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Introducing Promitto, a new comprehensive email marketing solution

Promitto logo in purple

BiP Solutions is proud to announce the launch of the new self-service email marketing platform Promitto.

Drawing on BiP Solutions’ 35 years of experience in the public sector marketplace, Promitto allows for easy contact with thousands of stakeholders and leaders from local and central government, the NHS, the education sector, UK enterprise and more in just a few clicks.

Designed with ease of use in mind, Promitto offers two key advantages for those looking to promote to the public sector or to business. The intuitive email design tools mean that users new to marketing can easily build distinctive, professional marketing emails, while more experienced marketers will benefit from the flexibility the platform offers. In addition, Promitto’s unmatched data community – one of the biggest in the UK – affords contact with over 160,000 public sector decision makers, as well as stakeholders from thousands of the biggest organisations from throughout UK business and enterprise. All data can be segmented by job function, geography and more, allowing for easy contact with the best and most receptive audience.

Promitto aims to be a comprehensive email marketing solution, offering everything needed for successful marketing campaigns in a ‘one-stop shop.’

Simon Burges, CEO of BiP Solutions, said:

I am delighted to announce the launch of Promitto, which for the first time provides customers with the opportunity to access BiP’s market-leading contact data communities, via our new self-service email marketing solution.

The launch of Promitto shows that BiP Solutions are committed to innovative ways to suit our customers’ needs through our ever-growing digital portfolio.

To register and learn more about Promitto, visit www.pro-mitto.co.uk.

BiP Solutions offers a suite of digital solutions to bring together buyers and suppliers, from sector-specific data communities to the most comprehensive source of tender notifications in the UK. To learn more, visit www.bipsolutions.com.

UK National GO Awards finalists announced

UK National GO Awards logo

The finalists for the UK National GO Awards have been announced.

Celebrating the best in all aspects of public procurement, the UK National GO Awards presentation ceremony will take place at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham on 30th April. The standard of entries this year was very high, so we would like to extend our congratulations to all nominees, and thank everyone who entered.

All entries have been reviewed by our judging panel comprised of experts from across UK procurement. You can learn more about the judges here. We would like to thank all members of the panel for their time.

The full list of finalists is as follows:

GO Best Service Award – Medium and Large Organisations

  • Lyreco
  • Warmworks Scotland
  • Crown Commercial Service
  • NHS Shared Business Services
  • Hays and Birmingham City Council
  • EDF Energy, CCS, SP, TEC and NEPO
  • GRI

GO Best Service Award – Micro and Small Businesses and Third Sector Organisations

  • Re-Tek
  • AdviseInc Ltd.
  • NHS Shared Business Services
  • Ingenica Solutions and Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cadence Innova Ltd

GO Emerging Procurement Talent Award

  • Leidos Supply Limited
  • Cardiff Council
  • Scotland Excel

GO Infrastructure Project of the Year Award
Sponsored by Site Diary

  • Milton Keynes Council
  • Transport for Wales, Infrastructure Advisory UK Ltd, Steer and Mott McDonald
  • Transport Scotland:  A737 Dalry Bypass Project
  • Transport Scotland: A9 Dualling: Kincraig to Dalraddy
  • Transport Scotland: Forth Replacement Crossing

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – Health and Social Care
Sponsored by Blue Badger

  • CPD
  • Clonallon Laboratories Ltd
  • Angus Council/Angus Health & Social Care Partnership
  • Leicester City Council and Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Thames Valley Police
  • Leicestershire County Council
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • North Lincolnshire Council
  • Scan4Safety, Department of Health and Social Care

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – NHS Health and Social Care
Sponsored by Blue Badger

  • Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS Wales Informatics Service
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and North West Shared Infrastructure Service and others
  • NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
  • University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
  • NHS Lancashire Procurement Cluster
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Managed Service for the Provision of Digital Transformation Solutions
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: On-site Surgical and Medical Capacity Solutions
  • South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Integrated Care System
  • NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support and NHS England
  • NHS Shared Business Services and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
  • NHS Wales Informatics Service

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward: Local Government, Central Government and Other Organisations
Sponsored by Statkraft 

