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Small firms to gain improved access to Government contracts

 

The Prime Minister David Cameron has outlined a range of measures to help small businesses compete for public sector contracts.

 

Under the proposed new system, entrepreneurs will be able to pitch directly to Whitehall buyers as part of the Government’s efforts to make public contracts more accessible to small firms.

 

The requirement for businesses to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) before bidding for contracts worth less than £100,000 will also be abolished – a move welcomed by many business groups.

 

In addition, Mr Cameron announced the launch of a new website that will enable firms to search for all central Government tenders.

 

‘Too many contracts are signed off behind closed doors with little or no public scrutiny. That can be good for the contractors who can charge over the odds without being properly challenged but it is not good for the taxpayer who is being short changed and denied value for money,’ commented the Prime Minister.

 

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which has been campaigning for the Government to remove the red tape surrounding public procurement, hailed the decision as a ‘victory’ for small enterprises.

 

‘The FSB is pleased that the Government has recognised that these barriers exist and has committed to making the process simpler,’ it said in a press release.

 

‘The initiatives, such as the reform of the PQQ process and more transparency through a new contracts website, as well as providing a dedicated voice for small firms' views to be heard, will mean more small businesses having the potential to access work’.