06/03/2009

'Red Tape' Reduction Welcomed

There has been a welcome for a new, simplified tendering process for Northern Ireland businesses.

A member of Stormont's Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee, Robin Newton, (pictured) greeted yesterday's announcement by Finance Minister Nigel Dodds of a new, simplified electronic tendering system.

He noted that is is aimed at improving access for small and medium enterprises to the public procurement process in Northern Ireland.

The East Belfast MLA said: "This is a welcome move towards helping our small and medium sized enterprises gain improved access to the public procurement process in Northern Ireland. It is made all the more timely in light of the current economic climate."

His comments follow news that the Minister, Nigel Dodds had launched an electronic tender system that will help encourage more local Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) avail of the £2.2billion per annum Government procurement spend.
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He said that 'e-sourcingNI' is a new system that will assist local businesses identify opportunities in public procurement.

It is designed to speed up and simplify the tendering process, helping smaller firms more easily access government procurement opportunities.

Launching the new electronic tender system at the CBI Public Procurement Conference in Templepatrick, the Minister said: "The Executive recognises that modern, efficient and effective public procurement is now more important than ever given the economic downturn and the £2.2billion which Government spends each year.

"As Chair of the Procurement Board, I am determined that the maximum best value for money can be obtained from all government procurement spending and that Northern Ireland companies are given the greatest possible opportunities to benefit from this record spend," he said.

"The ultimate goal is for all central government procurement opportunities to be managed through this single portal.

"This electronic tender system will maximise the visibility of all business opportunities and make it easier for companies, particularly SMEs to bid for work."

(BMcC/JM)

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