  • Angus Council/Angus Health & Social Care Partnership
  • West London Alliance
  • Crown Commercial Service
  • National Commercial Board
  • Public Power Solutions, Swindon Borough Council
  • Kent Police and Essex Police
  • Sandwell Council
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Transport Scotland
  • Kirklees Council
  • Bank of England

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Local Government & Other Organisations
Sponsored by Lyreco 

  • Angus Council
  • University of Strathclyde, DHI, NHS NSS and the Scottish Government
  • Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
  • Scotland Excel
  • STAR Procurement
  • North Yorkshire County Council

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Central Government & Healthcare Organisations

  • Office for National Statistics
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bank of England

GO Procurement Project of the year award (above £20m value) – Local Government and Consortia
Sponsored by Epson 

  • Angus Council/Angus Health & Social Care Partnership
  • NEPO
  • North Yorkshire County Council and Nynet
  • London Boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Redbridge (WELR)
  • Taunton Deane Borough Council
  • North Lincolnshire Council
  • London Borough of Waltham Forest
  • Kirklees Council

GO Procurement Project of the year award (above £20m value) – Other Organisations
Sponsored by Epson 

  • NHS Wales Informatics Service
  • Police Scotland
  • Translink
  • NHS Wales Informatics Services
  • Crown Commercial Service: Facilities Management Marketplace
  • Crown Commercial Service: Media Buying “cutting-edge” procurement
  • Department for International Development
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • North of England Commissioning Support Unit and NHS England (Specialised Commissioning, North Region)
  • Transport for Wales, Infrastructure Advisory UK Ltd, Steer and Mott McDonald
  • Translink

GO Procurement Project of the year award (sub-£20m value)
Sponsored by PlanLink 

  • Renfrewshire Council
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, North West Shared Infrastructure Service and others
  • NHS Midlands and Lancashire CSU
  • Birmingham City University
  • NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit, West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, and East Leicestershire & Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Scotland Excel and SEEMiS
  • Thames Valley Police
  • NHS Wales – Shared Services Partnership
  • Sedgemoor District Council
  • NHS Shared Business Services and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Health and Social Care Organisations

  • NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership – Procurement Serivces
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH)
  • North of England Commissioning Support Unit
  • NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support and NHS England
  • Northern Care Alliance Procurement Team (Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust & Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust)
  • NHS Wales – Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP)
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Local Government, Central Government and Other Organisations
Sponsored by Banner

  • Translink: Future Ticketing System (TFTS)
  • Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Services
  • Network Homes
  • Crown Commercial Service
  • Translink: Procurement Team
  • Crown Prosecution Service: Digital Commercial Team
  • North Yorkshire County Council
  • National LGPS Frameworks
  • Crown Prosecution Service: Procurement and Commercial Services Team
  • Kirklees Council
  • Transport Scotland
  • Leicestershire Police FHQ
  • Procurement & Logistics Service (a subsidiary of the Business Services Organisation) partnering with all Health and Social Care Trusts and the Department of Health
  • NHS Scotland National Procurement Equipping Sourcing Team, working with NSS Health Facilities Scotland Equipping Team
  • University of Strathclyde

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award – Local Authority, Consortia and Housing
Sponsored by Edenred

  • Welshpool Town Council
  • Wirral Council
  • NEPO
  • Cardiff Council
  • North Yorkshire County Council
  • Liverpool City Council: Liverpool Parklife
  • Liverpool City Council: Liverpool Adult Learning Service
  • Tai Tarian

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award – Other Organisations
Sponsored by Edenred 

  • Construction Impact Framework, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and University of Salford
  • Re-tek UK Ltd
  • NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership – Procurement Services
  • Birmingham City University
  • St Georges University Hospital Foundation Trust
  • NHS Arden & GEM CSU, West Midlands Combined Authority, NHS Wolverhampton CCG and Social Finance
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Scottish Government – SG Procurement, Contract Management & Capability Team
  • Translink
  • Department for Infrastructure, Graham Farrans Joint Venture, AECOM

Deadline approaching for the UK National GO Awards

UK National GO Awards logo

There’s still time to submit your entry for the UK National GO Awards before the deadline of Friday 1st March.

The GO Awards celebrate the best in public procurement from throughout the UK, recognising contributions from the public, private and third sectors. Entering the awards gives you the opportunity to raise your profile, share best practice with your peers, and have your organisation’s procurement success story recognised. Learn more and enter the awards here.

