Important Update on Public Procurement

March 28, 2023

The Department of Public Expenditure have published a new circular, ‘Initiatives to Assist SMEs in Public Procurement’. The circular has been developed to encouraging public bodies to adopt measures that will further enable micro and small firms to compete for public contracts. Circular 05/2023 will replace Circular 10/2014. In addition, a new eTenders platform will be launched on 15 May 2023, as part of the government’s public sector procurement reforms.

Read Circular 05/2023. 

The new circular will include:

  1. An increase to the threshold at which all contracts for goods and services must be advertised on eTenders from €25,000 to €50,000 (exclusive of VAT);
  2. An increase to the threshold at which all contracts for works must be advertised on eTenders from €50,000 to €200,000 (exclusive of VAT);
  3. The threshold at which contracting authorities are required to advertise all contracts for works-related services remains at €50,000 (exclusive of VAT).
  4. Updated general measures covering governance, reaffirming the principles underpinning all public procurement, and the applicability for works procurement;
  5. Enhanced measures that public bodies should take to promote transparency;
  6. The specific measures that public bodies should take to promote SME participation;
  7. A reminder to public bodies of their obligations around the use of central procurement arrangements;
  8. A reiteration of the role that eTenders, the national e-tendering platform, can play in promoting SME participation; and
  9. Updated guidance for insurance levels for supplies and general services.

Please note that these measures, including the change in the national advertising threshold, will only apply from date of publication.

eTenders platform

The Go-Live date for the new eTenders platform has been agreed as 15 May, 2023. Competitions which have been published before 15 May 2023 can be completed on the existing platform, while all new competitions must be published on the new platform from Go-Live.

As the Go-Live date approaches, users will be provided with a clear overview of any steps they may need to take upon first login to the new platform. Users and small business owners will be supported in the transition to the new platform.

Business owners are asked to regularly check for information on training, functionality changes and other important details, as we the Go-Live date approaches.

National Survey on public procurement

The Dublin Regional Enterprise Plan SBO1:3 - Enhancing Supply Opportunities for SMEs is pleased to announce, it is facilitating a national review to improve public procurement of the current marketplace. Regional breakdowns and analysis will be available for each region, with the ambition to conduct sectoral analysis also. To do this, they are asking for input from organisations to complete this national survey, which will support and assist on the current baseline. There is a survey for suppliers and a separate one for buyers (see links below). The survey will take no longer than 10 minutes of your time. The survey link is:

Access the Supplier Survey here.

Deadline: 7 April 2023

For more information on public procurement contact SFA Public Affairs Lead Join the SFA to learn more about our lobbying activity.