Under procurement rules, public sector tenders (in the UK and EU) have to be publicly published, to ensure fair competition. The gov.uk website gives the following information regarding procurement:
‘Public sector procurement is subject to a legal framework which encourages free and open competition and value for money, in line with internationally and nationally agreed obligations and regulations. As part of its strategy, the government aligns procurement policies with this legal framework, as well as with its wider policy objectives.’
What this means is that whenever an organisation that is paid from the public purse (ie NHS, universities, libraries, emergency services, local councils and so on) needs to buy goods or services, they are obligated to follow the Government’s buying policies.
To meet this requirement, the organisation must place an official notice online to allow anyone with the required goods or services to bid for the work.
Prior to the UK leaving the European Union, notices of procurement were given in the Tenders Electronic Daily, the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU/TED). From 1st January 2021, notices will be placed on the ‘Find a Tender Service’ (FTS).
The official ‘FTS’ website can be found on
where you will have access to all UK public sector contracts in procurement from 31/12/2020.
Emergency services also use the ‘Bluelight’ procurement service to advertise their tenders. This can be found on
There are also many online subscription-based tender finding services that you could sign up to, which may make it easier to locate the type of work you’re looking for; just run a search on your favourite search engine.