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Business: Public Sector

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the portal in increasing the number of bids by small and medium-sized enterprises for public sector contracts. (288851) seeks to increase access to lower value public sector contracts by publishing them in a single location. As an advertising portal, it does not collect data on the number of bids made by SMEs.

A 2007 user survey indicated that 34 per cent. of registrants had bid for a contract on the site. Since then, the number of registered suppliers has risen from around 50,000 to over 163,000, and the number of low-value contracts from below 16,000 to over 47,000. Around 300 new low-value contracts are published on the site every week. As part of the implementation of the Glover recommendations, central Government spend with SMEs will be monitored from this financial year onwards.