Wednesday, 02 May 2012 11:15
40 per cent of small firms believe the tendering process for public sector contracts is too complex, research show.
Small businesses are still struggling to win public sector contracts, despite launch of the Government's Contracts Finder website designed to make it easier for small firms to find and bid for public sector work, the latest figures from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) show
The ‘Voice of Small Business’ survey panel of FSB members in England reveals 40 per cent of small firms believe the tendering process for public sector contracts is too complex, while 37 per cent think they are sidelined by public officials who believe bigger firms must be better.
The survey showed that although one in seven firms had bid for a public sector contract in the last year, 41 per cent failed to secure any business from any of the bids they had submitted. Of those firms that had won contracts, only a quarter (27%) said they had found the Contracts Finder website useful, with twice that number (55%) relied on personal contacts and referrals.
• 40 per cent of firms want a simplified tendering process
• 38 per cent believe the public sector should actively use small businesses or encourage consortia of small and medium sized firms where possible
• 38 per cent believe public sector bosses should evaluate tenders based experience and ability rather than on the size and turnover of bidding firms
John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: "The Government has made an effort to raise awareness in the public sector that Britain’s entrepreneurs and small businesses are willing and able business partners. But clearly more must be done. While central government has raised its game, without a true culture change across the public sector as a whole the Government’s initiatives will have little impact."
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