As well as the prestige of a nomination, there’s the networking opportunities afforded by the GO Awards presentation ceremony. Whether you are a supplier to or a buyer for the public sector, the GO Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate procurement excellence, gain best practice insight and meet fellow procurement professionals at the networking opportunity of the year. Taking place on the evening of Procurex National, 30th April, the exclusive, black-tie UK National GO Awards ceremony will be held this year at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham.

Grahame Steed, Business Intelligence and e Sourcing Director at BiP Solutions, said of the awards:

 It’s hard to believe that the submissions deadline for the National UK GO Awards is so near – 1st March, in case you don’t have it in your diary. With so much change happening across the public sector, the recognition of consistent excellence and best practice is more important than ever before. We’re looking forward to once again recognising and celebrating progress across the entire public sector supply chain, culminating with the Awards ceremony on 30th April. I urge all organisations across the public sector – and those working with them – to take the time to enter these Awards.

To view all the categories of awards, learn more and submit your entry today, click here.

To find out more about BiP Solutions, visit www.bipsolutions.com.

Micro businesses register with new tender alerts service Supply2Gov

It has been over a week since we launched our new brand Supply2Gov. The tender alerts service for sole traders and micro businesses aims to make the public sector marketplace more accessible to smaller businesses.

Registration for the new service is currently free. If you want to find out more, we have all the details below.

Designed for micro and small businesses

Supply2Gov is a fresh and friendly brand that talks to micro and small businesses about the benefits of public procurement. Supply2Gov users can create new and lucrative revenue streams from the public sector supply chain.

With a modern look and feel, Supply2Gov can be a free and easy way for micro businesses to find more tender opportunities. Our application simplifies the whole registration process and presents an intuitive customer journey.

Flexible payment options

Completely new to the market, Supply2Gov tender alerts gives customers the option to ‘pay as they grow’, with a cost-effective monthly plan as well as a new biannual option.

This means customers have the scalability to work with a solution that’s aligned with their business model and suits their cash flow.

Coverage Options

BiP has introduced simplified and comprehensive coverage options, with Supply2Gov starting with free local area coverage and then moving directly to home country cover.

This gives customers full free access to relevant opportunities on their doorstep with the option to upgrade and access their regional market opportunity.

With more growth potential available and payment plans to support phased expansion, the new Supply2Gov is an excellent introductory solution for micro businesses and sole traders looking to break into the public sector marketplace.

Tender alerts for micro businesses

The team behind the brand are delighted with the final product and are excited to see that many sole traders and micro businesses are already interested in the tender alerts service.

Senior Marketing Executive Melissa Russell says: “Our team are all really excited to see Supply2Gov go to market and really kick off 2018.

“We know how time-consuming tender searches can be, especially if you’re a small business. That’s why we’ve made it as easy as possible for users to find procurement opportunities as soon as they become available.”

Reduce the amount of time your business spends on manual searching with Supply2Gov. Find out more about Supply2Gov and tender alerts on the brand’s website.

For a better insight into all our brands, visit our website.

Autumn Statement Procurement Top Tips

Autumn Statement

The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s recent Autumn Statement offered new routes to leveraging business growth. Here, BiP Solutions journalist Julie Shennan gives 5 top tips for procurement actions to optimise your Autumn Statement opportunities.

With £23 billion of additional government spending pledged in Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s recent Autumn Statement via the new National Productivity Investment Fund, fresh pipelines of work have been outlined in areas such as infrastructure, housing, transport, defence, exports, R&D, oil and gas, communications and media.

Whatever your business sector, the Autumn Statement contains information that you can leverage to cut costs and open up new business opportunities. Here are 5 top tips for post-Autumn Statement good procurement practice.

1. Browse Business Breaks

Every year the Chancellor of the Exchequer gives business financial breaks via the likes of Corporation Tax cuts and business rates relief. These breaks often come with caveats that make them applicable to some businesses but not others; however, it is worth checking if your business qualifies so you can adjust your budget.

Also worth noting is that with each business break there usually comes a time frame for its implementation or a time limit on its duration. For example, in his Autumn Statement 2016 Mr Hammond pledged to cut Corporation Tax to 17% by 2020, suggesting that it may drop incrementally over the next few years.

