Government consults on measures to help smaller organisations win contracts

Minister Chloe Smith says the plans would give small and medium-sized enterprises more of a chance in the race for public sector contracts

Chloe Smith
Chloe Smith

The Cabinet Office has launched a consultation on proposals designed to make it easier for small and medium-sized organisations to win public sector contracts.

The consultation, which was launched yesterday, suggests changes to the use of pre-qualification questionnaires and says that all public sector contracting opportunities worth more than £10,000 should be advertised online.

It says the government wants to improve the bidding conditions so that SMEs, such as charities, can more easily win contracts.

The proposed changes "would act as a deregulatory measure to remove excessive burdens on small suppliers and make the procurement process faster, more transparent and less bureaucratic", the consultation says.

It says that the use of pre-qualification questionnaires should be eliminated for low-value contracts and that public sector bodies should consider whether bonds that pay according to performance could be "an unnecessary barrier for SMEs".

Chloe Smith, the political and constitutional reform minister, said: "Removing barriers and setting out a consistent, single set of SME-friendly principles for the whole public sector will provide the right support to encourage significant business and growth opportunities for SMEs, and help give the UK a better starting position in the global race."

The consultation runs until 17 October.

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