CIPS CEO comments on Welsh Government's commitment to SMEs

CIPS 21 July 2011

Welsh Government looking to help SMEs

The Welsh government is committed to making it easier for SMEs to work with them. One tool that will help is the Supplier Qualifications Information Database, which holds the all the answers to common questions posed to SMEs, saving them valuable time.

David Noble, CIPS CEO said, “SMEs face a tough road coming out of recession and we’re not out of the woods yet. It is therefore good news that the Welsh Government is making a commitment to SME’s to make contracting with government a little easier.

The Supplier Qualifications Information Database will save time and effort and make the process simpler for SMEs. These businesses tend to have fewer resources at their disposal and often find it difficult to meet even the initial criteria imposed by central and local government. To have one place where SMEs can store all their answers to commonly posed questions will simplify the process and will bring dividends, not just for SMEs themselves but the public sector bodies they supply to. SMEs can often offer innovation, creativity above and beyond the larger corporates and public bodies often miss out on this creativity because of the processes imposed by both the EU Procurement Directives and often the public bodies themselves.

The Government’s commitment to award a quarter of their contracts to SMEs has led the way by launching the Contracts Finder website so any business can find contracts worth £10k and above. The elimination of PQQ’s for central government procurements under £100,000 will have an effect on the piece of research commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Value Wales division.  The Supplier Qualifications Information Database supports the governments’ key measure that allows firms to submit their PQQ data once for all procurements in common commodities, saving both time and money for SME’s and the public sector.  The key measures are all targeted at reducing waste, tackling bureaucracy and lowering the cost of doing business with government.

Tackling the perceived lack of transparency in public sector contracts is also a big leap forward and should be commended. Taking action across a whole region, as the Welsh government is trying to do, will show a determination to get it right.”

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