A year ago the FSB published its report “Local Procurement – Making the most of Small Businesses” which is linked below. The update, with the imaginative tag line “….One Year On” has now been released.
The statistic which caught our eye was the massively increased prospect of local public money finding its way back into the local economy under contracts where that public money is spent with SMEs as opposed to being spent with larger, national business.
This feeds into what regular readers will recognise as a favourite theme of this Blog. Is this not an entirely legitimate factor in determining “Most Economically Advantageous Tender”? Academics will no doubt argue forcefully that increased spending in the local economy cannot properly be said to be a criterion which is connected to the subject matter of the specific procurement in question and they would have a point.
However, the Social Value Act and increasing recognition of a legitimate place for the implementation of so called “horizontal” policies though public procurement have opened up a space for debate which is readily inhabited by this naked economic benefit.
It does seem that there is an increasingly compelling case for adopting an outward perspective that looks to the boundaries of what is regarded as permissible in terms of compliance with public procurement regulation. The would be infinitely preferable to the prevailing inward looking focus on complying as closely as possible with the letter of the Directives and of the Public Contracts Regulations (2006).