2018: £670m of expiring government contracts up for grabs in “SME goldmine”

Immediate release: 21 June 2018
• Over £100 of government awards to expire this year in Estates & Infrastructure, with £565m to expire in Digital & Technology
• SMEs made up 62% of the 23,100 suppliers winning government contracts in 2017
• Early engagement critical to securing quality bids and a smooth tender process, say experts

At least £109 million of government awards in Estates & Infrastructure are due to expire this year, with this figure rising to £565 million for awards in the Digital & Technology sector, according to new research from Tussell, a comprehensive online database of public tenders and government contracts in the UK.

Meanwhile, the number of SMEs winning government contracts each month increased 11% between 2016 and 2017, according to the team who are also a supporter of this year’s Public Sector Show.

SMEs have consistently made up a majority of government suppliers, constituting two-thirds (62%) of the 23,100 suppliers awarded government contracts in 2017, with every level of government awarding more contracts to SMEs in 2017 than the previous year.

SMEs made up 67% of Estates & Infrastructure suppliers, making this the sector with the highest representation of small business suppliers.

With hundreds of millions of pounds worth of government contracts due to expire by the end of the year, pre-engagement will be vital to securing high-quality bids and a smooth tender process. Supporting public servants to achieve value for money is one of the key themes of this year’s Public Sector Show, the UK’s must-attend event for those leading, delivering and managing public services.

Bringing together over 2,000 senior budget-holders and decision-makers, visitors will be able to hear from over 140 leading speakers, including Robert Jenrick MP – Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury; Angela Harrowing – Programme Director, Asset Efficiency and One Public Estate, Government Property Unit; Emma Jones MBE – Crown Representative for SMEs; and Huda As’ad – Infrastructure Delivery, Infrastructure & Projects Authority.

Over 150 exhibitors, including Cisco, Airbus, KPMG and BAE Systems, will be showcasing a range of products and services that can help the public sector save money and improve performance. Research from Tussell reveals that large companies in the Outsourcing, IT and Construction sectors attending the Public Sector Show have won 1,774 government contracts since 2015.

Benjamin Taylor, Chief Executive, Public Service Transformation Academy, said: 

“To get best value from commissioning and procurement, you have to see the bigger picture. That means real pre-engagement with potential suppliers from all sectors – and really thinking about the implications of how you interact with the market”

Andrew Coulcher, Group Director, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, said:

“It makes good procurement sense to understand the extent of the pool of possible suppliers in readiness for an open and transparent exchange of information. Offering support such as training or guidance on any templates you use means you’ll have more suppliers and potentially more creative solutions to choose from. Building strong foundations early in the procurement process with suppliers is key to commercial outcomes.”

Corby Ganesh, Portfolio Director of the Public Sector Show 2018, said:

“SME representation among government suppliers is growing fast. With over £780 million of government contracts set to expire this year, there is a potential goldmine of opportunities for SMEs to gain a greater share of government spend.

“Pre-engagement is vital to delivering value for money and the best possible service to the public. That’s why this year’s Public Sector Show will bring together government buyers and suppliers to share ideas and discuss how we can open up the public sector supply chain to the benefit of public services.”


The Public Sector Show, incorporating the National Infrastructure Forum, will take place at ExCel London on Tuesday 26th June and is free to attend for those working in the public sector. Find out more and register here.