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Government to open up procurement chain to SMEs

12 March 2012

The government has outlined a series of new measures that will make it easier for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to win government procurement contracts.

Unveiled by the Cabinet Office this month, the initiatives will see government IT contracts become smaller and more flexible, while efforts will be made to ensure that SMEs are paid more promptly for goods and services.

Moreover, a rating system will be introduced for SMEs to rate the quality of dealings they have with different departments, with an online tool also being launched to improve the dialogue between small businesses and the government.

This coincides with a new report showing that the amount of business going to SMEs across central government is already on track to rise from 6.5 per cent to 13.7 per cent by the end of the current financial year.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: "We are determined to shake up public buying so radically that there is no turning back to the old days of SMEs being shut out."

This follows the introduction of a new Civil Service training contract last month that was the first to stipulate that a certain portion of the services must be delivered by an open, competitive supply chain.

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Categories: Central Government, Public Sector

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