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Keystone Column 20 – Public procurement consortiums

By 20th May 2016 No Comments
Public procurement consortiums

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Keystone Column containing business stories that drive the commercial strategy of ambitious companies focused on public procurement consortiums. This week, we examine what changes the newly transposed EU Procurement Directives bring for Irish business, and why public procurement consortiums are gaining new importance. Also, the Irish firm meeting the threat of cyber attacks.

Business stories – public procurement consortiums

The frequency of cyber attacks against Irish businesses has risen from 25% in 2012 to 44% currently, a rate that is considerably higher than the global average of 32%. According to PwC’s 2016 Irish Economic Crime survey cyber attacks on Irish businesses has almost doubled since 2012 and the cost associated with cyber crime has jumped too.  This worrying trend isn’t going unnoticed in businesses, a fact highlighted in Irish broadband provider Magnet’s Regional Business Barometer which found that businesses themselves are more concerned in 2016 (20%) than they were the same time last year (4%).

The 2014 EU Procurement Directives have finally been transposed into Irish law. Of particular interest to Irish SMEs are the provisions designed to encourage greater access for small businesses through public procurement consortiums which include:

  • the discretion to divide public contracts into lots, with the requirement that opting not to lot contracts must be explained in the procurement documents;
  • provision for welcoming “public procurement consortiums of SMEs in bidding” to encourage SME involvement;
  • financial capacity criterion is now less demanding; it is generally limited to twice contract value;

Social enterprises and those with a significant number of disadvantaged and disabled employees will also be pleased to see that certain contracts can be ring-fenced for social enterprises and that the rules for Sheltered Workshops have been reformed to reduce the required percentage of employees with a disability from 50% to 30% and the inclusion of “disadvantage”. Read the key features of the new regulations here, and see more about using public procurement consortiums to win more work below.

Interesting trends – public procurement consortiums

The public sector is using tendering frameworks to establish panels of preferred suppliers. Long-standing suppliers have often been left out in the cold because they do not provide enough services to satisfy framework requirements or because they are not large enough (in terms of headcount or revenue) to qualify for such a framework. This means that they have only one alternative and that is to consider forming public procurement consortiums. Encouragement of the use of the consortium model by smaller bidders is a feature of the newly transposed 2014 EU Procurement Directives.  Our latest article on the Keystone Blog is a timely reminder of the advantages of forming public procurement consortiums.

Innovation – things we have seen and like

As noted in the news section above, Irish businesses are increasingly concerned at the risk of cyber attacks. This has prompted Magnet, an Irish Broadband provider, to partner with Palo Alto Networks to power their new cloud-based solution: Magnet Protect. Palo Alto Networks embarked on building next-generation firewalls from the ground up and are now the fastest growing network security company of all time.  Now Magnet Protect will offer SMEs access to enterprise level security globally.

Note: we are in the sourcing & procurement business. We highlight things we like or that are novel or innovative. Innovators should be encouraged.

New public procurement tenders this week 

Visit the Keystone website to view our take on the 400+ active public procurement opportunities with more than five days until their deadline. There is a vast range of services, supplies, and construction related to public procurement opportunities in the following sectors (there are many more sectors than the sample list below):

  • Construction and related trades, 
  • Professional & Advisory Services, 
  • PR, Media, Advertising and related,
  • ICT supplies and services, 
  • Training,
  • Property & facilities management,
  • Vehicle & automotive,
  • Catering and related services,
  • Cleaning and related services,
  • Waste Management,
  • Maintenance and related services,
  • Horticultural supplies & services,
  • Research & environmental monitoring,
  • Printing, office supplies and related services,
  • Trades,
  • Medical and scientific research, supplies and services,
  • A vast range of other services and supplies.

Businesses interested in any of these public procurement opportunities that are unsure of how they can follow-up on these tenders can contact Keystone at any stage. We would be happy to discuss your needs and where they may fit with your business growth plans. These public procurement opportunities are sources of business growth and innovation for companies across the country.

Keystone E-Tenders Report Open YTD as at 1905 (by date of publication)

Keystone E-Tenders Report Open YTD as at 1905 (by sector)

Please note, e-tenders often have public procurement opportunities incorrectly categorised so people relying on e-tender alerts could easily miss out on opportunities if they are dependent on it. E-tenders is only as reliable as the people inputting tenders and mistakes are made very frequently. The Keystone Column includes all live tenders posted on e-tenders since January 4th 2016 that have five or more days until their deadline as at 19/05/2016.