On 8 October 2019, Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Finance in the Irish Government, delivered his annual budget speech to the Dáil. Unsurprisingly, Brexit dominated his speech as it is the most pressing and immediate risk to Ireland’s economy. Ireland is the country most exposed to Brexit disruption, owing to deep historical trade links with the UK.

Supply2Gov highlights the key takeaways from Mr Donohoe’s Budget Report 2020.

Ireland is preparing for Brexit

In his opening address, the Minister for Finance stated that his report was developed in the shadow of Brexit uncertainty. With a UK ‘No Deal’ exit from the EU becoming more of a realistic outcome, Mr Donohoe said such an eventuality would expose Ireland to severe economic damage:

“The context for Brexit has now shifted to No Deal as our central assumption. This does not mean that No Deal is inevitable. But equally we stand ready if it does happen. In preparing for No Deal, we can ensure that the Government has the necessary resources at its disposal to meet the impact of Brexit…’

Overall, the Budget Report 2020 could be described as cautious and conservative, designed to protect Ireland and Irish businesses in the face of any Brexit outcome, come what may. Ireland’s economy has grown steadily since the recession of 2008. Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show the Irish economy grew by 8.2% in the last year alone, a healthy progress which the Irish Government is determined to protect. Given the progress made in recent years, Mr Donohoe’s approach to his Budget Report 2020 has broadly met with positivity and support from Irish businesses and citizens alike.

A total of €1.2 billion has been set aside to offset the effects of a No Deal Brexit. This fund is intended to support vulnerable but viable companies, agriculture and tourism. A breakdown of the fund includes €650 million to support companies, farms and tourism; €365 million for new welfare spending to meet any rise in unemployment; and €200 million in Brexit spending at ports and airports that will be needed even if a Brexit deal is reached with the UK.

Mr Donohue predicts the Irish economy will still grow by 0.7% in gross domestic product terms, albeit a marked slowing down in the pace of growth over the last year. However, with further investment in public services and support for businesses, this represents a remarkably positive picture for winning public sector tenders in Ireland.

Find out how Supply2Gov can help you build your procurement knowledge and find your feet in the market, both in Ireland and overseas. With daily tender alerts searchable by geographical location, Supply2Gov is the place to start for winning procurement business.

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Are you an Irish business looking for UK contracts?

Every year, the government of Ireland spends €8.5bn procuring goods and services. This includes everything from pens to hospital beds, which means the opportunities to win business with the public service are vast and ongoing. However, opportunities for Irish businesses to win public sector tender contracts overseas should not be overlooked.

Irish businesses are in luck with the sheer volume of public sector contract opportunities available in the UK. Although many are worried about the uncertain future for businesses in the wake of Brexit, the UK public sector still spends around €316 billion every year on procurement, making it the largest in Europe by value. Irish businesses should not miss out on the tender opportunities it offers.

Below is a breakdown of UK public sector contracts by area.

 

UK contract hotspots 2019

London: 20,007 contract notices

North West England: 16,969 contract notices

South East England: 15,435 contract notices

South West England: 15,385 contract notices

Yorkshire and the Humber: 14,869 contract notices

Scotland: 14,645 contract notices

 

Notable regions

London

As expected, London has the highest number of contract opportunities. Public sector spend in London has increased for the last two consecutive years, with a total of £91.6 billion spent in 2018. The region is a great place for picking up construction contracts on housing schemes, including fast-growing social housing projects. It is also a hotspot for transport projects, with the latest reports showing that London is set for three times more transport investment than the North of England, adding up to £2,389 more per head.

North of England

The region is a focus for public sector infrastructure projects, with major road network schemes currently in the works. Transport for the North (TfN) recently submitted a bid for £700m of investment into northern roads over the next five years. As well as this, the Northern Powerhouse Rail initiative investment is making progress, creating 34,000 more jobs and a further 54,523 jobs in manufacturing roles. This makes the region a good area of opportunity for Irish construction businesses.

