Encouraging SMEs to bid for public contracts
Produced in partnership with Katherine Calder of DAC Beachcroft

The following Public Law practice note produced in partnership with Katherine Calder of DAC Beachcroft provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Encouraging SMEs to bid for public contracts
  • Brexit impact—public procurement
  • Improving SME access to public procurement
  • Procurement policies in support of SME participation in public sector contracts
  • Rules and requirements supporting SME access to public procurement
  • Publishing on Contracts Finder
  • Pre-qualification and selection
  • Prompt payment requirements and reporting
  • Subcontracting
  • Exclusions and exceptions
  • More...

Encouraging SMEs to bid for public contracts

This Practice Note looks at initiatives intended to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to bid for public contracts without infringing the public procurement rules. It summarises the gradual reforms introduced with the aim of improving SME access to public contracts and identifies some of the best practice guidance for contracting authorities.

For further guidance on public procurement aimed at bidders, see Practice Notes: Public procurement—an introduction for first-time bidders and Public procurement—private sector considerations.

Brexit impact—public procurement

The UK public procurement regime derives from EU public procurement laws, and was therefore impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU; but only to a limited extent. In all material respects, the public procurement regime in the UK continues with minimal changes. For background reading on the impact of Brexit on public procurement, see Practice Note: Brexit—the implications for public procurement.

Where applicable, this Practice Note has been updated to incorporate changes made to the relevant domestic rules pursuant to the Public Procurement (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.

Improving SME access to public procurement

The last decade has seen a significant change of attitude on the part of the EU, the UK government and the UK devolved administrations as regards the opening up of public contracts for smaller suppliers.

In 2018, this issue came to the fore with the collapse of facilities management and construction

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