Prime Minister David Cameron has launched a new online tool which has been designed to make it easier to tender for smaller government opportunities. In an open letter, Mr Cameron has told UK small businesses and contractors that when the coalition came into government it ‘inherited a system of doing business that was wasteful, inefficient and inflexible’.
After launching a feedback portal on the Number 10 website, so that people could tell the government what was going wrong and how it could be fixed, many people responded. The Government heard complaints about the complexity and lengthiness of processes, and discovered situations where people had been told that ‘they could only compete for government contracts if they had sold to government before’. As a result, despite accounting for 50% of the turnover of the UK business economy, it is estimated that small businesses, which includes contractors, only win a small proportion of the billions of pounds of public sector business.
The new ‘package of measures’ which has been announced is designed to make doing business with government more transparent and more welcoming. Every central government contract worth over £25,000 is now published in full, opening them up to scrutiny by potential competitors and the general public. And in order to help people find this business, the government has launched its ‘Contracts Finder’, which will display every central government tender opportunity, and also includes an email alert facility to let you know when new ones in your area of business come up.
As part of the open letter, David Cameron stated, “There are opportunities here for all of us. By opening up government business to you, you can help us to make government less wasteful, to promote enterprise, and to modernise our public services by encouraging competition and innovation. If you think you can provide a great service to government, or you know a friend, family member or business that could, then get online, get involved, be creative, be innovative and start searching for contracts now.”