Public sector procurement is defined as the purchase of goods or
services from a third party that is delivered under the terms of a
contract or service level agreement (SLA).
To be legally binding all the conditions necessary to form a
contract must be met.
The process of bidding for, and negotiating, such a contract is
known as tendering.
The third party can be from the public, private or voluntary
sector. However, the majority of third sector organisations tend to
deliver contracts for the public sector, for example a local
authority or health trust.
Procurement is also concerned with the processes and systems for
managing the acquisition of goods and services from start to
There is no standard approach to public sector procurement.
A typical procurement process can be downloaded
The public procurement market offers a number of opportunities
for third sector organisations. Services delivered under contract
- Community transport schemes (taking pensioners to hospital
- Care for the elderly (respite or day care)
- Health treatment or therapies (sometimes alternative healing
such as acupuncture)
- Meals on wheels (providing and delivering meals to the
- Recycling schemes
The public sector represents a massive opportunity for third
sector organisations. The kind of goods and services required cover
a huge range. Your aim should be to know your market and position
your organisation so that you can take advantage of these
opportunities, carefully targeting those which you have a good
chance of winning.
In how do I
apply, we outline some of the issues you need to consider when
tendering for contracts including the tender process, maximising
contracting opportunities, preparing a tender and some top tips for
increasing your chances of success.