Frequently Asked Questions
What is MoD Defence Contracts Bulletin (MoD DCB)?
With an annual spend of over £16 billion, the MoD is UK industry’s number one customer. In 2006, the MoD placed over 26,000 contracts purchasing almost every conceivable product and service in order to satisfy the requirements of its worldwide operations and the needs of its 250,000 Service personnel.
MoD DCB links you to this broad market by supplying you with the official contract notices, industry information and market intelligence you need each working day in a variety of different formats.
MoD DCB provides a gateway to new business opportunities for companies, large and small, who wish to compete for defence business, either directly as a prime contractor, or indirectly as a sub-contractor.
MoD DCB is available in a choice of formats to suit your business requirements.
What formats is MoD DCB available in?
As a supplier you can register for MoD DCB Alert, MoD DCB Online, or MoD DCB Magazine.
As a buyer you can register for free access to MoD DCB Online.
What is MoD DCB Online?
MoD DCB Online access allows you to search online for new contract notices 24 hours a day, seven days a week using your own search criteria. Locate contract awards to identify sub-contracting opportunities and monitor competitor activity (updated daily). You will also have access to official MoD announcements, contact points, defence reports and related feature articles.
What is MoD DCB Daily Email Alert?
MoD DCB Alert is an exciting new contract information service that delivers UK and European defence contract opportunities matching your organisation’s unique profile, by email, every working day.
This new service allows you to create your unique profile describing the products or services which your company offers, using keywords and codes. You receive only those contract notices that match your requirements.
In addition to receiving the daily email alert, you will also enjoy access to MoD DCB Online and receive the fortnightly published MoD DCB Magazine, completely free.
What is MoD DCB Magazine?
MoD DCB Magazine is the only official paper source of UK MoD contract opportunities. ‘Non-warlike’ and ‘warlike’ requirements valued in excess of £93,000 are advertised in MoD DCB Magazine. As well as containing contract information, the magazine also contains defence news and reports, important MoD announcements and special feature articles.
What is MoD DCB Market Monitor?
MoD DCB Market Monitor delivers vital defence-related market intelligence specific to your organisation straight to your desktop every working day.
Like the daily email alert service, MoD DCB Market Monitor allows you to create a unique profile that identifies precisely the defence sector market intelligence you seek. Each working day MoD DCB Market Monitor searches through hundreds of websites, publications and other sources and forwards to you by email all market intelligence information that matches your profiled requirements.
What value of contract opportunities are advertised on the MoD DCB portal?
MoD DCB Online contains UK and European defence contract opportunities of all values.
MoD acquisition teams are required to advertise through this portal ‘warlike’ and ‘non-warlike’ requirements for goods, services or works valued at between £40,000 and £93,000 and may voluntarily advertise ‘warlike’ and ‘non-warlike’ requirements for goods, services or works valued at between £20,000 and £40,000.
What is the cost of an annual subscription?
All subscription information and costs can be found by choosing Subscribe from the main menu.
What can I do once I have subscribed to MoD DCB Online or Alert?
MoD DCB Online offers suppliers a range of facilities. Once logged in you can visit the Activity Centre to access the following primary functions of MoD DCB Online:
- Online contract opportunity search service
- Set up and manage a daily contract email alert service
- Set up and manage a daily market intelligence alert service
- Complete and publish your profile on the Select Supplier Information Database (SID)
How can I carry out additional searches on MoD DCB Online?
MoD DCB Online offers you the ability to run a Quick Search or an Advanced Search to search for contract opportunities posted on the service. By entering a time period, industry sector and keywords you can search the MoD DCB Online site for matching contract opportunities.
What information is required to build my MoD DCB Daily Email Alert profile?
Your MoD DCB Daily Email Alert profile is driven by keywords or phrases (eg ‘defence’ or ‘information security’) and CPV (Common Procurement Vocabulary) codes. At registration you will be asked to enter three or four keywords, and you can expand on this once you are logged in.
What are CPV codes and how do I use them?
CPV codes have been specially developed by the EU for public sector procurement. Buyers use CPV codes to classify their contracts by applying a code and description for the items they wish to procure. Suppliers can add CPV codes to their supplier profile to assist in the matching of contract opportunities. To assist you we have provided an easy online search where you can type in a word or word stem (eg ‘defence’ or ‘def’) which will return matching CPV codes. By clicking the boxes next to the CPV codes you can include them in your profile or use them for online searching.
Can I use exact keywords, abbreviations, acronyms, company names, etc?
If you are a subscriber to MoD DCB Online, you can search for abbreviations, acronyms and company names as well as exact keywords in the advanced contract search. This section is also case-sensitive. These words cannot be left open-ended, as MoD DCB Online will only search for exact matches. If you were to insert the word ‘arm’ it would exactly match the word arm and not find contracts which contain words such as ‘armour’, ‘vehicle armour’, and ‘body armour’. NB: Please ensure your selection is as specific as possible. It is not advisable to use words such as ’service’, ‘information’, ‘journal’, ‘maintenance’, etc. These words are generic and will provide you with irrelevant information. Exact keywords which are contained within your profile will be highlighted in your results.
Can I monitor my competition?
If you are a subscriber to MoD DCB Online you can enter your competitors´ names in the Exact Keywords section of the advanced search form. Please remember to include any abbreviations. By inserting a company name you will be notified of contracts that have been awarded to that competitor.
Can I set my profile so that some types of contract are not supplied?
