FMB hails new framework to improve public procurement for small firms

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The Federation of Master Builders has hailed a new strategy launched by the Local Government Association for improving public procurement for SMEs.

Launched earlier this month, the LGA’s Construction Category Strategy intended to support a more focused approach to local government spending in this sector across England and Wales.

Construction is seen as a major part of the National Procurement Strategy, which was launched in 2014, and the new framework is designed to highlight developments and ideas which can help to support improved procurement practices, collaboration and strategic co-ordination of the local government’s annual spending on construction.

Cllr Peter Fleming, chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said: “Local government wants to build long-term partnerships with suppliers who we believe can help us deliver significant local growth, increased skills and jobs. The strategy is the first step in addressing the need for a strong collaboration between industry and local government to make sure that local people have the skills required to deliver these projects.”

Fleming concluded: “The strategy outlines a general ‘call to arms’ for local government so as to enable increased efficiencies through collaboration and partnering. Construction permeates virtually all other industries, is a major source of employment and is a foundation of a prosperous society.”

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “With 41% of construction SMEs failing to win nine out of ten public sector contracts they bid for, the Local Government Association (LGA) focus on making procurement processes more SME-friendly is extremely welcome.

“The new Strategy, which is the first of its kind, is right to highlight how increasing the amount of construction work awarded to construction SMEs is key to maximising local economic growth. I urge all local authorities to analyse their own processes against the key objectives contained within the Strategy and ensure their own approach isn’t needlessly blocking small firms.”

A copy of the full document is available here.