Talk to us 01204 238 046

Post-Tender Negotiations: A Comprehensive Guide for Public Sector Procurement

Written by Thornton & Lowe


Jan 22, 2024

Post-tender negotiations

Post-tender negotiations may become an increasingly critical aspect for bidders engaged in public-sector procurement. This process, while more complex, offers an opportunity for suppliers to refine their proposals, ensuring alignment with the buyer's requirements. With the recent enactment of the Procurement Bill, post-tender negotiations are set to play an increasingly significant role in the procurement landscape.

Understanding Post-Tender Negotiations

Post-tender negotiations are discussions that occur after the submission of a tender proposal and before the awarding of the contract. These negotiations can cover various aspects, including pricing, contractual terms, service delivery, and more. These discussions are distinct from tender clarifications, which occur pre-bid, intending to shed light on specific elements of the tender document. The purpose of the negotiations is to ensure the buyer achieves value for money. If you have bid for a tender knowing you have to provide a compliant response, when in fact you know there is a better solution, this could be a great tool for you to demonstrate your expertise and partner of choice.

Why Post-Tender Negotiations Matter

Post-tender negotiations are integral in ensuring that the buyer and the supplier are on the same page regarding the contract's terms and conditions. The buyer may initiate negotiations for a plethora of reasons, ranging from alterations to the bid proposal to re-pricing. It's important to note that pricing is often the most common reason for renegotiation.

While post-tender negotiations may seem like an unwelcome extension of an already exhaustive process, they present a unique opportunity for suppliers. If the buyer liked your initial proposal but requires some alterations, these negotiations give you a second chance to secure the contract.

Navigating Public Sector Procurement

Public sector procurement involves a systematic process that suppliers must follow to bid for and secure contracts. The Procurement Bill 2024 has introduced the Flexible Competitive Procedure, adding another layer to this process. This new procedure incorporates elements of the current competitive dialogue and negotiated procedures, making it necessary for bidders to fine-tune their negotiation skills.

Key Differences: Public vs. Private Sector Procurement

While the principles of procurement remain constant, the approach may vary significantly between the public and private sectors. The public sector focuses on transparency, accountability, cost-effectiveness, and adherence to legal requirements. On the other hand, private sector negotiations often prioritise profitability, market dynamics, and competition. Understanding these differences is crucial for effective negotiation.

Table 1: Public vs. Private Sector Procurement

Public Sector

Private Sector


Transparency, accountability, cost-effectiveness, legal compliance

Profitability, market dynamics, competition


Stricter, regulated, focused on public interest

More flexible, driven by business interests

Contract Duration

Longer-term contracts common

Short-term contracts are more common

Bidder Selection

Formal, regulated process

More flexible, can be relationship-based

The Seven Stages of Procurement Negotiation

  1. Preparation: Conduct thorough research and plan your negotiation strategy. Understand the goals and objectives of the procurement process and assess your budgetary limitations.
  2. Opening: State your negotiation goals clearly. Ensure that both parties are aligned on the objectives of the negotiation.
  3. Testing: Use this stage to understand the supplier's priorities and identify potential areas of compromise.
  4. Proposing: Propose what you aim to achieve from the negotiation. Be open to modifying your proposal based on what you've learned so far.
  5. Bargaining: This is where compromises are made. Be flexible and open to change. The goal is a win-win solution.
  6. Agreement: Ensure that the deal is in writing and signed by both parties. A handshake is not legally binding.
  7. Closure: Ensure both parties have access to the written agreement and consider the negotiation complete.

Role of the Procurement Bill 2024

The Procurement Act 2023 plays a pivotal role in shaping the public sector procurement landscape. One of the major changes brought about by this Act is the introduction of the Flexible Competitive Procedure. This new procedure combines elements of the competitive dialogue and negotiated procedures, thus requiring bidders to enhance their negotiation skills. We've written an in-depth blog on this here.


Post-tender negotiations are an invaluable aspect of public sector procurement, offering suppliers the opportunity to refine their proposals and align them with the buyer's requirements. With the introduction of the Procurement Act 2023, the significance of post-tender negotiations is set to increase, making it vital for suppliers to hone their negotiation skills. By understanding the intricacies of post-tender negotiations, suppliers can navigate the procurement landscape more effectively, securing contracts that offer the best value for money.

Speak to an expert

Contact us

Related articles...

Made by Statuo