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30 November 2010 | Lindsay Clark
& Angeline Albert
The UK government is to investigate
the causes of delay in the procurement process in a bid to boost Britain’s growth.
The government is
seeking a more competitive and transparent procurement system and will conduct a “lean study” to consider purchasing delays, the Departmentfor Business Innovation and Skills
It said bureaucratic hurdles
threaten healthy competition and economic growth. Its paper, The path to strong, sustainable and balancedgrowth, said: “Public spending also
shapes markets through government’s role as a procurer. The current system
leaves businesses wasting too much time on form-filling and searching for
contracts. It works against a competitive market by locking dynamic and
innovative SMEs out of many government contracts.”
In the meantime it
announced a number of measures to achieve a more transparent buying process.
This includes a contracts finder system to help SMEs identify public sector
procurement and subcontract opportunities online, which will be launched in
March 2011. The government will publish all contracts online from January 2011.
The paper said it will
also “support public sector
bodies, where relevant and cost-effective, to promote skills training and
apprenticeships in procurement”.
The paper added
that Whitehall is mandating a simplified, core pre-qualification questionnaire
for suppliers and a quarter of central government procurement is to be directed