Plans to move procurement online come as part of a radical shake-up of the public sector procurement process

Cabinet secretary Francis Maude is set to shake up public sector procurement by putting contracts for £50bn of work online.

From tomorrow £50bn worth of contracts will go online inviting industry to approach government to bid for the work, however it is not yet known how many of these will be in the construction industry.

Moving the procurement process online forms part of a package of measure which aim to cut the amount of time it takes for the government to buy goods and services from the private sector by 40%.

The government will also adopt an open door policy to current and future suppliers to discuss opportunities.

Plus, from April next year all departments will publish medium-term rolling procurement plans for all construction projects.

Maude said: “We need to make things better for business in the UK – the current system isn’t working. UK-based suppliers are finding themselves excluded, opportunities for growth are missed due to the public sector’s timidity and carrying out a procurement in the UK costs over twice as much as in France. This is wrong from every point of view.”

From January next year the government hopes to get the average time it takes to procure work from the private sector down to four months – it currently take over seven months on average.