2. Find Funding

Likewise, the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement often announces funding opportunities for UK business growth, to stimulate things like innovation, local economies and overseas trade. This year the Chancellor pledged £400 million through the British Business Bank to invest in innovative small businesses with potential for growth.

Now that these funding opportunities have been announced, businesses that qualify and are interested should waste no time in contacting the British Business Bank to start their application. Fortune favours the brave, and awarding bodies will not knock on doors offering funding.

3. Utilise U-Turns

Just as suppliers should be diligent in checking the recent Autumn Statement for relevant new announcements, they should also check it for any U-turns on business breaks or funding pledged in previous years.

Each year brings new circumstances and challenges that can force policy U-turns, not least when there has been a change of government. Yet one supplier’s curse is often another supplier’s blessing as the scrapping of relief or funding in one area can lead to that assistance being rechanneled into another.

4. Pursue Pipelines

Arguably the most valuable business information in this year’s Autumn Statement is to be found in the new pipelines of work announced by the Chancellor. These pipelines vary from the rather open ‘£800 million to the Scottish Government for infrastructure projects’ to the more specific ‘£7.6 million for urgent and essential repairs to Wentworth Woodhouse heritage house in South Yorkshire’.

Now that the Autumn Statement has been announced, suppliers should research it for pipelines within their sectors and geographical areas of operation, bearing in mind that some sector pipelines – such as those in construction – have a trickle-down effect into others. For instance, a pipeline for building repairs might also bring security services opportunities to guard the building while the repairs are made.

After identifying a potential future pipeline of work, suppliers should then scan the procurement horizon for this work being put out to tender. This can be done by using a contracts finder service, checking national or local authority contract portals, monitoring news stories, or attending council meetings and networking events.

For best practice guidance on finding contracts, read The Ultimate Guide to Winning Government Contracts, Chapter 4.

5. Contact Contractors

Every now and then an Autumn Statement or Budget goes one step further, not only outlining new pipelines of work but also announcing the Tier 1 contractors who will be running them. For instance, in his Autumn Statement 2016 the Chancellor detailed that £850,000 would be awarded to a Royal Society of the Arts project to promote cultural education in schools. Once the Tier 1 contractor’s name is divulged then suppliers should strike up pre-tender conversations, to establish the scope of sub-contracts available.

Best practice guidance on pre-tender networking can be found in The Ultimate Guide to Winning Government Contracts, Chapter 9.

For more information on government opportunities, visit the BiP Solutions Resources page.

LGPE 2016 Review

LGPE

Leading the way in local government procurement, LGPE (Local Government Procurement Expo) returned for a second year at London Olympia on 2 November 2016.

Opening the event, Public Sector Consultant Colin Cram said:

“Local government is going to be at the heart of public service delivery transformation; it is getting more and more devolution from Whitehall, so local government will be responsible for more and more public services.”

Reflecting on this change was Tower Hamlets Council CEO Will Tuckley, whose LGPE keynote explained the importance of devolution in reshaping UK healthcare.

Mr Tuckley said:

“Devolution creates lots of opportunities to use the best expertise we have in local government and the NHS – across the public sector – to get better value.

“In these hardened times we still spend a lot of money ensuring that people have better chances in their lives and one of the ways people have better chances is by being healthier; so it is all of our responsibilities to work together to produce better outcomes. Devolution enables us to do this by taking decisions closer to these communities.”

Also keen to improve local government spend was Malcolm Harbour CBE, who outlined his hopes for the future in the LGPE keynote ‘Innovation in Procurement’.

He stressed:

“Public sector procurement people should be more ambitious, not too prescriptive; they should think about the big problems they want to solve then bring big ideas together to solve them. This is the way that we are going to get better public services that are more efficient at a better cost, doing a better job.”

While Mr Harbour recognised the importance of budget efficiencies, he added that procurement reform required more.

He explained:

“Procurement tends to be seen as a technocratic and bureaucratic exercise, whereas actually it is far more important than that; so procurement leaders need to ensure that they combine innovation in their strategy for the communities that they serve.”

Echoing this sentiment was Eastleigh Borough Council CEO Nick Tustian, who spoke at the LGPE Adding Value Training Zone.

Mr Tustian said:

In recent years I have noticed how you have to go through quite a massive cultural and organisational change to get to be commercially minded in procurement and I don’t think most public sector organisations really appreciate the level of change needed.”

