SMEs could find it easier to contract with Public Sector Organisations due to these changes

SMEs could find it easier to contract with Public Sector Organisations due to these changes

Historically, public sector organisations have struggled to be able to contract effectively with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) due to restrictions within the EU procurement regulations.

The procedures introduced in 2015 have now changed considerably, and there are a number of new procedures designed to encourage SMEs, which should assist local companies.

The main changes are:

  • All contracts (over the EU Thresholds*) now have to be advertised on a central government portal, ‘Contracts Finder’, and notice of contract award must also be placed. This is to enable as many contractors as possible to see contract opportunities.
  • Standardised PQQ – there is now a standardised public sector PQQ which assesses minimum levels of suitability. This PQQ is much less onerous than previous PQQ’s, which were different for every tender and often lengthy and time consuming to complete.
  • Division of contracts into 'Lots' (smaller contract units). Public sector organisations will now have to give reasons if it tenders a contract without dividing into lots.
  • To ensure timely payment of contractors, all public contracts must have 30 day payment terms. This should help with SME's cash flow.

 

*EU Thresholds
Goods & Services: £164,176
Works: £4,104,394

If you are a business owner, or would like to find out more about how the University of Cumbria can help your organisation to thrive, visit the Enterprise and Business Development pages.

You can contact our Enterprise and Business Development team by emailing enterprise.services@cumbria.ac.uk or calling 01228 888740 - one of our team will be happy to talk to you about your business and its needs.