How Long Does It Take A Department To Publish A Contract Notice?

Lollipop chart showing time taken to publish contract award notices

Public sector organisations have, according to guidance, thirty days to publish details of their contracts online. So, thirty days after a contract there should be a public notice with some key details about the contract online.

Our analysis shows that on average, just three departments met the thirty day guideline in 2020. In 2019, just two departments met the guideline. In 2020 the average time between the contract start date and the contract publication date was 105 days, more than three times longer than the recommended timeframe.

The worst performer in 2020 was the DWP who took an average 233 days to publish a contract notice. A special mention must also go to DEFRA, who managed to increase their average time to publish a notice by more than one thousand percent.

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Notes on this analysis: Data was taken from documents published on Contracts Finder between 01/01/2018 and 31/12/2020. Days to publish was taken from the start date of a contract and the date of publication. Departmental analysis includes departmental bodies, e.g. performance by Department of Health and Social Care includes contracts awarded by Public Health England. We have continued to keep the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office separate as the bulk of the data in our analysis was published separately.

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