He added: “Events like LGPE are essential to help people share their knowledge; everyone is on the same journey, just at different points along the way. I love coming to these events because I love listening to others; there is a lot of good practice out there.”

Best practice tips were shared in the LGPE keynote as well as in the Adding Value, Professional Procurement Skills, Social Value and Supplier Training Zones. Between training sessions, both buyers and suppliers took to the conference floor to network.

Peter Marshall, Professional Services Director at Commerce Decisions, said:

“I hosted a talk at LGPE about the development of appropriate evaluation criteria and after hosting the talk I got lots of people coming up to my stand, looking to chat about their projects and organisations.”

He continued:

“Partnering at an event like LGPE is a very important part of starting to understand your supply base and partners. If you want to ensure that you are getting the best value for money out of your bidders then you need to engage with them as early as possible.”

Reflecting on the conference, Social Value UK’s Communications and Membership Coordinator Christina Berry-Moorcroft commented in a similar vein:

“We managed to chat to people who are in charge of procurement as well as businesses that are tendering bids.”

Echoing this sentiment was Sims Recycling Solutions Business Development Manager, Guillaume Maricourt.

He said:

“I have most enjoyed networking at LGPE; sometimes we have talked to people in procurement who are not in IT but have helped us get in touch with the IT procurement department for their companies.

“If you want to get involved with procurement in the public sector then LGPE is definitely a good show to be at.”

Register your interest in next year’s event by visiting the LGPE website

 

Digital Strategies in Government Procurement: Procurex Wales

CarenFullertonIn anticipation of her presentation at Procurex Wales Live on 6 October at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, entitled Digital Strategy for Welsh Government, Caren Fullerton, Chief Digital Officer at the Welsh Government, spoke to BiP Solutions journalist Domhnall Macinnes about the importance of having a good digital strategy in central government procurement.

Caren Fullerton worked for the Welsh Government as an analyst for 15 years before moving on to such roles as Head of ICT for the Welsh Government’s agriculture department and Head of Corporate Services at the International Property Office, among others.

She said: “In my current role I’m responsible for providing leadership on the Welsh Government’s own digital services and digital delivery and also for some aspects of data. My team are also looking at opportunities to do things differently with respect to ICT services and unified communications.”

In April 2015, the Welsh Government published Digital First, a strategy outlining the Government’s approach to driving digital change in the public sector. Digital First aims to stimulate the provision of a variety of good-quality online services for citizens and businesses in Wales.

Mrs Fullerton explained: “A key principle underpinning Digital First is the ability to use digital to generate efficiencies and deliver value for money. Digital First is not overly prescriptive and instead provides a framework to drive improvements; we are already beginning to see some really tangible deliveries as a result of the strategy. We have also recently published an open data plan for Welsh Government, the principles of which are repeatable across the public sector. We already publish a vast amount of open data and the plan will stretch us even further. A USP for Welsh Government is that our data is bilingual and therefore valuable to a variety of people all over Wales.”

Mrs Fullerton also noted that the introduction of the National Procurement Service has had a positive impact on how suppliers and government do business all over the UK.

She continued: “I think it’s important to remember that Wales has a distinct policy agenda when it comes to digital development and digital approaches. Nevertheless, our citizens and businesses receive many of their services from Whitehall departments so I think it’s important that suppliers of services in Wales understand both the differences and our common ground in order to deliver the best quality products for us. This also helps their credibility when they look at developing themselves as suppliers to the rest of the UK.”

Mrs Fullerton touched on the vital importance of having a well thought-out digital strategy in central government procurement, benefiting both government and the supply chain.

She commented: “You want your suppliers to have done their homework up front when they are bidding for work so that the procurement process goes quickly and smoothly for them and for you. Also, these days it’s more likely that our procurements involve limited competition with a group of suppliers who themselves have already been through a framework contract procurement process.”

Mrs Fullerton briefly explored what the Welsh Government looks for in a supplier.

She said: “I’ve met suppliers that have come with really great products they’re potentially interested in trying to sell to Wales, but because they haven’t done their research on a lot of the things that matter to the public sector in Wales and the Welsh Government, they’re not really able to compete for that work. Do your research first!”

