The Contracts Finder platform now has more than 22,000 registered suppliers, with almost two-thirds of them small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - a 53% increase since the beginning of this year. Around 200 suppliers sign up to use the platform every week.
The site now regularly features more contract notices than TED, the EU procurement portal.
Contracts Finder is managed by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), as part of the Cabinet Office, with the aim of increasing procurement transparency and providing more opportunities for SMEs to supply goods and services to the public sector.
Automatic email alerts are distributed to interested suppliers, with suppliers able to tailor their searches to deliver news about opportunities in their own specialism.
Caroline Nokes, Minister for government Resilience and Efficiency, says:
Contracts Finder is a great way for small and medium sized businesses to search for opportunities in central government and the wider public sector. Smaller businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and I am keen that they are able to access as many opportunities as possible, helping the Government to achieve our aspiration of spending £1 in every £3 with SMEs by 2022.
Ian Fishwick, Chief Executive of Adept Telecom, Commercial Director for Innopsis, and member of the Cabinet Office SME Panel, says:
Almost all public sector buyers are now registered to use the service including councils, emergency services, central government, universities and the NHS. We are closer than ever to having a single website where you can find the bulk of public sector tenders.
Emma Jones, Small Business Crown Representative, says:
Contracts Finder is the go-to place for SMEs to find government and public sector opportunities. More and more organisations are using it with twice as many UK opportunities published when compared with the TED website. I’d urge SMEs to log on for free and find out what opportunities are out there. We’d like to see the platform go even further and become the single location on which government’s major suppliers also list their opportunities, whilst making performance data on existing contracts more transparent.
Contracts Finder supports the UK Government’s commitment to the Open Data Contracting Standard (ODCS), ensuring that all stages of the public procurement process are open and transparent.
The UK is the first G7 country to implement the OCDS for contracts administered by a central purchasing authority - CCS.
This means that the whole process of awarding public sector contracts is visible to the public for the first time. Data and documents are disclosed at all stages of the contracting process. This allows deeper analysis of contracting data by a wide range of users.
The government is currently exploring measures to further increase business with SMEs, including by asking larger suppliers to advertise subcontracting opportunities through Contracts Finder.
For more information on Contracts Finder and to sign up to alerts, visit https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder