Scheme sheds light on public sector market


28 Feb 2006

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Public sector contracts worth a total in excess of €20m were shared between more than 130 companies over the past two years, according to InterTradeIreland, a group that promotes cross-border collaboration between businesses.

The 130 companies that won public sector business were participating in InterTradeIreland’s Go Tender programme. The scheme, which helps businesses serve the public sector market, is now in its third year.

Liam Nellis, chief executive of InterTradeIreland, said that total public sector spending throughout the whole of Ireland is more than €18bn per year. However, many companies are losing out on such contracts because of perceived obstacles to winning business.

“There has been a strong misconception by many businesses throughout Ireland that bidding for government work, particularly in the other jurisdiction, is expensive, complex and time-consuming — so they don’t bother trying,” he said.

Vidatum Technologies, a young IT company founded in early 2004, is an example of an emerging company that won publicly tendered business.

It was awarded a contract worth €100,000 to assist the information systems division of the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources in Dublin with the development of its ICT strategy for the period 2005-2007.

Vidatum’s managing director Tadhg Cashman said the Go Tender programme was “instrumental” in helping the company to land the deal.

The third Go Tender programme will run in Dublin and Galway over March, April and May. It demonstrates to companies, particularly those with no previous involvement in public procurement, how to submit proposals and realistically expect to win new business.

The programme includes sessions on completing live tenders, gaining feedback from business advisors PricewaterhouseCoopers on proposals and receiving networking support. According to InterTradeIreland, suppliers can also use the skills gained to bid for public sector contracts throughout Europe.

More details on the scheme are available at www.intertradeireland.com.

By Gordon Smith