In 2022, the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) announced it had selected a new supplier, European Dynamics, to provide the national tendering service, eTenders. The target ‘go-live’ timeframe for the new eTenders platform is April 2023.
A short time frame is planned when the current and the new platforms are simultaneously active. This measure seeks to protect the integrity of live competitions and business continuity. The current platform is expected to continue until May 2023 to allow users to complete competitions already in progress when the new platform goes live. The current deadline for completion of competitions on the existing platform is 19 May 2023. To protect their integrity, all competitions and the first stages of multi-stage competitions must be concluded in the current platform before that date.
All new competitions will start on the new platform once it goes live. Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS, Utilities QS) and Frameworks will be available on the new platform from go-live to facilitate drawdowns. This will be an entirely new Platform, and the OGP advised that the user experience will be different and that users will need to allow time to become familiar with the new site.
The OGP advised that the new platform will be similar to the current one in many ways but will also include new and improved functionality. A targeted training programme has been announced, with comprehensive training expected to be offered closer to the launch. It is understood that the training programme will be rolled out for users based on their roles, from basic to administrator to superuser. The training is expected to include webinars, videos, training manuals and online/classroom-based learning and will seek to encourage users to make more use of online functionality. The OGP indicated that additional support would be offered following go-live.
The changeover from the old to the new platform will require a data migration process. The new supplier of the eTenders platform, European Dynamics, will migrate data in stages to accommodate competitions at different parts of their lifecycle. Data migration activities commenced at the end of December 2022 and are due to be completed post go-live. In advance of the data migration process, Contracting Authorities were asked to ensure the following:
- Frameworks are clearly identified on the Platform.
- Active contracts older than four years are identified on the Platform.
A step-by-step guide on how to do this is currently available on the eTenders website.
Further updates are expected on progress and implementation as the target go-live date approaches. Procurement Advisory Services forms part of the MKO Estates and Project Management (EPM) Team’s service offering. The EPM Team have monitored the ongoing development of the new platform and has taken appropriate actions to ensure a smooth transition for all our client procurement processes that are either in progress or are due for publication during the relevant transition period.