Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has revealed plans to develop a new centralised procurement system to make it easier and cheaper for suppliers to compete for public sector work.
Suppliers to government, up until now, have had to register on several systems to be able to view, access and tender for business opportunities, making it difficult and time-consuming for some companies to bid for contracts – particularly SMEs.
The new system will allow suppliers to register just once to gain access to a wide range of contracts.
Government Procurement Service (GPS) has awarded a contract to NQC to develop the new Single Supplier Registration platform, which will host over 80,000 registered suppliers and support almost 80,000 customers.
“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,” said Maude.
“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.
“And in awarding the contract to NQC Limited, a SME based in Manchester, we’re showing exactly how government is actively providing more opportunities for SMEs to do business with us.”
The new platform will be available from April 2013 to the health sector and will extend across other sectors in the following months.
Making it easier for SMEs to business with government has been a core priority for the Coalition, which is attempting to break away from the tradition of handing monolithic IT contracts to a select few suppliers.