By Daniel Hunter
Taxpayers are losing millions of pounds in savings which can be made through a more streamlined bidding process for Government suppliers.
There are calls for the Government to create a streamlined tendering process that benefits companies of all sizes to secure government contracts. Communications specialist and cloud computing company, Qubic, says the number of bids which have to go through a long and drawn out process, is so vast, and that the process often excludes SMEs- the type of companies that are so agile that they can deliver a great deal of benefits as suppliers to the Government.
Senior policy adviser to the Prime Minister, Rohan Silva, also credited for the success of London’s Tech City, has said that the Government is too close to big business and that it needs to do more to encourage SMEs to gain government contracts.
“Given the current economic climate, it is particularly important that SMEs can participate in tender processes without the extensive bureaucracy that is currently inhibiting them. Shortened tendering processes would open up applications to SMEs who do not have the resources to undertake the lengthy process," Chris Papa, the Managing Director of Qubic said.
"While the Government has scrapped Whitehall procurement rules requiring companies bidding for government contracts to have three year trading records, there are still not enough contracts being awarded to SMEs.
“The current tendering process requires firms to go through a pre-qualification period where European legislative officials check whether the company is financially sound and if so, then the bid ‘might’ go through the ‘invitation to tender’ stage, then it’s onto the best and final offer. As a result, companies putting together bids for technology infrastructure or software often end up with out-of-date technology by the time the process has come to an end, with the process sometimes taking up to 18 months.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are what keep the economy going in a recession. They are more agile and can adapt to change more easily than their larger counterparts. It would be good to see the Government encouraging growth among SMEs by creating a bidding procedure that is open as well as competitive.
"In the private sector where companies are looking for the best possible solution rather than the best solution from a limited pool of suppliers, Qubic has tendered for and won many contracts to deliver and support complex mission-critical IT solutions to multi-national organisations. A change in government policy will see this level of success replicated in the public sector that will allow smaller, yet very accomplished companies to become suppliers.”
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