The Basics


As you might already have noticed, public procurement is a lucrative market, but it can also be a fairly complex one.

There’s a lot to take in. And before you can fully understand how to win business with the public sector you’ll need to understand the basics.


What is the public sector?

Public sector organisations are those financed by public money raised from taxes.

Some examples include Central Government departments, local government, councils, the NHS, the police and other emergency services.


What is public procurement?

When a public sector body buys any goods, works or services: that is public procurement.

Public procurement is different from when private companies do business with each other because of the regulations that apply to all public sector contracts over a certain value, or ‘threshold’.

It’s often these regulations which can confuse people, but they only exist to make sure that the procurement process is fair for all those involved.


A public sector contract can also be called a ‘tender’ and the procurement process is sometimes known as ‘tendering’, but it all comes down to the same thing: a public sector organisation buying goods, works or services.



How does the public sector buy what it needs?

When the public sector decides to buy any goods, works or services, it publishes a contract notice (or tender notice). Private companies like yours then bid for that contract.

Any public sector organisation publishing a contract opportunity over a certain value (or ‘threshold’) must advertise it in the ‘Official Journal of the European Union’ (OJEU).


The OJEU is an online journal that hosts these contracts. It can be viewed through a number of websites such as Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) or through services such as Tracker Intelligence, which takes contracts published in the OJEU and on thousands of other sites and collects them in one searchable database.


I know what you’re thinking…

Public sector procurement can be extremely lucrative if you know how the process works, but I bet I know what you’re thinking…

“It’s too complicated”

“My business is too small to win a government contract”

“I don’t know where to begin”

“Contracts always go to the same suppliers”

“There’s no point

Over the course of this Guide, we’re going to show you why you should put these doubts out of your mind for good and start winning contracts.


Who are we?

We’re BiP Solutions and we’re experts at bringing the public and private sectors together through procurement.

We’ve got over 30 years’ experience in helping the public and private sectors do business with one another, and we’re going to share it with you.

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