

Netherlands

Den Haag

Nieuwegein

Norway

Ås

Oslo

Stavanger

Tromsø

Poland

Bialystok

Gdańsk

Kalisz

Katowice

Kielce

Konin

Kraków

Lublin

Lublin

Olsztyn

Opole

Poznań

Rzeszów

Szczawno-Zdrój

Szczecin

Szczecin

Toruń

Warsaw

Warsaw

Wroclaw

Zielona Góra

Łódź

Portugal

Aveiro

Braga

Coimbra

Évora

Faro

Funchal

Lisboa

Ponta Delgada

Porto

Romania

Arad

Bacau

Bucuresti

Cluj-Napoca

Constanta

Craiova

Galati

Iasi

Ramnicu Valcea

Timișoara

Slovakia

Bratislava

Prešov

Slovenia

Koper

Ljubljana

Maribor

Spain

Albacete

Alicante

Badajoz

Barcelona

Bilbao

Bilbao

Ciudad Real

Donostia- San Sebastian

Ferrol

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Llanera

Logroño

Madrid

Murcia

Oviedo

Palma

Pamplona

Paterna (Valencia)

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santander

Santiago de Compostela

Sevilla

Toledo

Valencia

Valladolid

Vitoria- Gazteiz

Zaragoza

Sweden

Borlänge

Göteborg

Jönköping

Kramfors

Luleå

Malmö

Örebro

Östersund

Stockholm

Umeå

Västerås

Växjö

United Kingdom

Belfast

Bristol

Cambridge

Cardiff

Coventry

Inverness

London

Manchester

Newcastle

Yorkshire and Humber

Enter your message here

* required field (you must enter data here)