Size matters – access to public procurement by small and medium size enterprises in the UK construction sector,.
The International Construction law Review, 25
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The public procurement market in the EU is worth around one-sixth of the total GDP of the EU. This huge market should be accessible to all competitors but the procedures used in many tenders have the effect of disadvantaging SMEs over larger competitors. This situation was intended to be improved with the implementation in member states of the 2004 directives reforming public procurement rules. A significant portion of the wide range of supplies, services and works required by public organisations are well within the scope of SMEs. The many barriers which discourage SMEs from engaging with public procurement have led the EU to take positive action to support them. The 2004 directives were designed to reduce administrative burdens and costs of tendering and to make procurement systems more transparent and easier to use especially through a simplified e-tendering procedure. This paper examines EU policies and strategies designed to promote SME participation in public procurement and how they are implemented at national and local level in the UK and other member states. The aim of the study is to evaluate whether the efforts being made by the EU and member states will be effective in promoting wider access to public procurement by SMEs operating in the construction industry sector.
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