Could opening up more public services to competition save £22.6 billion?

The CBI thinks so.

The CBI says the government could achieve major savings when public services open up to a range of diverse providers. Savings “come primarily through efficiencies and productivity improvements – doing what is already done to the same or higher standard but at lower cost. They can be achieved while still maintaining the quality of the service offered and, in many cases, improving it”

I’m not surprised that the CBI should say this but I’m not sure it is as simple as they make it out to be. And the Local Government Association reckons “The estimated savings are pie in the sky” – I’m not really surprised by this reaction either

Local procurement – not

Councils need to better understand procurement spend with small firms to benefit local economy – says FSB

I do hear local authorities talking a load of old tosh about using local businesses as suppliers – and this FSB survey indicates that for many councils, local procurement isn’t really a priority.

  • 38% of councils do not actively record the location of their spending
  • 49%) don’t know the size of business they trade with

Small firms losing battle for public sector work

Small firms losing battle for public sector work

Not really a surprise for anyone working with small businesses but the figures from the Federation of Small Businesses confirm that nothing has changed.

  • The ‘Voice of Small Business’ survey panel of FSB members in England reveals 40 per cent of small firms believe the tendering process for public sector contracts is too complex, while 37 per cent think they are sidelined by public officials who believe bigger firms must be better.
  • Although one in seven firms had bid for a public sector contract in the last year, 41 per cent failed to secure any business from any of the bids they had submitted.
  • Of those firms that had won contracts, only a quarter (27%) said they had found the Contracts Finder website useful, with twice that number (55%) relying on personal contacts and referrals.
  • 40 per cent of firms want a simplified tendering process
  • 38 per cent believe the public sector should actively use small businesses or encourage consortia of small and medium sized firms where possible
  • 38 per cent believe public sector bosses should evaluate tenders based on experience and ability rather than on the size and turnover of bidding firms