Francis Maude announced shake up of public sector procurement ahead of Autumn Statement

Cabinet secretary Francis Maude has announced a shake up of public sector procurement including putting £50bn worth of contracts online.

The contract tenders - which include an unspecified number of construction projects - will go online this week, inviting the industry to bid for the public sector work.

The news came ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement from chancellor George Osborne, which is expected to include details of a £50bn push for new infrastructure.

Maude said: “We will follow the example of our EU neighbours, and indeed best practice in the private sector, by making it easier for our suppliers to do business with us.”

Moving the procurement process onto the internet forms part of a package of measures which the government hopes will cut the amount of time it takes for it to buy goods and services from the private sector from an average of seven months to four months.

Maude said a new open door policy to current and future suppliers to discuss opportunities would make it easier for UK firms to compete with international ones.