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Government Removes Procurement Barriers After London Chamber Report

Friday 3 March 2023

The Government has made changes to the Procurement Bill, acknowledging barriers to accessing funds for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). This follows the publication of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Report titled ‘Ethnic Diversity In Business: Removing Barriers’. The paper highlighted the need to remove all barriers that impede business success.

LCCI met with Conservative Party Chairman, Greg Hands MP to suggest proactive measures to maximize and unleash the potential of all businesses, irrespective of their background.

Following fruitful discussions, the Cabinet Office has decided to make changes to its Procurement Bill to ensure a level-playing field for businesses of all sizes to compete for public sector work.

The Government will include a specific duty on contracting authorities to have regard to the particular barriers facing SMEs in the bill. This includes strengthening prompt payment with 30-day payment terms applying contractually throughout the public sector supply chain and reducing unnecessary costs on businesses. This will be ensured by preventing contracting authorities from requiring insurance relating to the performance of the contract to be in place prior to award.

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive, Richard Burge, said:

I am pleased that the Government has taken a step in the right direction by easing restrictions on accessing public procurement opportunities. However, there is room to do a lot more. Too many ethnic minority entrepreneurs face hurdles in setting up and running businesses. These challenges compound problems instead of alleviating them. We must ensure that London businesses are able to operate in a healthy eco-system which works for all types of businesses, by taking further steps to improve procurement opportunities and enhancing access to finance."

You can read the full release here and the Ethnic Diversity in Business report here.