Friday 13th December 2019 the Conservative Party won a landslide victory meaning their manifesto will come in to play.
Investment in front-line services and infrastructure has been central to the government’s core pledges as well as ‘getting Brexit done’ by 31st January.
The below headlines suggest why this manifesto should have a positive impact on bidding into the public sector and why it will be key to have a unified tender portal and bidding strategy to cover all your product/ service needs.
1. The Political Landscape
Putting aside any political persuasion and focussing from a business perspective, to have confirmation of a majority-based party irrespective of colour, gives clarity on direction and the focus that business strategies and tactics can be based around. For the three main parties in the election run-up to the 12th December, a large play was made on investment in public infrastructure to support one and all. The scale of this investment under a Conservative Government will potentially lead to both more outsourced and in-sourced project work to create efficiencies, which will likely lead to more public sector tenders being published in the market.
2. Confidence & Stability
Since the referendum three years ago, the one constant has been uncertainty. For many business owners, (that we as a business have come into contact with) all that’s been wanted is clarity on the political and economic landscape. All in order to trade their services or products with a degree of certainty. In the immediate aftermath of the exit polls on the 12th December, the pound sterling surged and business owners took to social media platforms to express their relief that a majority government was in place and that the manifesto is likely to be implemented without a requirement to be challenged through parliament. This confidence and stability will now allow businesses to make direct decisions rather than to hesitate, which will see public tenders being invested in and, in turn, submitted.
3. The Conservative Manifesto
In summary, the following investment infrastructure (of which the current headline figure is £300bn) has either already started or is about to begin under the Conservative Government:
Transport Revolution – £100bn placed into road and rail infrastructure spending, with £28bn of this focussing on strategic and local roads.
Climate – £500m into the Blue Planet Fund to support and protect our Oceans from plastic and pollution.
Healthcare – £34bn by end of parliament, in additional funding for the NHS. All monies will be invested into front-line services to include the building of 40 new hospitals, as well as £74 million over the next 3 years for additional capacity in community-care settings.
Education – £14bn in funding for schools. Broken down into an additional £5,000 per year for each secondary pupil; £4,000 a year for each primary school pupil; with a further £780m in new funding for children with special educational needs; and on a wider footing £3bn being invested into the National Skills Fund.
Security – 10,000 more prison places will be introduced over the next 4 years with £2.75bn already committed to refurbishing and creation of modern prisons. With the above we’re likely to see an influx of public sector tenders as the government seeks to ignite economic growth. Currently, the weekly rate of tender notices is between 800 and 1,000 for the UK and whilst we expect to see the size and value of tenders remain proportionately the same, we’re expecting to see the volume of tenders rise.
4. The Rise of the SME
It’s been a long-held aspirational view by Government that by 2022, for every £3 spent £1 will be spent with SMEs. Whilst this £’s number has been growing over the last two years it has never quite held true. With more and more tenders likely to be in circulation it’s a priority for this government to ensure the above statement is carried out. There is no reason or evidence to suggest that will happen in practice but with ever more scrutiny on this government from a wider population of non-traditional conservative voters, it would be unwise to not support the SME base across the UK.
5. Old Dog, New Procurement Tricks – unlikely
The landscape of how the public sector procure under a continued Conservative Government isn’t likely to change with the principles of which remaining under EU regulations. The only minor change will be that Tender Electronic Daily (TED) for above OJEU threshold will be published on ‘Find a Tender’ a UK based portal from 31st January 2020 – this being technical, rather than a process or procedural switch.
As we all know there are hundreds of tender portals in the UK and not all procurement teams centralise their tendering opportunity on to main portals such as Contracts Finder, or one of the regional portals such as CHEST. Therefore, to guarantee tender comprehensive coverage in the coming months (as the upsurge of tenders is, as mentioned likely), be sure to pick a portal that’ll cover all your needs.