17 June 2008 | Paul Snell
Public sector buyers and suppliers are being asked for recommendations on how to reduce barriers for small firms to win public contracts.
As part of the government's Enterprise Strategy, announced earlier this year, a consultation has been launched to review how easy it is for SMEs to supply to the public sector. The study will also consider ways to improve tendering, provide better information and reduce barriers for small firms.
The government also wants the review to consider the feasibility of a target to be set of 30 per cent of all public sector contracts to be awarded to SMEs.
Anne Glover, chief executive of investment firm Amadeus Capital Partners, will lead the review. The nine-strong group also includes Tim Byles, former local government procurement champion and now chief executive of Partnerships for Schools, and John Warrington, director of policy and innovation at NHS PASA.
Angela Eagle, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said in a statement: "I want to be sure that SMEs enjoy the same access to public sector contracts as their bigger counterparts and I want to learn of their experiences across small and large contract values in shaping future policy."
The consultation runs until 8 August and those wishing to contribute should contact GloverCommittee@ogc.gsi.gov.uk or call the OGC Service Desk on 0845 000 4999. The results of the inquiry are expected alongside the pre-budget report in the autumn.
The Enterprise Strategy also incorporates the free trial for suppliers on the government's supply2.gov.uk website, which runs until 31 July (Web news, 1 May 2008).