NEWS2 December 2010

Govt seeks ideas to ‘rip up’ procurement red tape

Government News UK

UK— The government is looking for feedback from small and medium-sized businesses on its procurement processes, especially any ‘nightmare’ experiences, in a bid to make winning work easier.

In a move bound to attract an impassioned response from research agencies, the Prime Minister’s office has placed a feedback form on its website seeking comments and suggestions. “Procurement… can be a costly and lengthy process that effectively excludes some of you from working with us,” its statement says.

Firms have been invited to tell the government in “plain and simple terms” how to help “rip up the red tape and bring more sense into the winning of government contracts”.

Last year, a group of independent researchers warned that proposed changes to the procurement process could exclude smaller research agencies from bidding for government contracts.

A government-commissioned report had recommended that pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) be standardised, but the Independent Consultants Group said the requirements of these questionnaires more often exclude small research businesses than encourage them.

Standardised forms, the ICG said, demanded information about equal opportunities policies, ISO 9000 accreditation and business insurance, rather than focusing on agencies’ expertise and experience.

Feedback on the current procurement process can be left here.