widen access to the government marketplace for new entrants, Paul
Boateng, chief secretary to the Treasury announced today.
the economy, and especially in areas where government itself is a
Paul Boateng said:
'We need to have new suppliers of all sizes entering the government
marketplace because strong competition is one of the most important
ways to achieve value for money, both now and in the longer term.'
The new initiative will build on recent work carried out by OGC in
partnership with the Small Business Service (SBS) to open up the
government marketplace to suppliers - with an emphasis on SMEs. This
- The publication of 'Smaller Supplier - Better Value?' urging
public sector buyers to consider the benefits of dealing with SMEs,
the barriers they face and ideas for how to reduce them. An
accompanying video has just been launched.
- Government guidance on financial assessment of suppliers, which
encourages greater flexibility, and allows small and new companies a
chance at competing for relevant contracts.
- A Code of Practice for government buyers and suppliers emphasising
the importance of fairness, honesty, efficiency and professionalism
throughout the supply chain.
- Guidance for SMEs on selling to government, which is currently
being updated, transferred to a new website, and made relevant to
suppliers of all sizes.
This announcement also follows a report, published recently by the
Competition Commission, which makes recommendations aimed at
improving competition for major government contracts. This new
initiative will expand the scope of the work already undertaken to
respond to these recommendations, and to address barriers to
competition in the wider marketplace. In particular the OGC will:
- Work with the SBS and government departments to improve the
information available to suppliers on selling to government,
including information about forthcoming opportunities.
- investigate ways of reducing the costs associated with bidding for
An update will be presented to ministers in the summer.
Established in April 2000, the OGC was set up to act as a catalyst in
procurement issues and to work with civil departments to achieve best
value for money in their commercial activities.
Responsible for civil central government procurement policy and best
practice including construction, property management, IT, the private
finance initiative (PFI), supplier relations including opening
government contracts to SMEs, e-commerce including the Government
Procurement Card, the Gateway Review Process, OGCbuying.solutions,
including the government buying catalogues, G-Cat and S-Cat and
developing strategic procurement partnerships with the private
Hard copies of the publications described above are available from
the OGC Servicedesk on 0845 000 4 999, and can also be viewed online
at www.ogc.gov.uk. These include:
- Smaller Supplier - Better Value? booklet and video
- Supplier Financial Assessment Guidance
- Tendering for Government Contracts
- Government Procurement Code of Good Practice
The report of the Competition Commission's Investigation can be
viewed on-line at www.competition-commission.org.uk