A Quarter of UK Government Contracts to be Awarded to Small Businesses!

Vince Cable, Business Secretary, says that a quarter of public sector contracts are to go to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Government recognises that small businesses struggle with existing government procurement processes (including documentation and other requirements / qualifications / accreditations).

He said: “Our policy is to ensure that 25 per cent of public procurement goes to the small business sector. We need to give access through small-scale procurement.”

We have seen blatant discrimination against SMEs by some public sector organisations (eg discriminating specifically on size: requiring that a contract must not represent more than 8% of your turnover)… not to mention the requirement to have so many policies / accreditations and the ability to answer very complex questions on business management.

So it will be interesting to see how this works out.

Your views, experiences and comments on government contracts are most welcome.

3 thoughts on “A Quarter of UK Government Contracts to be Awarded to Small Businesses!”

  1. It will be interesting to see if such a ‘fair-y tale’ can really happen. The whole tendering process needs completely overhauling to make it fairer for SMEs, as it has become a complete exercise in having good writing skills and all the accreditations rather than focussing on the actual work to be carried out.

  2. Quite often the case might not be about SME’s struggling to get around the process but further down the chain – the procurment officers who are making the decisions, and in light of the situation and pending public sector cuts the procurement offices/managers will be even more reluctant to take risks with SME’s – even if this initiative is well intended.

  3. Welcome news indeed for SMEs up and down the land. Regarding the need for multiple accreditations, it would be hoped that the Government is aware of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and the movement for reducing duplication. Unfortunately, successive Governments have all too frequently introduced their own standards for procurement purposes, when all was required was to introduce internationally recognised standards like ISO 9001. Let’s hope Mr Cable and his colleagues embrace such easy simplification of the Government system.

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