Online Brokerage System

Online Brokerage System

Transport for London (TfL) is seeking to commence a technical dialogue with the marketplace in establishing a new self-sustaining business model for the CompeteFor on-line brokerage system after its current contract and public sector funding expire in the Autumn of 2012.

UK-London: procurement software package

2012/S 59-096195

Prior information notice


Directive 2004/18/EC

Section I: Contracting authority

I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)

Transport for London (Premises Projects and Commercial Services)
Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria St.
Contact point(s): Commercial Centre of Excellence
For the attention of: Collan Murray
SW1H 0TL London

Internet address(es):

General address of the contracting authority:

Further information can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

I.2)Type of the contracting authority

Regional or local authority
I.3)Main activity

Other: Transport
I.4)Contract award on behalf of other contracting authorities

The contracting authority is purchasing on behalf of other contracting authorities: no

Section II.B: Object of the contract (Supplies or services)

II.1)Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority:

Provision of Electronic Brokerage Service and Support Services on a Commercial Basis.
II.2)Type of contract and place of delivery or of performance

Service category No 7: Computer and related services
Greater London.
II.3)Information on framework agreement
II.4)Short description of nature and quantity or value of supplies or services:

Transport for London (TfL) is seeking to commence a technical dialogue with the marketplace in establishing a new self-sustaining business model for the CompeteFor on-line brokerage system after its current contract and public sector funding expire in the Autumn of 2012.
CompeteFor is the on-line contract advertising and brokerage system, originally launched to ensure business opportunities arising from the London 2012 Games were made as widely available as possible to businesses, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). In 2009 the portal was widened to include contract opportunities from the Greater London Authority (GLA) group and London’s wider public sector supply chain.
CompeteFor is a “pre-procurement” software tool, and a way in which procurers can create a short-list of potential suppliers quickly, and importantly, in an anonymous environment and then invite them to bid for contracts. CompeteFor has proved hugely successful in engaging businesses and opening supply chain contracts:
— There are over 155 000 businesses registered on CompeteFor. This is thought to be the UK’s biggest database of suppliers on any procurement related portal,
— Over 11 000 business opportunities have been made available, by over 900 public and private sector buyers,
— Around 90 % of the opportunities posted on the system are sub-contracts from the private sector,
— Over 8 500 contracts have been awarded, with an estimated value of c. 2 000 000 000 GBP,
— Approximately 74 % of awards have been made to SMEs.
CompeteFor is the first public sector portal in the UK where sub-contracts (supply chain opportunities) are advertised by private sector businesses. These opportunities are not traditionally visible to small businesses, but usually offer smaller and more achievable packages of work.
Suppliers register basic details of their business to create a user account. They complete and publish a full “business profile” in order to be matched with opportunities made available via CompeteFor through an automatic alert system. Suppliers choose to respond to appropriate opportunities by completing a simple buyer-created bespoke questionnaire – typically this takes less than 20 minutes per opportunity.
Buyers register on the system in exactly the same way as suppliers. Currently CompeteFor uses a ‘Buyer Engagement Team’ to help buyers understand how to get the most out of the system and identify suitable opportunities. Buyers make opportunities available via CompeteFor by creating a contract ‘advertisement’ and developing a bespoke questionnaire along with a weighted scoring system.
Once suppliers have responded to an opportunity, the buyer is provided with an anonymous (to help with equality of opportunity) long-list of potential suppliers and their scores; buyers can then develop a shortlist of suitable potential suppliers to take through to their own procurement process. Buyers are able to obtain useful management information about the profile of their supply chain, including SME participation, geographic spread and ownership. This information can be used to demonstrate community benefits, local investment transparency.
Ownership of CompeteFor.
CompeteFor is currently led by the London Development Agency on behalf of England’s Regional Development Agencies and the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
On 1.4.2012 the responsibility for CompeteFor will transfer from the LDA to TfL who will be responsible for delivering the CompeteFor service until the end of the current Contract. To ensure that the UK public sector’s investment in CompeteFor creates a positive business legacy after the 2012 Olympic games, the GLA and TfL are exploring the transfer of CompeteFor to a new business model which is not public sector led.
Although originally focused on London 2012 related opportunities, CompeteFor was expanded under the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Action Plan (ERAP) to include public sector buyers in London and their supply chains. CompeteFor forms a core part of the London 2012 business legacy. Current public sector users of CompeteFor include:
— Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA),
— Greater London Authority (GLA),
— Transport for London (TfL),
— Crossrail – Europe’s largest construction and civil engineering project,
— Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),
— London Fire Brigade (LFB).
CompeteFor is also currently used by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) and many large private sector companies.
CompeteFor was developed in partnership with the London Business Network (LBN) (whose membership is made up of London First, Confederation of British Industry London, London Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Federation of Small Businesses) and as such has been well supported by the private sector.
CompeteFor Delivery Model.
The LDA manages the project on behalf of all UK regions through an outsourced model with two key elements comprising the whole project. Firstly the the website,, and its associated helpdesk element are under contract with a third party. Secondly, the provision of Buyer Engagement Services is currently under a separate contract which is co-terminus with that of the website and helpdesk.