Rounding off the session, Mrs Fullerton provided a snippet from her upcoming talk at Procurex Wales and discussed the value of Meet the Buyer events.

Discussing the importance of digital change, she said: “I think the talk is mostly going to be around how digital change is about completely transforming the way in which your business operates. It is about rethinking how you deliver your service, sometimes through a very different business model. Examples from the private sector include Uber and Airbnb, where people have completely rethought how the transaction between the buyer and seller takes place and then built an IT system and new processes to deliver that. This radical rethinking also applies to how we need to transform the public sector.”

She concluded: “I think for buyers, events like Procurex are an opportunity to step back a bit and think about what it is you’re doing, while learning from the past experiences of others.”

Procurex Wales will be a hub for opportunity when private sector delegates and key public sector representatives descend onto the floor of the Motorpoint Arena for a day of networking. To gather fantastic tips about digital change from Mrs Fullerton’s speech and to seize the opportunity to gain much more, register for Procurex Wales Live 2016 today.

Budget 2016 Review

Budget 2016 Review

The UK Budget 2016 saw a continuation of the Conservative Government’s commitment to austerity, with a further £3.5bn of efficiencies forecast to be made by 2020. However the Chancellor also outlined measures to boost business growth; here BiP Solutions reporter Julie Shennan examines their implications.

Justifying the Budget cuts, Chancellor George Osborne explained that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had reduced its 2016/17 forecast for UK GDP growth to 2% (down from the 2.4% growth rate predicted in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement).

This reduction in growth forecast was explained as a result of ‘global uncertainty’, to which Mr Osborne said the Government would react with ‘sound public finance’, aiming to get the UK into a budget surplus by 2019/20.

The Chancellor outlined plans to:

  • Reform the business tax system;
  • Devolve power to local communities; and
  • Commit to national infrastructure projects.

Taxes

Mr Osborne’s business tax system reforms include:

  • Supporting a £1bn tax break for the oil and gas industry, including abolishing Petroleum Revenue Tax.
  • Cutting business rates for all small businesses that occupy property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less, as of April 2017.
  • Cutting Corporation Tax to 17% in 2020.
  • Scrapping Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) for self-employed people from April 2018, meaning that the self-employed only have to pay Class 4 NICs if their profits are over £8,060 per year.
  • Class 4 NICs will also be reformed so self-employed people can continue to build benefit entitlement.
  • Introducing a tapered rate of relief on properties worth up to £15,000.
  • Reducing Capital Gains Tax from 28% to 20%, and the basic rate from 18% to 10%, as of 6 April 2016.
  • Adding an 8 percentage point surcharge to be paid on residential property and carried interest (the share of profits or gains that is paid to asset managers).
  • Maintaining National Insurance on redundancy payments above £30,000, from April 2018.
  • Changing stamp duty rates for commercial property from 17 March 2016, so that tax bands will be 0% for the portion of the transaction value up to £150,000; 2% between £150,001 and £250,000, and 5% above £250,000.
  • Reduction of stamp duty for buyers of commercial property worth up to £1.05m.
  • Introducing a new 2% stamp duty rate on leases with a net present value over £5m.

Tax Avoidance Crackdown

Mr Osborne also outlined plans to raise £8bn over the next five years by closing the loopholes which allow large companies to legally avoid tax. He plans to do this by:

  • Capping relief on interest payments at 30% of UK earnings (with exceptions for groups with legitimately high interest payments).
  • Legislating against hybrid mismatching tax avoidance.
  • Taxing outbound royalty payments better – increasing multinationals’ UK tax payments.
  • Tackling suppliers storing goods in Britain and selling them online without paying VAT.
  • Ensuring offshore property developers are taxed on their UK profits.

