From 23:00 on 31 December 2020, Find a Tender (also called FTS) will replace OJEU /Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) as the relevant location for all notices for UK Procurements that are currently required to be published on OJEU / TED under the PCR 2015, UCR 2016, CCR 2016 or Defence Regs 2011.
More specifically, Amending Regulations will substitute current references in these four sets of Regulations. Where these used to require 'publishing [notices]…in the Official Journal of the European Union' and 'sending [documents to the]…EU Publications Office' they will now require procuring entities to 'submit' notices to the 'UK e-Notification Service', which is the formal name for the Find a Tender Service (FTS).
These changes will therefore apply to:
- All Contracting ities including utilities and others who are Contracting ities for the purposes of the above regulations.
- Above-threshold procurements, including those to establish a new framework agreements or new dynamic purchasing system.
- Procurements ‘launched’ after the above trigger date, meaning they have been advertised by a PIN or CN in OJEU / TED where that is requirement of the relevant Regulation, or have been notified to potential bidders were no PIN or CN is required.
It will therefore not apply to:
- Procurements which are ‘live’ and not yet ‘finalised’ by the trigger date, meaning the contract award notice has not yet been published (or where such notice is not required by the Regulations, the procured contract has not yet been signed).
- Awards made under existing framework agreements or new dynamic purchasing system which were established prior to the switch-over.
This means there will be a tail-end transition period when both Contracting ities and bidders may be using OJEU / TED as well as the new FTS platform.
There are a few wrinkles to be aware of to ensure you are prepared:
- If you are a Contracting ity that currently submits OJEU notices via a Third Party, you must check whether they have done the necessary integration work to use the FTS. Many of the biggest providers have (see list here) but others have already confirmed they will not have done so (see FAQ page 4).
- If you are a Contracting ity that submits OJEU notices directly (or your Third Party publisher will not be ready in time) then you must ensure you have a valid Supplier Registration Service Account (SRS-A) before the transition:
- Existing Contracts Finder users will automatically be enabled to publish to Find a Tender.
- Those with an SRS-A but no Contracts Finder account must to do Contracts Finder and log in with their SRS-A credentials to access Find a Tender.
- Those with neither a Contracts Finder or an SRS-A will need to register as a buyer on Contracts Finder here.
- If you have already launched your procurement you must still use OJEU / TED and you are not required to use Find a Tender. However, for those ‘live’ procurements you are encouraged to use both in parallel although if you are legally required to publish on OJEU / TED you must publish their first.
- There is some sense to ensuring your Find a Tender filings match your OJEU / TED filings since suppliers will increasingly use Find a Tender, although those bidding for European Tenders will have to use both the UK and EU systems in parallel.
For more information including an FAQ, Flowchart and Heldesk see the PN08/2020 Cabinet Office webpage.