Building sector wins in Ireland’s €12 billion Public Sector Tender Market

The €12 billion published and awarded in public sector tenders in 2013 was across a diverse range of services from Airfield Pavement Construction worth €30 million to Dog Kennelling services for Dublin City Council.

The most lucrative tender published was for Airfield Pavement Construction by Dublin Airport Authority estimated to be worth €30 million. This contact is not yet awarded.

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  • Construction-related services the big winner
  • HSE awards most contracts
  • 82 per cent of the time there is no published info on winners or amounts
  • RPS has won more than 100 contracts since 2003
  • Largest contract is worth €30 million
  • Only one in 10 SMEs tender
  • Munster is the big winner after Dublin

Despite government cuts to health spending, the HSE awarded more public sector tenders than any other body, according to the inaugural Annual Report from TenderScout, published today, Monday, February 24.

While the Office of Public Works was second highest publisher of tender opportunities on the buy list it was almost matched by Cork County Council.

Some 25 per cent of all tenders fell into just five categories – construction, ICT/technology, training and education , consultancy and recreational, cultural or sporting services with construction related services accounting for more than half of these.

In fact, 13 per cent of all tenders were construction related – three times as many as the next closest ICT/technology.

The smallest category (recreational, cultural or sporting services) embraced a wide range of tenders from laundry management at Beaumont Hospital to dog kennel services at Dublin City Council.

“It is clear to see from the data, that despite fall off in the sector in recent years, the construction Industry in Ireland still has a lot of opportunities when it comes the public sector,” says Tony Corrigan, CEO of TenderScout. “SMEs operating in this sector should really look to tendering.”

Companies which won the most tenders during the year included Eircom, UPS Communications. PWC, RPS Group, Micromail, Roadstone Wood, Deloitte, EY, Hibernia Evros Technology Group and Coady Partnership Architects.

In fact, many of these companies have had considerable success in tendering down the years with RPS securing more than 100, Deloitte over 90 and Eircom 80 since 2003.

Geographically, Dublin is still the big winner accounting for 62 per cent of all tenders. Outside of Dublin the most successful counties were Cork with 8 per cent, Galway with 5 per cent and Limerick and Kildare with 4 per cent each.

Only 10 per cent of SMEs actually participate in the public sector process, according to the report, which Corrigan said he published to help them better understand the processes and hence likelihood of winning.

And, while SMEs have yet to make a huge impact on winning lucrative contracts in Ireland, Irish companies are making even less impression in Europe with less than 2 per cent of them recorded as winning European tenders. In fact, only 250 Irish companies’ actually tendered abroad successfully during the year.

Corrigan added: “The value of the Irish Public Sector procurement market in 2013 was €12 billion which is the single biggest market opportunity for SMES. With only one in 10 SME’s participation in tendering, there is an incredible opportunity for them.

“The research clearly shows that SMEs want to tender with 46 per cent saying they are interested but they feel they have no chance of winning. We say they can win and if they can’t win it alone TenderScout can help them find suitable partners to help them be successful.”

The TenderScout Annual report also revealed that 82 per cent of award notices are missing – meaning that for four out of five contracts awarded by government no record is ever published of the successful companies or the value of the contract.

“This type of information is really important to help SMEs gain a better understanding of the process and encourages them compete for future tenders,” explained Corrigan.

TenderScout’s Annual report is based on interviews with SMEs, analysis of government policy and a forensic assessment of the publicly available procurement data.