Find a Tender Service (FTS) – What’s happening?

The Government’s new Find a Tender Service is due to go live on 1st January 2021. In this article we examine concerns about the transition away from the current EU Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) portal.

How will businesses ensure they continue to receive tender information?

With Brexit firmly on the horizon, many businesses are wondering how best to ensure they receive comprehensive information about public sector tenders that are available within their sphere of interest. There is corresponding uncertainty about the effectiveness of the Government’s new Find a Tender Service (FTS) portal, which is set to go live on 1st January 2021, as the UK migrates away from the current EU Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) portal.

Concerns may well be justified given that 99% of potential users have yet to see FTS and requests from major suppliers and critical data providers to see the system have, to date, been declined. The fact remains, that until we get to see real data flowing through FTS, we cannot know how reliable and ‘user friendly’ that data is going to be.

Of course, ‘teething troubles’ are not uncommon during this type of transition. However, when added to the many other changes and transitions that businesses will be making after Brexit, missing out on valuable tenders is clearly something that can’t happen.

It is also worth noting that whilst FTS will provide information on tenders above the current OJEU thresholds, there are over 200 other UK portals where these and sub-threshold tenders may be published. However, as we have all experienced, these portals can be unwieldy to negotiate for businesses that are trying to pinpoint suitable tender opportunities amongst other things.

Simplifying tender discovery

This is where we at Contracts Advance can be of real benefit to your business, as:

  • We will continue to collect tender data available from all 200+ tender portals across the UK and Ireland, including TED and Contracts Finder (UK Government portal for contracts over £10,000). This will ensure our clients continue to benefit from comprehensive tender information tailored to their business interests, supporting ‘business as usual’ immediately post-Brexit.
  • Based on available test data, we have already developed a process for collecting data from FTS. As such we are ‘ahead of the curve’ and in an excellent position to fix any issues as soon as we receive sight of the real data. We are confident that our clients will reap business advantages from this, by receiving timely as well as comprehensive tender information at an earlier stage than competitors.
  • For clients’ added assurance, we are continuing to lobby the Cabinet Office to gain access to meaningful data from FTS prior to Ist January. If this is not made available, we have developed ‘back up’ sourcing strategies to ensure clients receive the most comprehensive information available e.g. by downloading information from FTS and merging it with our wider database. Further, as it is highly likely that documents published to FTS will almost always be published on one of the other UK tender portals, this will enrich the tender data we are already supplying to clients so you remain ahead of the curve.

In summary, despite the uncertainties of Brexit after January 1st, we will continue to offer clients peace of mind by ensuring all bases are covered through comprehensive coverage, no white noise and simplicity of access to public sector tenders, thereby saving you time.

If you’d like to find out how we can support your business through the transition period, why not get in touch or take advantage of a free trial of our tender alerts platform?

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