Government publishes potential business contracts worth £70 billion

£70 billion worth of potential future government contracts have been published by cabinet office minister Francis Maude and business secretary Vince Cable, in a bid to boost UK economic growth.

The data, which includes the details of planned future procurement contracts likely to be signed over the next five years, spans across 13 different sectors including the construction and property sectors. It is hoped that new businesses will come forward to work with the public sector which could include new opportunities for suppliers of police and medical equipment.

The listing allows suppliers advance notice of what opportunities might be offered by the public sector in the future in order to plan accordingly. Users are able to refer to a 'confidence' level alongside each notice, as well as finding out the yearly value and total capital cost of potential opportunities.

Forming part of the Procurement Pledge which was launched in autumn 2012, the Government hopes to work in collaboration with the industry to spot investment gaps, provide businesses with greater confidence to invest, and safeguard UK competitiveness and growth.

Vince Cable, said: "By publishing details of our expected future requirements ahead of time and adopting a strategic approach, we can help give UK suppliers the confidence to invest in people, plants and technologies here at home so they can compete for and win these government contracts, as well as seek new opportunities abroad."

17 key industry bodies and suppliers, including the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the UK Contractors Group, have signed up to the pledge. Welcoming the publication, industry bodies have now called for the Government to turn its procurement pledge into a reality, particularly for small and medium sized enterprises.

Responding to the publication, Adam Marshall, director of policy for the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: "Businesses of all sizes will welcome ministers' renewed commitment to improve procurement. On-going communication with government on what it wants to buy, when it wants to buy, and how it wants to buy will give many companies the confidence to invest, grow, and compete for contracts."

"Whitehall needs to move swiftly to attract more small- and medium-sized companies as suppliers by providing better practical information, simpler access to opportunities, and shorter, clearer timescales.

"Small firms are most likely to compete for local contracts. Yet businesses say these are often the contracts that come with the most tick-box questionnaires and bureaucracy. Smarter procurement must become the norm for the whole of the public sector, not just central government departments."