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27 April 2012 | Paul Snell
The UK government has published data to highlight £70 billion of public contract opportunities over the next five years.
The “pipeline notices”, which have been posted on the contracts finder website, give details of opportunities that could become available in 13 sectors, including construction, property and facilities management and police services and equipment. The aim is to give suppliers prior warning so they can prepare appropriately to build capability to win the business.
“Publishing data on what we plan to buy – whether it’s tunnels or computers – means we can identify skills gaps sooner and give industry a heads up so UK businesses are in a better position to compete,” said Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude in a statement.
The government also announced that 17 organisations have signed up to the ‘procurement pledge’, which commits organisations to a number of measures including posting future procurement plans, streamlining procurement processes and supporting UK firms bidding for deals overseas. These organisations include BT Global Services, Network Rail and National Grid.
"Frankly, we’ve been too short-term in how we’ve done procurement in the past. Our key competitors in Europe already see procurement as an integral part of a proper industrial strategy and it’s time we did the same,” said business secretary Vince Cable. “This is a win-win scenario, making our businesses stronger and providing best value for the taxpayer."
* The Treasury has announced it has identified savings of £1.5 billion in how it delivers infrastructure. The aim is to save between £2 and £3 billion by 2015. This includes an estimated savings of £443 million due to the decision by the Highways Agency to manage major projects as a programme, and allow greater supply chain collaboration.
The review by Infrastructure UK promised to publish the ‘procurement routemap’ – to help buyers select the right procurement strategy - by July 2012. It said the approach had already cut costs by 12 to 25 per cent.