Monday, November 3, 2008

Cambridge Conservatives Add Voice to Call to Give Local Firms Easier Access to Government Contracts.

Richard Normington commented, “These are tough economic times, and we need new ideas to help take us out of recession, not Labour's stale diet of borrow-and-forget. Our proposals are part of the Conservative plan to help small business across the country. We want to cut red tape, increase the transparency of the contract-making and give entrepreneurs of all sizes a level playing field to compete for contracts."

The key proposals are:

· Scrapping the rule requiring companies to provide three years of audited accounts when bidding for government contracts. This unnecessary rule locks start-up companies out of the procurement system – simply because new companies may not have three years of audited accounts.
· Introducing a single questionnaire to be allowed to bid for government contracts worth less than £50,000. This would only have to be filled in once and logged for future contract bids. This will radically reduce the administrative burden involved in bidding for government contracts.
· Requiring all government contracts worth over £10,000 to be published online, so that small companies can for the first time find out exactly what contracts are available. At present, it is not mandatory for contracts to be published online. As a result, over 75 per cent of small and medium firms report that it is difficult to find out about procurement opportunities.
· Aiming for 25 per cent of government contracts to be awarded to small and medium enterprises. This is something that United States federal government does, and would help overcome the risk aversion that leads to them being overlooked for government contracts.

He added, “Small businesses are an essential part of the economy, especially in rising industries like the ones found in the Cambridge area. Companies from all sectors will benefit from our plans. They include deferring VAT bills, cutting payroll taxes by 1p and reducing the small company corporation tax rate."

3rd November 2008

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