29 Jul 2004

What is it?
Jointly developed by Enterprise Ireland, Invest NI and InterTradeIreland, Go-source is a directory of public sector procurement opportunities across the 32 counties of the island of Ireland.

Who is it for?
Businesses interested in finding and pitching for public sector contracts.

What features does it contain?
The contents could be summarised as: ‘Everything you wanted to know about public sector contracts but were afraid to ask’. The backbone of the site is a searchable database of current public sector contracts. You simply select the preferred jurisdiction (North or South), sector (eg, health, central government etc) and location (Cork, Dublin etc) and the search engine returns a list of relevant contracts up for tender. Full contact details are given for each, as well as details of the product or services required. Another section provides an excellent introduction to the public sector and how its procurement system works. Complementing this is an Advice and Guidance section, which outlines the steps suppliers need to take to maximise their chances of success and highlights possible pitfalls. The site is rounded off by a links page, which lists public procurement sites in Ireland, UK and Europe as a whole.

How does it look?
The blue and green colour scheme creates a bright and cheerful, though not frivolous, feel. Colourful images and chunky section heads help to break up the text although the magnifying glass motif is used perhaps a little too liberally on the home page and throughout the site.

Best feature?
It’s all-island coverage makes this a unique resource among the many public procurement websites out there. Meshing the two areas of content together was clearly not easy but it has been achieved with some style.

The verdict?
As North-South trade continues to grow, go-source.com is one of the better online resources helping to oil the wheels of commerce.

By Brian Skelly