SMEs to increase share of public contracts
MoD critic set to lead defence procurement
MoD suspends helicopter rescue contract
MPs urge MoD and Treasury to interact more effectively in procurement
MoD faces claims of "poor value" purchasing
14 January 2011 | Angeline Albert
UK minister Peter Luff this week told
SMEs the government will harness their talent by making its buying process more
accessible to them.
to SMEs at a Centre for DefenceEnterprise (CDE) conference on 13 January, the minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology said procurement
improvements were needed if SMEs are going to play a larger role in providing
said the government would look to involve SMEs more in the development of
certification standards and also help them access large contracts, which may
normally be given to bigger, main contractors.
Luff also urged prime contractors to make
greater use of the innovation and talent SMEs can provide. He said main
contractors should “keep an open mind to what SMEs may be able to bring by way
of innovation, value for money and effectiveness”.
He added: “I don’t think anyone can contest
that the government needs to smarten up its procurement processes. Adopting a
standard pre-qualification questionnaire and standard templates for lower value
requirements, are important steps in the right direction.”
Luff said one area of improvement was the
need to ensure its “requirements are actually seen by those with interests in
supplying” to defence technologies.
The CDE is the first point of contact for
anyone with a defence innovation and acts as a gateway
between potential suppliers and the Ministry of Defence.
Following the Strategic Defence and Security Review, the government launched a consultation earlier this month on how it should acquire equipment, support and technology
for UK defence, including how it can engage better with SMEs. The consultation
ends in March.