The purpose of this new guidance is to restate existing policy and measures and to introduce some new or revised measures relevant to facilitating SME participation in public procurement markets; the aim is to have contracting authorities structure and run their competitive processes for public contracts in a manner that facilitates increased participation by SMEs, while they continue to ensure that all public sector purchasing is carried out in a manner that is legal, transparent, and secures optimal value for money for the taxpayer.
This guidance is not designed to favour the SME sector over other sectors but rather to provide SMEs with a level playing field in competing for public contracts. This is in line with EU policy on increased SME participation in public procurement. The aim is to create markets that have multiple suppliers; this should lead to more competition and improved value for money while maintaining the basic EU Treaty principles of openness and transparency in the market.
At all times, this guidance is to be implemented by contracting authorities in accordance with the principles of EU law, and
in a manner that is fully compliant with EC public procurement law and national guidelines.
In the event of any ambiguity between this document and the provisions of the Capital Works Management Framework, the latter takes precedence, where applicable.
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Year Published: 2010
Source: Department of Finance