Results from the survey to discover if SMEs found the widely adopted Framework Agreement a simple and rewarding process for winning new business from government are now reported below and available HERE.
The survey has been run on behalf of the Frameworks Working Group, a part of the independent SME Advisory Panel advising on central government procurement and targeted key small businesses (& not just construction professionals) providing a wide range of niche products and services to departments across Whitehall.
The results from more than 200 responses are clear.
Framework agreements are often disliked by SMEs who feel that they are written in complex language, have expensive and time consuming tender processes, are inflexible and favour large companies over smaller ones.
Crown Commercial Service are studying the report’s findings and have pointed to several new and ongoing actions government is taking to level the playing field for small businesses including:
- considering where different kinds of procurement vehicle, including Dynamic Purchasing Systems, are suitable delivery models. Crown Commercial Service itself has launched three DPSs in the last 12 months, with five more being developed. We also know of a number of these flexible systems across other government departments;
- simplifying public procurement with the new, plain English ‘Public Sector Contract’ – removing duplication from the application process for suppliers;
- consulting on proposals to exclude suppliers from major government procurements if they cannot demonstrate fair, reliable and effective payment practices with their subcontractors;
- requiring suppliers to advertise subcontracting opportunities via the Contracts Finder website and to provide the government with data showing how businesses in their supply chain, including small businesses, are benefiting from supplying to central government.