Yes, MoD DCB Online filters out contracts which are not relevant, and allows you to input keywords, enabling you to spend more time concentrating on the contract opportunities which are going to win you new business. For example, you may work in the construction industry and have the keyword ‘construction’ contained within your profile, but you may not deal with the construction of roads. By including ‘roads’ in the Omit Keywords section, you will only receive contracts related to construction that do not contain the keyword ‘roads’.
Can I set my profile so that I receive all notices from specific organisations?
Yes, with MoD DCB Online you can elect to receive not only notices of specific supplies, services and works but also notices from specific organisations. You can even ask MoD DCB Online to notify you of contracts that have been awarded to your competitors, thereby providing you with a unique market intelligence service.
How do I update/amend my MoD DCB Daily Email Alert profile?
At any time during your subscription you can access the MoD DCB Online website and from the Activity Centre choose to update your Daily Email Alert profile.
What if I lose my password?
If you lose your password you can choose the ´forgotten password´ link located on the top right hand side on the MoD DCB home page. Your log on details will be emailed to you.
What statistics are provided by MoD DCB?
To ensure that your profile is working for your organisation, use the statistics which are contained at the bottom of every email that is dispatched to you. They will show you how often keywords or CPV codes are included in the contracts delivered to you.
Does MoD DCB Online search both contract notices and awards?
When compiling your personal profile you have the option to search for new contract notices and/or contract awards. By selecting contract awards you will be able to identify sub-contracting opportunities and monitor the activities of your competitors. To receive both contract notices and contract awards indicate Search Both on your profile. If you choose to receive both contract notices and contract awards these will be divided into categories in your results.
How often is the MoD DCB Online site updated?
The MoD DCB Online site is updated on a daily basis.
Is support available to answer my questions regarding MoD DCB?
Yes, support is available through a variety of channels. Contract opportunities may raise queries as they contain so much information, so we have provided online user guides as well as integrated help functions. If, however, you still have any unanswered questions, we provide a complete support service. Please use the contact us form to submit your query.
What are the different types of notice I can search for?
Competitive Contract Notice
Contract opportunities that are typically worth under £93,000 will be categorised as Competitive Contract Notices and will be classified by the ‘Nature of the Contract’ of which there are four categories: Works, Services, Supplies or Research (scientific).
- Competitive Contract Notice will state the requirements of the opportunity.
- Competitive Contract Addendum will highlight any changes or amendments or provide notification of cancellation of a published Competitive Contract Notice.
- Competitive Contract Notice Award will publish details of the company or companies which have been awarded the contract opportunity.
Possible Future Purchase
Possible Future Purchase provide companies with advance warning of forthcoming MoD tenders or contracts.
Should a purchase be decided, full documentation for the requirement will be available in due course and an announcement will appear in the usual way. Companies are invited to note the summaries of the requirements given and to register their interest, if appropriate, with the specified MoD issuing branch, quoting the project requirement title before the deadline for ‘Expressions of Interest’.
The announcement of a future requirement is not to be construed as confirmation that a tender or contract will subsequently be issued. Announcements are for information only.
This section identifies those organisations which have been invited to tender for Possible Future Purchases. The purpose of this section is to enable prospective sub-contractors and peripheral or sub-suppliers to contact tenderers directly in order to offer their services or products.
Amendments to contracts made after their original publication are included in this section.
Contracts awarded provide notification of the award of a contract. The purpose is both to inform interested parties of the successful tenderer and to again enable prospective sub-contractors and peripheral or sub-suppliers who may have missed the Tenders Invited notice to contact the successful tenderer directly to offer their services or products.
Sub-Contract Opportunities provide details of the MoD’s prime contractors’ requirements for possible sub-contract opportunities. The sub-contract opportunity will have arisen as part of an MoD prime contract. The purpose is to alert possible sub-contractors to potential opportunities to bid for MoD work as a second tier defence supplier. Prospective suppliers should contact the relevant Prime Contractor issuing branch/point of contact to register their interest in bidding for the requirement. If the Sub-Contract Opportunity notice provides details of companies that have been issued tenders as possible second tier suppliers, third tier suppliers should contact those companies invited to tender directly.
Existing Contracts for Management and Specialist Lands Term Commissions, Works Services Managers and Establishment Works Consultants. Provides details of existing Enabling Arrangements for the Defence Estate, which gives specialist contractors the opportunity to offer their services direct to the contractors listed within this section.
What are the different procedure types?
- Open procedure: A procedure where suppliers can apply without prior selection. The EU Directives lay down the type of criteria which can be used to eliminate unqualified or unsuitable suppliers.
- Restricted procedure: A procedure where suppliers are selected by an open first-round invitation. All prospective suppliers can apply to be included in the restricted list for the contract. Those suppliers who meet the required criteria will then be invited to tender.
- Negotiated procedure: A procedure where only chosen suppliers are invited to negotiate contracts. May be used in limited circumstances only - eg extreme urgency, failure of open or restricted procedures to yield valid tenders, or repetition of similar work.
- Accelerated restricted or negotiated procedure: A procedure where the length of time of the procurement response process may be shortened to accommodate unforeseen circumstances and/or emergency situations.
Can I get advice on dealing with the public sector?
As an MoD DCB Online subscriber you will have access to our Resource Centre. Here you will find links to industry bodies, EU Directives, supplier guidances, seminars and events, a glossary and further FAQs.
How do I cancel my access to MoD DCB?
Should you no longer wish to have access to MoD DCB, please use the contact us form to notify us. We would also appreciate if you could include your reasons for wishing to cancel.
Any other queries?
If you have any unanswered questions, please Contact Us.