Electronic Tendering System

Part of FINANCE AND personnel – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:30 pm on 23rd March 2009.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform), Without portfolio, Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Without Portfolio) 3:30 pm, 23rd March 2009

I will look into that matter. My Department tries to be as open and transparent as possible, and that fact has been commented on. It may well be, given the vast amount of procurement contracts — £2·2 billion per annum — that the cost of listing every individual company may be astronomical. However, I hope that the Member will be reassured by the actions that my Department is taking already, with 90% of Government procurement projects going to Northern Ireland firms, compared to some 50% in Wales. Northern Ireland’s performance is much better. However, not only do I want it to be better — although it is significantly better than other devolved areas — I want it to be the best that it can possibly be. It is important for us to do what we can to ensure that local companies have that access.

Given the amount of procurement value out there, I hope that the Member is reassured by the fact that Northern Ireland companies are getting 90% of that procurement and, given the fact that the vast majority of those companies are small and medium-sized enterprises, that that will also go a long way to reassure him on that point. I am grateful for the Member’s nod of acknowledgement.