Public Procurement Can Deliver Greater Benefits For Local Communities

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 23 February 2010

Reference: F&P 04/09/10

Government purchasing power has the potential to deliver key economic and social benefits for the local community. That is the message from the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Finance and Personnel which today launches a report into Public Procurement Policy and Practice in Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the Assembly debate, Committee Chairperson, Jennifer McCann MLA, said: “The Government here spends upwards of £3 billion each year on supplies, services and construction work. If local firms are encouraged to bid for these contracts there could be real long term benefits for our local community.

“The Finance and Personnel Committee has carried out an extensive Inquiry and has worked with interested parties, including hosting a Stakeholder Conference, which gave all involved the opportunity to inform the recommendations that we are publishing today.

“My Committee believes that in achieving value for money, the Executive can use public procurement strategically, as a tool for assisting smaller enterprises in realising their full potential and for supporting longer-term economic and social well-being. We believe that this should and must be done.”

The Report, debated today in the Northern Ireland Assembly, contains more than 40 recommendations for the Northern Ireland Executive, the Department of Finance and Personnel and the Procurement Board.

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