Scotland

Scotland has shown a rise in digital connectivity, such as capitalising on 4G and 5G capability, which will boost the economy by as much as £17bn and will help remote rural areas in Scotland secure future investments. This, in turn, will help growth in public sector contracts. Scotland is also great choice for upcoming transport contracts. The Highland Mainline transport project was completed in March 2019, with the second phase costing £55m. The government recently announced a further £13.25m support fund for public, community and third sector organisations in order to help deliver low carbon transport hubs.

 

Find public sector procurement opportunities

Irish businesses are in a good position to win contracts in these regions across the UK, especially low-hanging fruit projects across the public sector. Supply 2Gov subscribers can access tender alerts for the areas above and more.

Once you have signed up for your FREE local area, simply tailor your profile to the services or products that are in your business interest.

 

 

If your business wants to work with the public sector then it must have a strong business continuity plan in place.

Businesses face a long list of risks (e.g. flooding and fires, cyber attacks, IT outages, resignations), and dealing with these risks while carrying out a public sector contract is something your business must be capable of.

If you have never developed a business continuity plan for your business before, we have listed some top tips below.

 

Do I need to have a business continuity plan?

For some public sector contracts, it is mandatory that your business has a business continuity plan in place.

Since 2005 all UK local authorities have been statutorily required to have business continuity plans for their services and to make sure any contracted service also has them.

This is also the case in many other areas of business and from the insurance industry. Any responsible business should have continuity plans internally and with its supply chain. This ensures that that service is maintained even when a disruption happens.

 

Planning

First things first. Make sure your continuity plan recognises any potential threats and gives details of how these threats could impact the day-to-day operations of your business.

The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) recommends that your plan:

“provides a way to mitigate these threats, putting in place a framework which allows key functions of the business to continue even if the worst happens.”

Business continuity management should be embedded into your organisation. BCI outlines the following steps on how your business can do this:

Analysis: As highlighted above, your business must identify relevant threats in preparation for business continuity planning.

Design: From this analysis a robust plan can then be built around these threats.

Implementation: Your business can implement the plan in an effort to protect itself from potential threats.

Validation: The plan must be continually validated to ensure its effectiveness. Policies and programmes should be put in place to ensure that your organisation is resilient.

 

Public sector contracts

The steps above are something any business working with the public sector should consider before bidding for contracts.

To learn more about working with the public sector, visit the Supply2Gov website.

Energy UK has predicted that the solar energy sector in Britain will receive nearly £11.9 billion of investment by 2020.

Although 2020 is fast approaching, suppliers within the sector should maintain optimism as the industry is to invest £250 million in an Offshore Wind Growth Partnership to develop the UK supply chain, with global exports “set to increase fivefold to £2.6 billion by 2030” according to the Government.

 

Energy revolution

The UK’s Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry announced a new joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal in March 2019. As part of this deal, clean, green offshore wind is set to generate more than 30% of British electricity by 2030.

“This new Sector Deal will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector.

“By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK, a strong UK supply chain and a fivefold increase in exports. This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action.”

 

Global exports

The deal also hopes to boost global exports to areas like Europe, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States. The Government predicts that the market will be worth £2.6 billion a year by 2030.

Through this partnership with the Department for International Trade the UK Government hopes “to support smaller supply chain companies to export for the first time”.

 

New to public sector procurement?

Now is a prime time for your business to look for opportunities within the UK energy sector. With the public sector spending record sums in this area make sure your business stays up to date with Supply2Gov IE Tender Alerts.

 

children

The Irish Budget 2019 was presented by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe by on 9 October 2018.

The Budget 2019 document highlights “the key role played by public expenditure in building and maintaining the prosperity of Ireland.”

One of the key investments that will affect families is Ireland is the €1.5 billion investment being made into the Department of Children.

 

Development of younger generations

The Irish Government has acknowledged the importance of early intervention in the lives of children and is investing €1.5 billion into the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, specifically to support children and young people in Ireland.

