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What is procurement?
Procurement is the process of activities by which goods, services and works are bought. The process typically includes such activities as writing out a specification of everything that is needed, where it is to be advertised, how long before companies have to respond, how they respond and so on.
What is a Public Body?
Typically this is a body that is supported by Public Funds (your taxes basically). Good examples are: The health Service – your municipality or town council, schools and other education institutes, government organisations, utility companies (water, electricity, gas), hospitals, police and the defence.
Public procurement is the process by which Public Sector bodies buy services, goods or build things. As they are spending our money they have to follow a very strict set of rules. They also have to be seen to be open and honest and they are bound by many legal acts. They have to justify everything they do. If they do not follow the rules then they can be taken to court and there are many lawyers watching for mistakes. The rules are though more relaxed the smaller the job.
What is a tender?
A tender is a document that you are asked to fill in to show exactly how you will do the job, what it will cost, what technical skills you have to do the work and so on. You cannot fill in a tender until you receive an Invitation to Tender (known as an ITT). To confuse matters it is sometimes called an Expression of Interest but at some stage it will become an ITT.
In business terms it is a sales opportunity. If you win then you will have sold goods or services or built something which you can be very sure you will get paid on time for.
There are SALES opportunities totalling 2,000 billion Euros (2 trillion Euros) issued each year by public bodies in the EU. This corresponds to one sixth of all GDP. The things they look to buy range from paper clips to building new aircraft carriers.
You may have sold to the private commercial sector before. Selling to the public sector is very different. Some larger companies even set up their own bidding teams or dealing with public sector work as the rules and processes are very different.
THE PUBLIC SECTOR MARKET IN THE EU IS WORTH €2,000 BILLION EVERY YEAR
17% OF ALL CONTRACTS ARE AWARDED TO SMES
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