The LDA owns all Contract Generated Intellectual Property Rights and these will transfer to TfL on 1st April. The intellectual property includes the CompeteFor shortlisting toolfunctionality, the database, branding, goodwill and domain names. The system is however built upon pre-existing software from an established provider and bespoke third party code modifications to it. The LDA currently pays annual licence fees for this.
Links with other projects.
Alongside CompeteFor the Mayor is responsible for a number of other projects which provide elements of web based support for businesses related to procurement and supply chain management. The GLA is considering potential synergies between the web-based parts of these projects and CompeteFor and will welcome outline proposals from interested parties in developing the interconnectivity between these solutions.
There are a number of existing Mayoral projects which provide business focussed interventions linked to procurement and supply chain management. In seeking a new commercial delivery model for CompeteFor there is scope to consider how the web-based parts of these projects could be better integrated, or consolidated with the CompeteFor portal to achieve efficiencies and increase business engagement across initiatives. These projects include:
Diversity Works for London ( The Mayor’s initiative to support London’s private sector businesses to benefit from London’s diversity, through improved workplace and supply chain management. The project has a business facing website providing guidance to businesses, and an on-line self-assessment tool for businesses to identify their current level of diversity proficiency, and then access relevant guidance to improve their practices. There are approximately 5,000 businesses registered on the Diversity works for London website.
Mayor’s Green Procurement Code ( The Mayor’s initiative to support businesses in making more sustainable purchasing decisions. The project includes on-line guidance, and businesses can opt to undertake an annual review of their purchasing practices through an on-line audit tool.
A prospectus providing further information on CompeteFor and this process is available from and interested parties are encouraged to review the prospectus before responding with an expression of interest.
Purpose of this PIN.
The intention of this PIN is to commence a technical dialogue exercise, in order to ensure that the process being undertaken and the options ultimately developed for any subsequent procurement, are properly informed. TfL, on behalf of the GLA, wishes to engage with interested parties in order to develop an approach to transferring CompeteFor’s assets to deliver a sustainable legacy for the project after the 2012 Olympic games. TfL is open to considering a variety of different business models for the sustainability of the system, and is seeking expressions of interest from the market through a technical dialogue on the optimum approach to establishing a self-sustaining business model after the current contract expires in autumn 2012. TfL believes that CompeteFor’s assets as described above could be exploited by a private sector partner to generate revenue for a self-sustaining business model. The information gained through this technical dialogue may result in one or more procurement processes for single or multiple elements of the services.
The expressions of interested received by 17:00 on 16.4.2012 will then be reviewed and a number of suppliers may be invited to technical dialogue discussions to be held at a central London location. Following the meetings, suppliers may be invited to make further written submissions to TfL which will be used to inform TfL in its continued consideration of the nature of any procurement process which it may wish to embark upon in the future. TfL will also consider whether further clarification or technical dialogue will be carried out to develop the views of the market more specifically. TfL is under no obligation to follow up this technical dialogue in any way or with any interested parties. Any such discussions will cease in the immediate run up to any formal competition. Additional Information: TfL wishes to provide fixed points of contact for this technical dialogue exercise as set out here and interested parties are requested not to contact any other individual or team at TfL or any of its other advisors.
TfL is committed to ensuring fairness, openness and transparency, and to follow EU procurement regulations. This Prior Information Notice (PIN) is issued solely for the purpose of conducting a technical dialogue exercise and does not constitute any commitment by TfL, the GLA, or any of their stakeholders to undertake any public procurement exercise in the future. Interested parties will not be prejudiced by any response or failure to respond to the soft market testing exercise and a response to this PIN does not guarantee any invitation to participate in this technical dialogue testing exercise or any future public procurement process that TfL may conduct on behalf of the GLA.
This PIN notice does not constitute a call for competition to procure any services, supplies or works for the GLA or TfL and the GLA or TfL is not bound to accept any proposals offered. TfL is not liable for any costs, fees or expenses incurred by any party participating in the soft market testing exercise. Any procurement of any services, supplies or works by the GLA or TfL in due course will be carried out strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006.

This contract is divided into lots: no

II.5)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

48490000, 48611000, 79410000, 79400000, 72600000

II.6)Scheduled date for start of award procedures
II.7)Information about Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
II.8)Additional information:

A Prospectus providing further information on CompeteFor and this process is available upon request from Interested parties are encouraged to review the prospectus before submitting an expression of interest against this notice.

Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information

III.1)Conditions relating to the contract
III.1.1)Main financing conditions and payment arrangements and/or reference to the relevant provisions governing them:

The authority is seeking a self-sustaining financial model for the future of CompeteFor beyond the current public sector funding period which ends in the Autumn of 2012.
III.2)Conditions for participation
III.2.1)Information about reserved contracts

Section VI: Complementary information

VI.1)Information about European Union funds

The contract is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: no
VI.2)Additional information:

Further information can be obtained from a Prospectus which is available upon request from

VI.3)Information on general regulatory framework
VI.4)Date of dispatch of this notice: