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By | Kelly Fiveash 11th February 2011 16:05

Coalition rejigs gov procurement to give SMEs an in

There's a website and everything

The government launched a new website this afternoon for contractors looking to win public sector jobs that cost over £10,000.

It's hoped that more small businesses will get involved in the procurement process, said Prime Minister David Cameron.

Stephen Allot has been tasked with improving dialogue between Whitehall and smaller suppliers in his new role as Crown Commercial Representative. He will also lead SME product surgeries, allowing smaller firms to pitch their wares at central government and public sector procurement decision makers.

The government said it was "seeking to eliminate" pre-qualification questionnaires for all central government procurements under £100,000.

"This represents a radical change in the way pre-qualification is carried out and means that from now on procurers will be free to choose the best route to market for their individual circumstances," it said.

Cameron claimed the tweaks to the government's procurement policy - which has long created a struggle for openistas wanting to win contracts from the likes of Microsoft - would provide business opportunities worth billions of pounds to small firms, charities and other organisations.

“We need to make the system more open to new providers, more competitive between suppliers and more transparent for the taxpayer. This is vital as we get to grip with our deficit – helping us tackle waste, control public spending and boost enterprise and growth," he said.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude declared that the changes signalled the end of "procurement oligopoly". He blamed bureaucracy for being the main barrier stopping SMEs from entering the government contract fray.

Full details about the rejigged procurement process can be found here.

Oh, and a quick look at the crisp new Contracts Finder website revealed exactly one search result under the term 'technology' as being considered a suitable job for smaller suppliers. ®

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