HC Deb 06 December 1995 vol 268 c256W
Mrs. Roche

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the guidance his Department issues to each Government department and agency regarding procurement from SMEs. [3928]

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

The following guidance has been issued:

Size may be relevant to the selection of tenderers, but only insofar as it is necessary to assess whether or not the job is within their capability. Once that assessment has been made, relative size is likely to be less significant than skills, efficiency, experience and reliability —characteristics relevant to value for money but just as likely to be found in small firms as in large and particularly relevant in the procurement of services.

The central unit on procurement has also issued a series of best practice guidance, much of which is relevant to procurement from SMEs. Copies of these guidances have been placed in the Library. In addition, CUP has written to all major Departments asking them to provide examples of their procurement literature on access for small firms to Government business. This is currently being reviewed. CUP will then circulate to Departments the best examples relevant to SME needs.

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