More small firms will be able to bid for contracts spanning hospitals to police forces under plans to share the public sector’s £230bn annual spending power.
The Government has started a consultation on making public sector procurement more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
It hopes opening up the state’s buying power will provide crucial trade to the UK’s army of small firms and fuel Britain’s fledgling economic recovery.
The Cabinet Office said SMEs have traditionally been locked out of government business because of time-consuming, expensive and bureaucratic systems.
It said the plans will simplify and standardise how public sector contracts – ranging from central and local government to emergency services – are advertised, bid for and paid for.
It aims to ban pre-qualification requirements for low-value contracts and introduce one standardised requirement for big contracts.