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LGA.9.Thmb.jpg 'UK procurement pledge will not help SMEs'

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Staff Reporter | 28 Apr, 2012
The Local Government Association, a voluntary lobbying organisation acting as the voice of the local government sector in England and Wales, has refused to sign up to the Cabinet Office's new procurement pledge.

The pledge was aimed at benefiting big business and would do little to encourage procurement from SMEs, viewed the LGA.  

The Cabinet Office issued the pledge on 26 April and later it was signed by all central government departments and their executive agencies, and by a number of business organisations including the British Chambers of Commerce, the Business Services Association and the Confederation of British Industry.

Peter Fleming, who chairs its Improvement Board, said the pledge would not help stimulate SMEs locally.

He also objected to the pledge's call for public bodies to publish pipelines of planned future procurements together, arguing that there was no evidence that ‘pipelines’ work better for the goods and services local authorities buy.    

The existing procurement portal and buyer events already provide suppliers with access to the market, according to him.

The LGA also expressed concern over the suggestion to  complete all but the most complex procurements within 120 working days.

The body, which was formed on April 1, 1997, in the middle of the 1990s UK local government reform which created unitary authorities, said it would develop its own procurement advice, laying emphasis on lean procurement and keeping in mind interests of the SME sector.
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