Have you ever wondered how businesses stay ahead in the complex world of UK procurement? It requires a good understanding of the various processes involved, one of which is the Prior Information Notice and how it is used. In this blog, we’ll explore what these are and why they’re a game-changer in procurement, for both suppliers and buyers.
What is a Prior Information Notice?
A Procurement Prior Information Notice (PIN) in the UK is a preliminary announcement issued by a public sector organisation. These notices signal upcoming procurement opportunities, acting as an early alert for potential suppliers about future tenders or contracts. They are a testament to the UK’s commitment to transparent and open public procurement, influenced by both local and historical EU regulations.
Where would I find a PIN?
In the UK, PINs are typically published on the Find a Tender Service (FTS), which replaced the OJEU post-Brexit for UK-specific tenders. Suppliers should regularly check this platform and use its search filters to find relevant notices. Understanding these notices is key to tailoring your business offerings for upcoming tenders.
Post-Brexit changes to PINs
It’s worth noting that since the UK left the EU, there have been several changes in procurement processes. This affects how PINs are used and interpreted:
As briefly mentioned, the UK has transitioned from the EU’s OJEU to its own Find a Tender Service (FTS). Suppliers need to familiarise themselves with FTS as the primary platform for UK public sector tenders and PINs.
While mirroring many EU procurement principles, the UK has its variations in rules and processes, which suppliers need to be aware of.
New sectors may emerge as significant players post-Brexit. Stay informed of these shifts, as they could affect the frequency and nature of PINs.
For international suppliers, it’s important to understand how Brexit affects their eligibility and requirements for participating in UK public procurement.
Best practices for monitoring and responding to a PIN
The key challenge with PINs is their sheer volume and varying levels of detail. Suppliers should focus on notices relevant to their sector and can consider using automated tools for alerts and updates. Regular engagement with public sector organisations can also provide deeper insights into upcoming opportunities. Here are a few of our best practice tips to help you optimise your approach:
- Early Engagement: Use the information in the PIN to engage early with the procuring entity. This can involve asking clarifying questions, seeking additional information, or expressing interest, which can help shape the final tender to be more inclusive and competitive.
- Understand the Requirements: Analyse the PIN thoroughly to align your response with the buyer’s needs.
- Prepare in Advance: Leverage the lead time provided in the PIN to strategise and prepare the necessary documents.
- Stay Updated: Keep an eye out for any changes to the PIN that might affect your strategy.
Understanding and effectively responding to Prior Information Notices can set your organisation apart in the competitive world of UK procurement. Stay informed, stay engaged, and use these notices to unlock new opportunities.
The upcoming year is looking to be huge for public sector procurement – you’ll find endless PINs notifying you of the opportunities coming up! We recently released our 2024 White Paper, detailing everything you might need to know about the major frameworks and DPSs available to public sector suppliers in 2024. ‘Unlock the door to 2024’ and download the White Paper for yourself now! See our guide to 2024 frameworks here.