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16 March 2014 | Gurjit Degun
More Welsh firms are winning major public sector contracts in Wales following action to simplify procurement processes, according to finance minister Jane Hutt.
The minister revealed that Welsh contractors now win three quarters of all major construction awards through sell2wales, an online public sector procurement portal, compared with around 30 per cent in 2010-11.
Hutt also said: “All-Wales collaborative procurement has delivered over £130 million of efficiencies over the last five years.”
The Welsh public sector spends around £4.3 billion procuring goods and services every year.
Hutt said: “Through collective effort, clear goals and strong leadership, procurement is being transformed from a ‘function’ to a strategic, intelligent lever which can have a positive and lasting impact on jobs, economic growth and the lives of people across Wales.”
Federation of Small Businesses Welsh policy unit chair Janet Jones added: “In many ways the steps taken in this area by finance minister Jane Hutt put the Welsh Government at the forefront of procurement policy in the UK when it comes to repetitive spend. We believe that the policies adopted in Wales can lead to better outcomes for both the public sector and indigenous small businesses.
“However, these are early days for the National Procurement Service, and while it holds a great deal of promise it is currently far too early to judge how successfully policy is being implemented in practice and in a way that supports small businesses in communities across Wales.”