The Cabinet Office has published proposals for a radical overhaul of public procurement procedures and for opening up contracts to small businesses.

This is a significant development for recruiters looking to supply into the public sector and comes after several years of REC lobbying on procurement issues.

Discussions earlier this month with senior officials from the Office for Government Commerce (OGC) underlined the concerns of recruiters and the need for tendering procedures to be streamlined. Specific measures announced today include removing some of the pre-screening requirements in order to speed up the procurement process.

Underlining the implications of for recruiters, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green said:

“At long last, we are starting to see action instead of just words. The REC has consistently argued for tendering procedures to be made more efficient. We seek a competitive and dynamic market place where recruitment businesses compete on their competence and capability. We also need to find the right balance between streamlining procedures and verifying quality standards.

“The Government has been very clear in its commitment to help SMEs gain access to public sector work. Its announcement is a tangible outcome of this. The REC will monitor how the measures are implemented on the ground and will continue to work constructively with Cabinet Office and OGC.”