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28 November 2012 | Adam Leach
The CBI has responded to the publication of a further £13.8 billion of future central government contracts by calling for an even larger share of the public sector’s £230 billion annual spend to be disclosed in advance.
Today the Cabinet Office announced it was adding opportunities in four new sectors to its forward pipeline, which details future central government contracting opportunities to enable potential suppliers to plan ahead and calculate demand. The four sectors - professional services, financial services, waste management and fire services - take the total value of contract opportunities published up to £84 billion.
While the CBI has welcomed the move and said the government’s procurement reforms are moving in the right direction, it urged it to go further and publish more opportunities through the pipeline. The total value of the four sectors, added today, total £13.8 billion worth of opportunities.
Matthew Fell, CBI director for competitive markets, said in a statement: “Increasing the transparency of procurement opportunities will encourage more diverse and innovative solutions, and deliver better value for the taxpayer. However, so far the government has only published pipelines for a small proportion of the £230 billion goods and services purchased annually from the private sector. It needs to accelerate and broaden this programme to link with its industrial strategy and support future growth.”
In his comments on the pipelines, Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, explained more was still to be done. “We have now published pipelines for up to £84 billion of future government business, but there is still more to do. Future procurement plans need to do be more comprehensive and cover more sectors because I want to encourage all businesses, including SMEs, to look at these opportunities and plan for the future.”