System used by firms to bid for public sector contracts undergoes revamp

Finance Minister Conor Murphy with Ian McLelland from LM Services; Angie Brown from Pierce Printellect; Paul Millar from Hamilton Architects; and principal consultant Gerard Graham.

THE system used by firms in the north to bid for public sector business has undergone a revamp.

The Department of Finance (DoF) said the eTendersNI portal is used by around 22,000 suppliers to tender for contracts to goods, services and works to government departments, agencies and arms-length bodies.

The system has been redesigned to make it easier for suppliers to work through the tender submission process.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy said: Around 95% of all public sector bodies use this portal to advertise government tender opportunities.

“Public procurement expenditure is approximately £3bn each year and accounts for around 25 per cent of the Executive's budget.

“It is therefore important we make the tendering process as user-friendly as possible to give companies the best opportunity to bid for contracts.”

Previously, suppliers prepared tenders on their own computer. The Department of Finance said suppliers can now prepare and submit tenders from a secure space in eTendersNI.

Multiple users within the organisation can work together on their tender response and mobile phones and tablets can be used to access the system which also contains a document library for uploading and attaching documents.

"I was delighted to hear first-hand the positive response from representatives from a range of companies who regularly use the system to search for business opportunities and bid for contracts,” added the minister.

“Collaborating with industry and taking on-board user feedback has helped enhance the system - making it easier to do business with government."

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