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The extract below is taken from the governments-Going for Growth:Our future prosperity.

It is a very small piece from a document of some 5,000 words. However it does make the correct noises about ensuring that small businesses win a bigger share of public sector tenders.

The trouble is of course it is written by buffoons!

Government contracts linked to the creation of apprentices- What rubbish! Most SME cannot afford the time, effort and wages to hire an apprentice. We have encouraged so many to go to university to study drama and media studies that no one wants to undertake an apprenticeship and Health and Safety regulations ensure that apprentices are not actually allowed to go to work. Are you going to have all your staff CRB checked because they could be alone with a 16 year old?

Low or zero carbon publicly procured goods and services. Read: more policies, audits and certificates.

A simplified new Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for public sector procurement. When did the government ever simplify anything? Even if they simplify the PQQ the tender will still be an impenetrable morass of jargon and pointlessness.
Here is an extract from a current PQQ I am working on. Sixteen questions about partnering in a PQQ is completely inappropriate and as useful as bathing a fish.

Partnering – Section of PQQ Questions

1. Benefits of partnering, frameworks, etc What does your company consider to be the benefits of partnering, frameworks, collaborations over other forms of traditional competitive bids.

2. Partnering contracts undertaken Give three examples of relational partnering contracts for which your company has been engaged. Please state for each example the client, value, duration and the top three successful features and/or outcomes of each contract

3. Proactive partnering Give two examples of procedures your company has put in place to realise the benefits of relational contracting. Quantify the outcomes to demonstrate success.

4. Proactive partnering Explain how good practice / partnering ethos developed in one project has been successfully rolled out to another region or team.
Experience of Partnering Provide a summary of your understanding and experience of partnering, joint venture or risk sharing contracts, under the following headings.

5. Understanding & experience of partnering (a) Continuous Improvements

6 Understanding & experience of partnering (b) Defects reduction with the aim of achieving zero defects at completion

7. Understanding & experience of partnering (c) Collaborative working

8. understanding & experience of partnering (d) Added value to partnering

9. 10 Understanding & experience of partnering (e) Involvement of the end user

10. Understanding & experience of partnering (f) Key Performance Indicators

11. Understanding & experience of partnering (g) Open book accounting

12. Understanding & experience of partnering (h) Risk – Identify and manage

13. Understanding & experience of partnering (I) Innovation and sharing new ideas with others

14. Understanding & experience of partnering (j) Supply chain management

15. Understanding & experience of partnering (k) Use of NEC3 forms of contract

16. Understanding & experience of partnering (l) Ensuring value for money

Here is the actual text.

Smarter procurement

• The Government is committed to seeing innovative small businesses win a greater share of the £220 billion that the public sector spends each year on goods and services, and has changed the tendering process to make it easier for small firms to identify opportunities and compete for them.
• Government contracts will in future routinely be linked to the creation of places for apprentices to improve skills and tackle youth unemployment; they will also be used to increase demand for resource efficient, low or zero carbon publicly procured goods and services.
• The Government has developed a simplified new Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for public sector procurement to make life easier for both suppliers and procurers. The Government is promoting this for use across the public sector.
• Improved online resources will give SMEs better access to details about all public sector opportunities and free access to advice on bidding for public contracts.

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