Council tweets to urge local firms to compete

16 March 2012

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18 March 2012 | Angeline Albert

Norfolk County Council this week began tweeting tender opportunities to the local business community.

Council leader Derrick Murphy told business leaders it will get rid of procurement red tape and ensure its contract opportunities are tweeted to help businesses in the area access and apply for the deals.

The local authority began by tweeting about the availability of 18 contracts for passenger transport services for Great Yarmouth and North East Norfolk schools and colleges on 15 March.

Murphy also announced that the council is speeding up its procurement process by abolishing the need for pre-qualification questionnaires to be completed for tenders for contracts under £100,000. Murphy said that some suppliers are put off tendering for contracts when there is a requirement for a pre-qualification questionnaire to be completed. The local authority is also looking to, where possible, adopt the same approach for some contracts valued at more than £100,000.

Local businesses are also now able to book appointments with buyers via the website, where there is a list of council buyers and details on the types of products and services they are looking for.

The @NCCContracts address will be promoted to its 5,500 corporate Twitter account followers. The council says local companies have welcomed this move because they say it’s an easier way to receive information and simple to forward on to fellow businesses that may be interested in the contract.

About 40 per cent of the council’s expenditure is already with smaller businesses and the council says many of its large suppliers “also make extensive use of smaller companies in their supply chains”.

Murphy said: “Anything that we can do to help local companies to be aware of and apply for our contracts can only help them in the current economic climate. The changes to our procurement process and now tweeting tender opportunities are small steps that will help.”

Murphy said the council will encourage all other public authorities in Norfolk to use the government’s Contract Finder site advertise tenders.


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