A best practice guide designed to address the issues which inhibit SME procurement from the public sector will be launched by Minister Brian Hayes at an event in the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. In Ireland and the UK alone, the public sector procures about €190 billion in goods and services every year. But although SME’s account for 99% of total companies, they deliver less than half of the requirements of contracting authorities.
Gina Quin, Dublin Chamber Chief Executive said, “Research has shown that, given the right conditions and assistance, SMEs can become more effective in winning and retaining supply contracts to Government and other authorities. This is a ‘win win’ for all; SMEs are the backbone of our economy and the primary generation source of employment and business taxes. When successful and facilitated, SMEs also have the potential to grow into large companies with an international reach”.
Minister of State Brian Hayes says “It is essential that we do everything in our power to remove barriers preventing SMEs from competing in the public service marketplace. This is an area that I have been personally involved with at both national and EU level but more progress is needed.”
The best practice guide, which was developed by the Enterprise Europe Network at Dublin Chamber, is based on the findings and research unearthed through a series of targeted learning and networking workshops organised as part of the “Are tenders on your radar?” project. The aim of this EU-funded project was to improve SMEs access to public procurement, by bridging the gap between business and public buyers in both the UK and Ireland.
Ms Quin concluded, “SMEs can use the structures of the European Union and the Single Market to support tendering beyond the domestic and, across borders. The European Union is just that, a Union, a Single Market, and the promotion of cross border trade is one of the key aims of that Single Market. Promoting ‘Best Practice’ in SME participation in public contracts is pivotal to achieving this objective.”
Public Procurement Best Practice Guide