Headlines: February 15th, 2011

A package of measures has been launched to allow small and medium sized enterprises, charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises to bid for public service contracts on a level playing field.

The Contracts Finder website will allow potential contractors to find public sector contracting opportunities over £10,000 and will make the Government’s procurement process totally transparent.

In addition a Crown Commercial Representative has been appointed for small companies. He will build a more strategic dialogue between the Government and smaller suppliers. This will give the suppliers a strong voice at the top table.

Product surgeries will also be held for Small Medium Enterprise to give small companies the opportunity to pitch innovative products and services direct to a panel of senior procurement and operational professionals from central government and the wider public sector.

To ensure that small companies and other organisations are not disadvantaged in their bid for contracts there will be changes to the pre-qualification questionnaire requirement.

Baroness Eaton, Chair of the Local Government Group has pledged support for the new measures and the intention that Local Government will also make their opportunities available on Contracts Finder and use a simplified pre-qualification questionnaire.