OGC “Flagging the contract” guidance published

Following the launch of ‘Winning the Contract’ (from  BIS and OGC)  and the new OGC  PQQ guidance, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) are obviously working overtime and   have launched another interesting guidance document:  “Flagging your contracts to SMEs” *

‘Contract Flagging’ was one of the recommendations in the  Glover Review, accepted and then delivered via the OGC  ‘Access for all’ programme which looks to improve access for smaller organisations who want to bid for public sector contracts.

It asks procurers to indicate or flag when they advertise a contract that they believe is suitable for smaller bidders (SMEs).  That does not mean the SME bidding will receive special treatment; but it does mean there is no inherent reason why a smaller provider could not win the competition.

Obviously, once a contract is flagged, the contracting authority needs to make sure it follows through the process; there is no point having a flag and then issuing a PQQ that says “If your turnover is under £10 million you will be excluded.”  So the guidance contains some wider discussion around these issues rather than purely the mechanics of flagging.  There is also some interesting material about issues such as use of Frameworks, dis-aggregating requirements, and use of consortia.  Read it here.

* please note that is ‘flagging’ not ‘flogging’.  ‘Flogging’ an SME would be something different entirely... and would probably get this blog identified on a few very different Google searches!

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