26/04/12

Commenting on the action being promised by ministers on the future of public procurement, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Businesses of all sizes will welcome ministers’ renewed commitment to improve procurement. On-going communication with government on what it wants to buy, when it wants to buy, and how it wants to buy will give many companies the confidence to invest, grow, and compete for contracts.

“This procurement pledge must now become a reality. There should be no retreat from the commitment to open up procurement to dynamic and innovative businesses across Britain’s real economy. Whitehall needs to move swiftly to attract more small- and medium-sized companies as suppliers by providing better practical information, simpler access to opportunities, and shorter, clearer timescales.

“However, action from central government alone is not enough. Local authorities, NHS trusts, and other public bodies, which spend tens of billions per year, must get on board. Small firms are most likely to compete for local contracts. Yet bizarrely, businesses say these are often the contracts that come with the most tick-box questionnaires and bureaucracy. Smarter procurement must become the norm for the whole of the public sector, not just central government departments.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

Media Contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk