March 18, 2013
The Cabinet Office has unveiled a new centralised system that it claims will make it easier and cheaper for suppliers to compete for government and public sector work because they will only have to register once to have access to a range of contracts. Currently, suppliers to government and the public sector have to register on several systems to be able to view, access and tender for business opportunities. The Cabinet Office believes the new system will be particularly attractive for SMEs who found the current system too onerous. The system will replace an existing system which serves over 80,000 registered suppliers and the same number of customers
The Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude commented: ‘We’ve always said we want to simplify the procurement process, and it won’t make it easier for new suppliers to bid for government business if we’re asking them to register on several systems in order to access these opportunities. That’s why we asked GPS to bring together the current myriad systems and tools into one single place of registration, holding accurate and up-to-date information on suppliers. It’s simple and innovative; it will reduce the time and cost spent tendering for government business – especially important for SMEs – and will improve how we share analysis of supplier financial information across government.”
The new registration system comes into place at the end of April of this year but will only be available for the health sector and will then be rolled out across other parts of the public sector in the following months.
So far the Government’s vows to award more contract to SMEs have proven unsuccessful as we reported here so it will be interesting to see how this pans out.