The government is working on ways to give smaller firms better access to public sector contracts.
Speaking at the Government UK IT Summit, John Oughton, the recently appointed chief executive of government procurement arm the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), said that Whitehall is considering how to make sure smaller firms win a greater proportion of government contracts.
Oughton explained that trials underway in London and the West Midlands were exploring ways of encouraging smaller firms to bid for public sector contracts.
The OGC is considering ways of cutting red tape, and examining how subcontracting is done in large government projects.
"We are committed to reducing the barriers to entry," said Oughton.
Initial results of the trials show that SMEs were winning 70 to 80 per cent of available contracts. The full results will be reported this summer.
Whitehall officials are increasingly keen to use smaller contractors as a way of encouraging innovation in government IT and ploughing money back into UK firms.
"This is not about lowering standards," said Oughton. "It is about lowering barriers."
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