Government plans to streamline procurement process paves the way for SMEs to access massively lucrative public sector contracts.
The current initiative, inviting feedback and opinion, closes on the 13th November and forms part of the new “Small Business, Enterprise and Employment” (SBEE) Bill designed to help small businesses gain better access to public sector opportunities.
With an annual spend of £230bn, UK public sector procurement has the potential to create significant business opportunities for the UK business scene, particularly among SMEs (Small and Medium sized enterprises). This has now being recognized. With the latest Government consultation focusing on procurement it’s becoming abundantly clear that Small to medium sized enterprises have a real opportunity to unlock the potential for Government to access their creativity and innovation. This initiative highlights the fact that Government now recognizes that SMEs have found bidding for public sector contracts a time-consuming, costly and bureaucratic process until now.
Among the questions the Government is inviting feedback on, include:
- How do you ensure an efficient and timely process for public sector contracts?
- How do you ensure that considerations of small businesses are integrated into the procurement strategy?
- All but the most complex central government procurement contracts should be delivered within 120 working days – should this policy be applied across all public sector procurements? Can you identify and explain where Lean sourcing principles may not apply?
- In your opinion what existing practices in public sector procurement result in unnecessary delays or additional costs?
- What do you believe is the minimum number of days required for submitting a full Invitation to Tender response?
- Can you identify specific areas of the procurement life cycle where you think the public sector can improve?
- What resources should the public sector commit to the management of contracts?
The Government is using the consultation exercise to get the views of buyers, suppliers and other stakeholders to ensure that the regulations made under the power in the SBEE Bill help create a simple and consistent approach to procurement across the public sector so that small businesses can gain better and more direct access to this market.
This is a UK wide public consultation and is open to anyone. The consultation document has also been issued directly to a number of known stakeholders, and is also made publicly available.
This consultation will run for a period of 4 weeks from 09:00 on Thursday the 16th of October 2014 until 09:00 on Thursday the 13th of November 2014. Results of the consultation will be published in December 2014.
If you would like advice and further information on how to streamline your own procurement processes to put you in a stronger position for tendering, then please contact a member of our professional procurement services team who will be delighted to advise.