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Public sector procurement 'must be fairer to SMEs'

23 February 2012

Public sector procurement efforts could benefit from becoming more inclusive and accessible for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

This is according to Clive Davenport, chair of the trade and industry policy unit at the Federation of Small Businesses, who told Guardian Professional that government purchasing remains too heavily biased towards large multinational suppliers.

He explained that this is because public sector bodies are predisposed towards dealing with large aggregated contracts, which skews the market in a way that inhibits competition and innovation.

Mr Davenport said SMEs can provide goods and services of a high quality and value, adding that involving them in contract discussions can also lead to greater pricing concessions.

"A well-targeted public procurement policy has the potential to be a huge lever for growth," he stated.

This comes after the Cabinet Office launched an online app store for its G-Cloud framework for cloud-based ICT service procurement, a move which it believes will provide savings while enhancing competitiveness.

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Categories: Central Government, Public Sector

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