The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) recently published its pipeline of procurement covering its anticipated needs for infrastructure services. The pipeline sits alongside the DIO’s existing commercial strategy to expand its supplier base and make more opportunities available for SMEs. The DIO is responsible for some £3 billion of procurement spend annually so the pipeline (which will be updated quarterly) is an essential resource for suppliers looking to break into or continue to develop their offer in the Defence infrastructure market. It affords suppliers the chance to plan and schedule resources against particular elements well in advance.
There is a broad mixture of new tender opportunities as well as planned call-offs/mini-competitions under established frameworks. The types of services required cover a wide range; the DIO’s commercial strategy suggests a typical breakdown of annual spend including, amongst other things, around £750m of build spend, £550m of soft FM and in excess of £1 billion in hard FM services. The strategy also commits the DIO to increasing its supplier base through practical steps such as:
- reviewing qualification criteria so that they do not discriminate against suppliers based on size or experience with the DCO
- engaging with SMEs as well as large suppliers before going to market, and
- ensuring that second and lower tier suppliers benefit from prompt payment.
The pipeline represents one element of this but it is also likely to be supported by pre-market consultation events or other opportunities to participate at an early stage.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) also publishes information on line regarding its Defence Contracts Online (DCO portal), the Contracts Finder portal, and (for above OJEU threshold contracts) the Official Journal of the European Union.
Above threshold competitions run by the DIO or MOD are likely to be governed either by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 or by the Defence and Security Contracts Regulations 2011.
Should you have any queries about procurement opportunities or issues, our team of experts would be very happy to advise.