Public procurement represents an important market for Irish businesses. Significant work has been undertaken by the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) to ensure that public procurement is accessible to all businesses, including SMEs. Specific measures to support SME participation include dividing larger tendering competitions into lots and setting proportionate eligibility requirements, for example in relation to turnover and insurance. Specific supports are provided by InterTrade Ireland and Enterprise Ireland to assist SMEs in preparing for public tenders.
Public bodies are also required to advertise all contracts for goods and services valued above €25,000 on the national eTenders portal (etenders.gov.ie). The OGP recommends that suppliers register on etenders and avail of its facilities including automatic alerts in relation to future tendering opportunities. Any supplier can respond to Requests for Tender (RFT) once they meet the criteria set out in the tender documentation.