Public Procurement – SME Panel


KPSOL based in Runcorn is a local SME that sits on a Government SME procurement working group, and is a member of the MDA Innovation Network.  Sue Waller is the representative on the group and has provided the below information on the SME Panel for the benefit of other local SME’s – to help them with procurement and to ask for feedback into the SME Panel:

The first Government SME Panel was held on 29th June 2010 with invited representatives from SMEs and industry bodies. The Panel (which has members such as the SME Crown representative Steven Allot and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude) provides a platform for genuine two-way discussion between government and SMEs.  As a result of this meeting 3 SME-led sub working groups have been established (Contracts Finder, SME Consortia and New Suppliers to Government). Knowledge Powered Solutions is on the latter of these.  As a member of the new suppliers working group I am keen to ensure that I have a true representation of the SME sector, particularly across the North West.  The aims of the group are to look at;

  • SME Routes to Market
  • Identify & Remover Barriers to entry for SME’s

I ‘hopefully’ represent all those SME’s like us that want to do business with the government but haven’t done so yet, but please don’t contact me to ask me how, I have a day job!  Having said that; so you can discover my journey so far the following additional information may be of use with hints and tips that will be updated as and when necessary.  However, from time to time I will be asking your views on a range of topics and if you have anything pressing and it fits within the 3 aims above, then please do contact me (, please title all emails SME query);

If you are at the beginning of the journey you might like to try;

  • Winning the contract – free learning direct course, it’s not perfect but I would appreciate feedback on how this course be improved.  You can access the course by clicking here (you will need to register).

Knowing where to look for government contracts:

Hopefully you are all registered on The Contracts Finder tool can be accessed here. Its free and will notify you of opportunities, they know its not perfect and is being refined all the time, so please do send them comments for improvements.

Specifically, the Dynamic eMarketplace will provide suppliers with the facility to offer quick quotes so Departments can award low value contracts without any prolonged procurement process: you need to register, its free.

Procurement websites, there are a lot! but most public authority spend is available for free if you know where to look;

In the North West The Chest (free registration and email notifications about contracts) can be found here.

In Wales Sell2Wales is the website:

Similarly the blue light services can be seen here.

All the other regions have their own version of The Chest, so if you cover the different regions check out the various ones.  NW, NE, SW, SE and Wales, they all have their own!

The NHS all have their own too – collectively we aim to create a list here with help from the MDA.

Additional information;

In line with Government’s commitments on openness and transparency you can notify the Cabinet office of any issues with SME procurement through their Mystery Shopper service.

Progress against the 25% aspiration

On the 13 May up-dated business plans were published for each Government Department which included the amount of spend that was channelled to SMEs in the 2009/10 financial year. The data shows that in that financial year 6.5% of government spend flowed to SMEs, representing £3.11bn of spend. This data relates specifically to direct spend between Departments and small businesses.

The government is committed to; implementation of action plans, roll out of further product surgeries, progress of the lean pathfinders.

Sue will be updating and feeding through links that are of interest through Twitter: @kpsol so please do follow her.

If you have any other queries please contact the MDA: Email / Phone – 0151 356 6567.