12 February 2009 | Jake Kanter
The Northern Ireland government is examining ways it can accelerate its procurement.
Finance minister Nigel Dodds has asked the Department of Finance and Personnel to adopt recommendations made by the European Commission (EC) to help counter the effects of the economic crisis.
The EC urged public sector buyers to take advantage of accelerated procedures that reduce tendering from a minimum of 87 to 30 days. It said faster tendering for "major" public projects could help boost the economy (News, 22 January).
Dodd has asked the Central Procurement Directorate, the country's civil service's purchasing arm to urgently investigate how faster processes could be best applied to ensure local suppliers benefit.
"I want to make sure we use every possible mechanism open to us to counter the effects of the current economic situation and I believe faster tendering for major public projects can help in this regard," he said.
A recent poll of 100 buyers by SM found that 63 per cent have not cut tendering times to help vendors win business more quickly to tackle the downturn (News, 5 February).