Devolution

Just as Mr Osborne said he was making UK taxes work for UK businesses, he said he would put the power to spend those taxes into the hands of local governments. This means:

  • Devolving local government business rates by the end of the Parliament.
  • Starting the devolution of business rates in London, with the deadline of April 2016.
  • Backing elected mayors in Manchester, Liverpool, Tees Valley, the North East and Sheffield and the West Midlands.
  • Establishing mayors across English counties and southern cities.
  • Transferring new criminal justice system powers to Greater Manchester.
  • Introducing a single powerful East Anglia combined authority, headed up by an elected mayor and almost £1bn of new investment.
  • Agreeing a West of England mayoral authority and pledging almost £1bn to the region.
  • Giving Greater Lincolnshire new powers, new funding and a new mayor.
  • Implementing a new fiscal framework in Scotland.
  • Negotiating a City Deal for Edinburgh.
  • Devolving new powers to the Welsh Assembly.
  • Starting a £1bn City Deal for Cardiff.
  • Negotiating a City Deal for Swansea and a Growth Deal for North Wales, so it’s better connected to the Northern Powerhouse.
  • Planning the devolution of Corporation Tax in Northern Ireland.
  • Enhancing capital allowances to the enterprise zone in Coleraine.

National Infrastructure

To back this ‘devolution revolution’, the Chancellor laid plans to boost national infrastructure by:

      • Approving development of High Speed 3 between Manchester and Leeds.
      • Commissioning Crossrail 2.
      • Finding new money to create a 4-lane M62.
      • Developing the case for a new tunnelled road from Manchester to Sheffield.
      • Upgrading the A66 and A69.
      • Accepting the Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations on energy and on London transport.
      • Setting out measures to speed up the planning system, zone housing development and prepare the country for the arrival of 5G technology.
      • Increasing the standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax by half a percentage point, and committing the £700m extra revenue raised to flood defence spending.
      • Backing flood defence schemes for York, Leeds, Calder Valley, Carlisle and across Cumbria.
      • Backing community development grants projects from Truro to Hull.
      • Extending the Cathedral Repairs Fund with an extra £20m.

Concluding his Budget 2016, George Osborne said it put ‘the next generation first’. With business rate relief, infrastructure investment and plans to strengthen devolution it is also a budget which supports businesses of all sizes, across all sectors, in the immediate months and years ahead.

The Ultimate Guide to Winning Government Contracts launches

Ultimate Guide pic

In response to UK government procurement reform, BiP Solutions has thrown a lifeline to those seeking public sector business by releasing its Ultimate Guide to Winning Government Contracts.

The Ultimate Guide starts by explaining the scale of the public sector marketplace and the financial gains it has to offer businesses of all types and sizes. It then explains the preparation work that suppliers must do before bidding for contracts, as well as the practical steps involved in the various stages of the bidding process.

Not content to leave suppliers hanging, the Ultimate Guide goes further to explain what action can be taken after a bid, should an unsuccessful applicant seek further information. With jargon busters, top tips and graphs, the website appeals to a variety of users, from procurement novices to experts.

Procurement expertise is something that BiP Solutions has honed over 31 years; the company’s offering includes procurement services, portals, exhibitions and training. Now the Ultimate Guide is adding to these resources, linking private sector suppliers with public sector buyers.

Public sector buying is key to the private sector, as it is estimated some £263bn per annum is spent on procurement across the UK public sector.

And no company is too small to benefit from this business, as the UK government has an ongoing drive to involve SMEs in its supply chain, resulting in 27.1% of central government buying (between 2014-15) being with small businesses.

BiP Solutions itself reflects this success, as the SME has a history of winning public sector contracts, including with the 2012 Olympic Games, the Department for Communities and Local Government, Education Scotland and the Home Office.

Keen to spread this good fortune, BiP Solutions’ COO Simon Burges urged suppliers to read the Ultimate Guide.

He said: “For over three decades BiP Solutions has built its procurement expertise, and connected suppliers with public sector buyers.

“These connections have been developed through BiP products, services and events, which map the procurement landscape.

“Now, mapping this landscape, BiP is proud to launch the Ultimate Guide to Winning Government Contracts. This guide will take suppliers step by step through the tender process, providing comprehensive advice in laymen’s terms.

“The Ultimate Guide is a complimentary publication that reaches out and offers suppliers an insight into BiP’s marketplace knowledge. This knowledge has never been more relevant to suppliers as local government devolution and central government transparency measures are opening up an increasing number of public sector contracts.

“With this in mind, I would urge suppliers to go onto the Ultimate Guide website and read its vital advice.”

Senior PASS (Procurement Advice and Support Service) Consultant Eddie Regan added: “Contractors, whether micro businesses or multi-nationals, can never learn enough about the public procurement rules and regulations. Success is driven by knowledge and hopefully many will find the Ultimate Guide a useful step on the journey to success.”

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