12 May 2008 | Jake Kanter
The Welsh Assembly (WA) has urged public sector buyers in Wales to make contracts more accessible to the third sector.
Andrew Davies, minister for finance and public service delivery, called on them to give "greater recognition" to NGO and charity vendors with the launch of a new report.
Procurement and the third sector: Guidance for the public sector in Wales explained the challenges faced by not-for-profit organisations when bidding for contracts, and improvements buyers could make.
The document said charities suffer from not being considered serious contenders for bids. It urged purchasers to understand the market properly and open up contracts by reducing bureaucracy and costly tendering, making it easier and cheaper for suppliers to bid.
Speaking at the launch, he said by making tender processes more accessible, buyers can "break down the commonly cited barriers of the lack of information about contract opportunities, trends towards larger scale contracts, complex and costly tendering procedures and short-term contracts."
Cabinet minister Ed Miliband urged public sector buyers to show the sector "more respect" earlier this year (Web news, 25 February). The latest report is an extension of Opening Doors - The Charter for SME Friendly Procurement released by the WA in 2006 (Web news, 14 June 2006).