PROGRESS REPORT OF THE HIGH LEVEL GROUP ON SME ACCESS TO PUBLIC PROCUREMENT LAUNCHED
Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Public Procurement, Simon Harris TD, and Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash, TD, launched the Office of Government Procurement’s Progress Report of the High Level Group on SME Access to Public Procurement on 7 January 2016. The report was produced by the Office of Government Procurement (OGP), in conjunction with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
Welcoming the report, Minister Harris said: “This is further evidence of the Government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that SMEs secure their share of valuable public procurement. We are aware of the importance of this sector to the economy and their role in creating jobs right around the country.
In 2013, the Office of Government Procurement, in conjunction with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, established a High Level Group on SME Access to Public Procurement. The Government currently spends in the region of €8.5 billion on goods and services each year, in addition to approximately €3.5 billion spent on public works. This represents important opportunities for SMEs who access public procurement. Our commitment to ensuring SME participation in these opportunities led to the establishment of the High Level Group. The High Level Group is focused on the establishment of strategies and policies which continue to support SMEs in accessing public procurement opportunities.”
Commenting on the report, Minister Nash said: “We are delighted to be centrally involved in the work of the High Level Group and to now have an evidence base for the work. SMEs account for 99.7% of all enterprises and 68% of employment in the Irish economy. SMEs are vital to our continued national economic recovery, as they provide and create employment. The High Level Group on SME Access to Public Procurement has been working to develop and monitor strategies to support SMEs accessing public procurement, including tendering skills development and Meet the Buyer events.”
The report can be downloaded at www.procurement.ie/publications.