The government has promised to ‘level the playing field’ for smaller businesses in the wake of the collapse of Carillion, and exclude bad payers from government work.
Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden said he would exclude suppliers from major government procurements if they could not demonstrate ‘fair and effective payment practices’ with their subcontractors.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may also be given greater powers to report poor payment performance, and government suppliers will have to advertise subcontracting opportunities via the Contracts Finder website. They will also have to supply data showing how SMEs are being given opportunities to tender for central government projects.
‘We have set a challenging aspiration that 33% of procurement spend should be with small businesses by 2022 – and are doing more than ever to break down barriers for smaller firms,’ said Dowden.
The government has also promised to look at wider adoption of project bank accounts via a series of workshops examining how they could work on public sector projects.