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Business: Industrial Health and Safety

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate his Department has made of the average annual cost to small and medium-sized enterprises of applying for and proving competence in multiple health and safety pre-qualification questionnaires. (248900)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the financial and administrative effects on small and medium-sized enterprises of applying for and proving competence in multiple health and safety pre-qualification questionnaires. (251052)

I have been asked to reply.

The Glover report, ‘Accelerating the SME Economic Engine’, published on the HMT website in November 2008, made 12 recommendations to improve SME access to public procurement including:

“Procurers should ensure that, where they rely on a particular accreditation scheme or standard as part of the process of prequalification or contract award, that they take a flexible approach. Businesses should be given the opportunity to provide evidence that they can meet the contract requirements by reference to other similar equivalent accreditations or standards they may already hold—especially where these have been recognised or required by other public sector procurers.”

Government are currently implementing these recommendations.