Businesses given insight into applying for tenders

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COUNCIL Borough Council held a seminar to support local businesses when applying for public sector tenders.

Hosted in association with Invest NI and Central Procurement Directorate (CPD), the aim was provide an overview on how the procurement/tender environment has changed and offered an insight into the requirements of public tendering bodies.

Advice and information was also provided on how to submit professional tenders, enabling open discussion on the pitfalls of tendering and some of the common mistakes being made.

Representatives from thirty businesses attended the event to hear how they could improve their chances of winning public sector tenders.

Councillor David Barbour set the scene for the event which was organised specifically to help local businesses be more successful in the future.

Linda Williams, Economic Development Manager with Coleraine Borough Council outlined the Council’s procurement procedures and highlighted results of tenders in the last year.

“This is a great opportunity for local businesses to get free support on how to complete a tender application and I am pleased to see so many attend to take up this opportunity,” she said.

“Council is planning a procurement support programme, which is scheduled for January 2013. This will provide more in-depth assistance for those participating and I recommend anyone interested to register their details with the Council’s Economic Development section on 028 7034 7045 or email economic.development@colerainebc.gov.uk”

Victor Beggs of the Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) explained how the public procurement market works across Northern Ireland and how CPD works on behalf of government departments.

Maurice Patterson and Katherine Spratt of Invest NI informed the audience how they can help businesses wishing to tender and how to easily find tender advertisements. Katherine also encouraged businesses to work in partnership in order to bid for certain tenders.

Finally, Pearse McAnallen of Invest NI outlined the importance of businesses needing recognised Quality Management Systems in place, as they are almost always essential criteria when bidding for public sector work.