Plans to overhaul EU state aid rules will help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) win public sector procurement contracts, it has been announced.

The report – published on Small Business Saturday – comes after concerns that small firms are not given their fair share of Government contracts.

According to the latest statistics, Government contracts are worth an estimated £50 billion per year. But small businesses account for under a third (30 per cent) of all contracts won.

The new plans, outlined in the Transforming Public Procurement green paper, aim to level the playing field for SMEs.

The changes – set to “completely” overhaul the current EU rules – include:

  • Creating a “one-stop-shop” for public sector procurement contracts, combining the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR), the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 (UCR), the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 (CCR), and the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 (DSPCR) into a single set of regulations.
  • Removal of the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) as the basis for an award decision and replacing it with the Most Advantageous Tender (MAT), which also considers social value.
  • Consolidating the extensive procurement procedures regime into just three procurement procedures.

As part of the plans, the Government has also published new guidance, known as the Selling To Government Guide, on where business owners can look for Government contract opportunities and how SMEs can ensure they are “showcasing their strengths” during the bidding process.

Commenting on the report, Cabinet Office Minister Lord Agnew said: “We want it to be easier for them to work with government and this guide, published in support of Small Business Saturday, will help small businesses navigate what can be a complex world of public procurement.

“That’s why we’re also bringing in sweeping procurement rules changes, to make it easier and more flexible for SMEs to win government work.”

Click here to access the Selling To Government Guide.

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