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Value, not price, should dictate public sector spending choices

Microscope contributor

The government has been urged to change its procurement strategy by a business leader concerned that British firms lose out in a system that is set on finding the best price.

Lord Digby Jones, former head of the CBI, has used a column in City AM to outline measures he believes that politicians could take to improve life for hard-pressed businesses, including changing the procurement strategy.

He said that if best value rather than best price was the yardstick more UK firms would win tenders to supply goods and services to central and local government with deals not heading overseas or those those prepared to compete at the bargain end of the spectrum.

Procurement changes introduced by the coalition government were meant to open up more deals to smaller channel suppliers but with reverse auctions and price still the main thing considered it has been difficult for some partners to take advantage of the different philosophy coming out of Whitehall.

In his party conference speech Osborne talked about credit easing plans to get more money flowing through the SME sector and more details of those plans will emerge in the Autumn statement next month.

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