Public Sector: Procurement

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 7th February 2011.

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Photo of Stephen Lloyd Stephen Lloyd Liberal Democrat, Eastbourne

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps he has taken to encourage public sector bodies to give priority to local businesses in their procurement policies.

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office

To safeguard the public purse, procurers are required to seek value for money through fair and open competition. Through our membership of the European Union and as a signatory to international agreements, our contracting authorities are required to treat suppliers from Europe and various other countries on an equal footing with UK suppliers. This is a two-way street, however, as it gives our suppliers access to public procurement markets overseas.

The Government of course want UK companies, including our small businesses, to be successful in public procurement. To that end, I announced on 1 November a series of measures to make it easier for small firms to compete for government business. Details can be found on the Cabinet Office website:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/news/plans-open-government-small-businesses

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