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What is Find a Tender?

In this useful, quick blog, we answer the question: “What is Find a Tender?” The new procurement service that came into play on 1st January 2021.

Find a Tender – or FTS for short – replaces the OJEU process from 1st January 2021. This is down to the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, as the OJEU process was under their rules and regulations. The Find a Tender service aims to keep everything ‘in-house’ and adapt the procedures already in place.

So how does it all work? We’ve got you covered with this quick and useful breakdown!


What is Find a Tender?

The Find a Tender service went Live at 11pm on 31st December 2020, ready for the UK to leave the EU on 1st January. It replaces the well established Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) process that was in place for many years. In short, it’s the new place to look for all public sector contract opportunities, and opportunities to bid on, and replaces the Tender Electronic Daily (TED) portal – where users could view all OJEU publications.

The new Find a Tender service is free to use and you can access it here. Any opportunities posted AFTER 31st December 2020 will have to be listed on this Find a Tender service portal – as long as they are over the stated thresholds of value (we’ll go into those later!).

You’ll be able to find any Contract Notice or ITT using this portal. As well as published Prior Information notices (PINs, for short), which show when the public sector are looking for certain services and start engagement before any official ITT is published. These are really useful to get the engagement started early. We always recommend to keep an eye on these in the areas you’re targeting!

In fact, you’ll also be able to search all CANs too. These are Contract Award Notices, which outline who won a contract, it’s value and the length of the contract agreed. Useful to keep watch on your target markets, and competitors!


What happens to OJEU and TED?

OJEU and TED will still be around, as the EU will still continue to use these processes for their procurements. Also, any opportunity published before 11pm on 31st December still has to go through TED and OJEU rules. From the start of 2021 onwards though, Find a Tender is the platform to use.

Users can still use TED to search for any opportunities within the EU, though. So we do recommend that suppliers still pay attention to it if that’s their target.


What are the Find a Tender thresholds?

All contract notices and procurement notices have to be published on Contract Finder, this won’t change. Any valued over a certain amount have to be posted through Find a Tender. These thresholds are:

  • £122,976 for Central Government
  • £378,660 for Defence and Security
  • £189,330 for other contracting authorities
  • £70,778 for small Lots


So what now?

Business as usual! We recommend checking out the FTS website here. Have a play around and search for some opportunities that might be relevant for you and get used to the platform.

Also, make sure you haven’t missed any of the changes. All of which are outlined in two PPNs here and here.



Tender – A tender is procurement lingo for all contract opportunities published by private and public sector organisations for goods, services, works and utilities.

Find a Tender – or FTS. The new service where all UK public sector opportunities over a certain value are published.

Award – When a contact is issued or and order placed with a supplier.

Competitive tendering – Awarding contracts to suppliers by the process of seeking competing tenders.

Award criteria – The criteria in which the tenders received will be evaluated against.

Contract Notice – An advertisement which notifies suppliers of a contract opportunity.

ITT – or ‘Invitation to Tender’ is the document issued which outlines the scope of a project and invites suppliers to ‘tender’ for those works.

PIN – or ‘Prior Information Notice’ provides the market place with the early notification of the intent to award a contract or a framework. This can lead to early supplier discussions which can help shape the specification.

OJEU– the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) is the online journal that is home to all European public sector contracts that are worth above a certain value. From 1st January 2021, the UK will no longer use this to publish its opportunities.

TED – Affectionately nicknamed TED, but actually stands for Tenders Electronic Daily and is where OJEU notices for Europe are advertised. No longer used by the UK to publish new opportunities from 1st January 2021.

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