This allocation is integral to the continued development of Ireland’s younger generations and will be delivered through organisations such as the Child and Family Agency (Tusla).

Tusla funding will increase by over €30 million, bringing the total to €786 million. Funding for early learning and childcare will increase by just under €90 million to €574 million. The Budget 2019 states that:

“Increased funding for Early Years Care and Education demonstrates the Government’s commitment to support the provision of services for the care, development and wellbeing of children and young people.”

The Irish government will also be investing over €1.8 billion to support children with special educational needs. This funding will cover the employment of an additional 950 Special Needs Assistants who will be recruited in 2019, taking the total number to over 15,900.

 

Opportunities with the Irish Government

This increase in spend is great news for Irish businesses that want to find work with the public sector. If you would like to find opportunities, get started by registering for free local area tender alerts.

Free local areas include Dublin, Midland and Border.

Learn more about our “Ready to take flight” subscription.

As today (06/05/19) marks Nurses Day, we delve into the world of healthcare procurement!

Healthcare organisations across Ireland and the UK are constantly working with suppliers that can provide the goods and services they require – making it an extremely lucrative market.

Would your business like to win work with the HSE, NHS and other healthcare organisations?

Supply2Gov Ireland can enable you to find relevant healthcare tenders that could help you to grow your small business.

Learn more about tendering for HSE and NHS contracts below.

 

Healthcare Tenders

Within the world of healthcare procurement, the term “tenders” stands for any contract opportunities that are published by organisations like the HSE and NHS.

These organisations require a range of goods, services, works and utilities every year for which they must tender competitively and suppliers can bid to win these opportunities.

Both the Irish and UK governments welcome applications from SMEs. The HSE states that it utilises “the services of sole traders where appropriate.”

 

What are the benefits of winning healthcare tenders?

There are many benefits of working with organisations like the HSE and NHS. Not only will your business gain credibility through working with and potentially getting references from a public sector organisation, but it will be able to reference this work moving forward which in turn help it to win more business opportunities.

If you are interested in winning with the NHS, the UK Government’s prompt payment policy means that 80% of invoices submitted by suppliers to the public sector are paid within five days, with the rest being paid within 30 days.

 

How can Supply2Gov Ireland help?

Never miss another healthcare tender opportunity again!

Supply2Gov Ireland can help you get started with healthcare procurement right now, for FREE! All new users start with free access to a local area of their choice (free local areas include Dublin, Midland and Border).

To find healthcare tenders in the UK, learn more about our ‘Touching the Sky’ subscription.

Once you have picked the subscription that suits your business, our team of expert researchers will send available healthcare tenders straight to your inbox.

Get started for free

 

The public sector procures a vast range of goods, works and services. Public sector bodies such as the NHS, Ministry of defence and local councils source everything from pencils to buildings, and all of this has to be purchased via the public procurement process.

Would you like to learn how your business can enter this market? Find out how the tendering process works below.

 

Finding Contracts

The first step for an organisation seeking to enter the public sector tendering process is finding contracts that are relevant to your business. There are thousands upon thousands of opportunities out there, so how can your business narrow these opportunities down?

Small businesses can pinpoint opportunities by using a tender alerts tool. This type of service will monitor many different sources of contracts. Once your business sets up a profile with tender preferences included, opportunities will be sent to your email.

 

Bidding for Contracts

Tendering for public sector business can help you to win big orders. However, it can be time-consuming, costly and can tie up valuable resources.

It is important that your small business is putting effort into contracts that are realistic in terms of size and scale. If lose a contract, the money and time you have spent on the bid is lost, so you should carefully weigh up whether or not a tender is worth bidding for.

Ask yourself the following questions when bidding:

Does my business have the skills and experience required for this contract?

Can I currently afford to allocate the time and resource that is required to bid?

Will this contract help my business to grow?

