Feeds

London boroughs not sold on small.biz

Oh woe is SME

Intelligent flash storage arrays

London boroughs must do more to boost the number of smaller businesses selling goods and services to local councils.

The conclusion comes from a detailed review conducted by Harrow Council in conjunction with the London Centre of Excellence into local authority "selling to the council" web pages.

The report finds that while most councils offer guidance on selling, there is "significant" inconsistency in the depth and relevance of the information that is made available. In fact most web pages tend to confuse SMEs as they focused on procurement strategies and policy and were presented in a way that actually discouraged smaller businesses to bid for work.

Also, Little things such as providing the details of appropriate contact in council procurement departments were highlighted.

The most common problems are:

  • Inconsistency in location and naming conventions of web pages
  • Difficulty of navigation through web pages and lack of user-friendly features
  • Need for improved accessibility options
  • Wide variance in the amount of information provided and too much emphasis on procurement policy
  • Limited information aimed specifically at SMEs

The report believes that many of these problems could be avoided if "council websites provide clear, straight forward information of: which services and goods it procures; how it procures; and how to become a supplier, with specific information provided for smaller businesses."

It calls for councils to appoint a SME champion, "someone to act as an ambassador for local community businesses, facilitating their inclusion into the supply chain." The champion would not only be the first point of contact for smaller suppliers, but someone to link council efficiency objectives for procurement to economic regeneration of local communities.

It also sets out a "best practice" checklist for London boroughs to make it easier for smaller supplier to engage in the procurement process.

Read the full report here: London Centre of Excellence: Buying a Better London - Report on Delivery of Workstream 5 (PDF: 1.19MB)

Click for the Best Practice check list (PDF: 82KB).

Copyright © eGov monitor Weekly

eGov monitor Weekly is a free e-newsletter covering developments in UK eGovernment and public sector IT over the last seven days. To register go here.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?