Kylin Int’l Machinery Limited
Address: Xiaohe industry area, Daojiao town, Dongguan City, Guangdong province, China.
|Public sector tender reform may take years|
The government’s SME tsar has warned that it may take years to change the culture of wasteful and inefficient public sector tenders.
Stephen Allott, the Cabinet Office’s part-time Crown Representative for SMEs, told the Telegraph that civil servants needed convincing that SMEs could deliver "best value".
He added that it could take up to two years for Whitehall to stop excluding small businesses from work they could do more effectively than larger rivals.
Allott said that some meaningful progress was being made, with 16 Whitehall departments no longer requiring suppliers to fill out lengthy PQQs for sub-£100,000 contracts and more contracts being made available on the Contracts Finder website.
However, the reforms would appear to be too late for the print industry after Cabinet Minister Francis Maude announced the aggregation of all central government print spend into one £250m contract with Williams Lea in July.
Allott, who admitted that his companies had always avoided public sector tenders because they were "far too bureaucratic to ever bother" said that the government needed to realise that bigger is not always better.
"Sometimes big is beautiful and you get economies of scale and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes there are diseconomies. One of the things that government needs to work out next is when is big beautiful and when is small beautiful," he added.
"All the sort of direction of travel has been around Sir Philip Green’s aggregation, big is beautiful; we will only get savings if we aggregate and have volume. The thinking out of when will we save money from more skilful buying from SMEs hasn’t really started yet."
SME printers have long bemoaned the rigmarole associated with public sector tenders and it is to be hoped that any change in Whitehall buying behaviour will produce a sympathetic response across the public sector.
Gary Smith, procurement and operations manager at Redactive Media Group, said that the public sector needed to stop wasting SMEs’ time by repeatedly putting out tenders simply as a means of "fishing for prices to beat up their current supplier".
He added: "If something more concrete isn’t done sooner rather than later, there could be a real revolt of SMEs not offering up their services to public services contracts, due to the amounts of time versus the probability of winning it and the probable amount of profit an SME would stand to gain.
"This would be a loss for the public sector, as their prices would increase as they are forced to a smaller pool of suppliers who are willing to quote for public sector clients."
For more information on the role of the Crown Representative for SMEs, click here.
|| 发布时间：2011.09.10 来源： 查看次数：849|