29 October 2007 | Andy Allen
A standard set of tender documents has been produced to help local authorities draw bids from smaller businesses.
Regional Centres of Excellence for the North West, North East, Humber and East Midlands jointly created the papers, which are available at www.nwce.gov.uk/docking-station.
Making it easier for SMEs to bid for contracts helps councils to diversify their supply base. It is also hoped it will assist local authorities in making the tendering and contracting process easier, simpler and more efficient.
Rosemary Cowgill, programme manager of the North West Centre of Excellence, says: "The existing paperwork can be a bureaucratic nightmare and a barrier to many potential smaller suppliers."
Jane Hewitt, procurement and projects officer for Darlington Borough Council, said bidders had often asked why documentation was different for every local authority.
The new documents are intended to eliminate jargon, save money and allow modern procurement processes, such as electronic tendering, to be used.