Helping organisations understand Social Value

SPOTLIGHT on PPN 09/21: Requirements to publish on Contracts Finder

Procurement Policy Notes are fairly boring.  I’m taking a hit for the team (you’re welcome) and explaining why they’re important for social value.  This time we’re talking about PPN 09/21: Requirements to publish on Contracts Finder. This Note reminds in-scope organisations of the requirements to publish procurement information on Contracts Finder. Contracts Finder – GOV.UK (

Hands up who’s heard of Contracts Finder?  Well done, you’re well ahead of the curve.  Contracts Finder is a portal that lets you search for information about contracts worth over £12,000 (including VAT) with the government and its agencies*. It’s totally free to access, you can use it without registering, or you can register and set up alerts.   Pretty dull stuff. When I deliver Tendering training, I make all attendees register during the session (honestly, it’s just like when your mum used to stand and watch while you tidied your bedroom. It’s one of my more interesting training courses 😉).

The reason I get all directive about this, and the reason why PPN 09/21 exists, is that Contracts Finder makes opportunities easily visible for MSMEs (small businesses).  It’s a FANTASTIC concept.  Every government opportunity on one portal? No requirement to pay to view? No faffing around with registering on a million different portals for different commissioners?  It’s a dream for anyone, never mind small companies where one person is trying to do three jobs at once.

The relevance for us as Social Value managers is driven by both the government SME Spend Agenda, the Procurement Bill (see above) and Social Value Model Theme 2 Tackling Economic Inequality, maximising visibility and opportunity for small and diverse owned enterprises. And, oh look! There it is in Sub-Criteria for MAC 2.1.  I don’t know about anyone else but I’m seeing this topic crop up in tender questions for corporate clients, so if you haven’t already talked to your procurement colleagues it might be worth the heads up to see where you’re advertising your opportunities?

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*For higher value contracts above OJEU, the use of Find a Tender is recommended, though there are much larger contracts published on Contracts Finder.