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Public Sector: Contracts

Volume 711: debated on Wednesday 17 June 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place in the process for tendering public sector contracts to protect local specialist providers of services from exploitation by prime contractors. [HL4103]

The Office of Government Commerce has issued guidance which encourages departments to seek effective management of supply chains by their prime contractors.

This guidance will be reviewed and updated as part of a programme of work to implement the recommendations of the Glover Advisory Committee, which published its report Accelerating the SME economic engine; through transparent, simple and strategic procurement in November 2008. That work includes a project to help ensure small businesses and other firms acting as sub-contractors obtain contract conditions, for example, promptness of payment, that are comparable to those applied to the prime contractor.

Within central government it is mandatory for major new construction projects to adopt the principles set out in OGC's Guide to Best Fair Payment practices. That requires departments to adopt the principles of OGC's Fair Payment Charter for their construction supply chains.