Government Departments: Procurement

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 24th July 2019.

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Photo of Jonathan Lord Jonathan Lord Conservative, Woking

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to simplify Government procurement processes to increase access to contracts by small and medium-sized enterprises.

Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, Paymaster General (HM Treasury), Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

We have already made a number of changes to procurement processes to assist small businesses and we continue to focus on breaking down the barriers to entry for SMEs. These include:

○ Increasing the transparency of opportunities via Contracts Finder, a free-to-use digital platform which covers current and future public sector contracts and award notices above £10,000 in central government and £25,000 in the wider public sector.

○ Requiring public buyers to divide contracts into more accessible lots (or explain why not);

○ Our Public Procurement Review Service, allows suppliers to report poor procurement practice including payment issues in public sector contracts and through supply chains to the Cabinet Office.

In September 2019, tough new prompt payment measures come into force which may lead to suppliers being excluded from Government procurements if they cannot demonstrate prompt payment.

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