Smaller firms get better odds at contract portal

MORE small businesses are winning work through Public Contracts Scotland, the advertising portal.

Up to date statistics show that 80% of 13,308 suppliers awarded work through the online portal in 2012 were based in Scotland.
 And a greater number of contracts, up 12% since 2010, are going to small- and medium-sized companies.
Scotland’s public bodies spend more than £9 billion a year on procurement with construction taking more than a quarter of the total.
Unveiling the PCS annual report during her visit to the Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh, deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon highlighted that of the 300 workers on the site, 87% were from a radius of 25 miles.
Pat Shannon, managing director of Glasgow structural glazing firm Craig and Buchanan, one of several local SMEs to win contracts at the campus, said:
“We have had success through PCS with other public sector work. This Balfour Beatty contract is vital at a time when the construction industry is still operating in a challenging economic climate.
The Scottish Crime Campus contract is worth £806,000 to us, which is significant value for a business of our size.”
Balfour Beatty won the campus fit-out contract by tendering through the PSC portal and, for the first time on any of its Scottish projects, used the service to appoint the work package contractors.
Hector MacAulay, managing director of its Delivery Unit, said: “In addition, new sub-contractors have been identified for Balfour Beatty to work with in the future. This has been a great example of collaborative working with the Scottish Government.”
Susan Love, policy manager in Scotland for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), added:
“We need to ensure that Scottish small businesses know where to look if they’re keen to compete for Scottish public work.
“The FSB welcomes moves to develop the service so that the administrative burden associated with bidding for public work is minimised, especially with smaller contracts, through initiatives such as quick quote. This work is vitally important if we want to see more of Scotland’s smallest businesses winning more public contracts.”