 

Writing Bids

Once you have found an opportunity that is suitable for your business, it is time to write the bid for the contract. The first step may be to complete a questionnaire, designed to help the buyer shortlist the most suitable companies and invite them to submit a full tender. In other cases, you may go straight to the tender.

Make sure that you allow enough time to collate the necessary information and to write and submit the tender as it may take more time than you think to complete.

A late tender response will be disqualified immediately. Therefore it is important that you have references and all supporting documents in place well in advance, including a covering letter that responds to the bid invitation.

 

After Bidding

OK, so it’s not over just yet. After your bid has been scored and evaluated the buyer may want to examine your bid in greater detail. In some cases, they may want to check if your business can meet their requirements for themselves. They may do this by setting up a site visit, interview or meeting.

In due course, you will hear whether your bid has been successful or not. Even if you do not win the contract, ask for feedback. Every bidder is entitled to feedback from the buyer, and it may help you to succeed another time.

If you do succeed and are awarded the contract, then the work of fulfilling it begins.

 

How can Supply2Gov IE help?

Find relevant tenders opportunities using Supply2Gov Tender Alerts tool.

The best thing about our service is that you can try it for free – starting with the local area of your choice…

New users can also access the S2G Tender Ready Toolkit which is full of useful hints and tips.

Get started by joining for free now.

 

 

Ireland is one of the UK’s largest trading partners.

Figures published by the UK Parliament at the start of 2019 have revealed that UK imports from Ireland in recent years have reached £21.8 billion*, putting Ireland in the UK’s top ten sources of imports.

 

What kind of goods is the UK importing from Ireland?

The ‘Statistics on UK trade with Ireland’ published by the House of Commons Library in 2019 revealed that “UK imports from Ireland represented 3.4% of all UK imports and 6.4% of all UK imports from the EU” in 2017.

The largest import from Ireland was “medicinal and pharmaceutical products” with imports valued at £2.8 billion, 19.5% of all UK goods imports from Ireland.

Other imports from Ireland included:

  • Meat & meat preparations
  • Telecomms & sound recording equipment
  • Dairy products
  • Miscellaneous manufactured articles
  • Organic chemicals
  • Miscellaneous edible products & preparations
  • Essential oils & perfume materials
  • Office machines

 

Opportunities in the UK

Carol Gibbons, Department Manager Digital Technology & Director ICT Commercialisation at Enterprise Ireland, says that:

“Ireland has a strong entrepreneurial agenda, is very agile in looking for international opportunities and has a highly educated, flexible workforce with a forward-looking mindset,”

This makes the country a desirable supplier in the eyes of UK and other international buyers.

 

How to find tenders in the UK?

The UK sources booth goods and services from Ireland. If you would like to discover how your business can find public sector tenders in the UK, learn more about our tender alerts service.

Get started

 

*source: https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8173

As the political and legal situation around Brexit remains dynamic, the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union without a negotiated Withdrawal Agreement – a ‘no-deal Brexit’ – still exists. Until an alternative is legally formalised by both the UK and the remaining EU Member States, the current default position is for the UK to leave the EU without a deal.

Many businesses will have questions around the possible implications of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ and how they can prepare for this eventuality. Therefore, drawing on our 35 years of procurement experience, our parent company BiP Solutions is pleased to announce the publication of our new factsheet, ‘Procurement after “no deal”: What buyers and suppliers need to know about preparing for a “no deal Brexit” scenario.’

The seven-page document sets out clearly and simply the key questions that both buyers and suppliers are likely to have around the possibility of ‘no deal’ – and the current guidance that exists in these areas. The factsheet answers such questions as:

  • Where will public sector organisations publish tender notices if there is a ‘no deal Brexit’?
  • How might the procurement process change, and what will the effect be for supply chains?
  • Where will suppliers be able to find tender opportunities?
  • What steps will businesses need to take to continue to supply services to EU Member States?

Download your copy of the factsheet here.*

To view the latest procurement news and updates, visit BiP Solutions’ dedicated news and Brexit pages.

*Updates will follow to reflect the changing situation.