Feeds

London boroughs not sold on small.biz

Oh woe is SME

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?