Assembly Finance Committee Meets Procurement Stakeholders

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 21 October 2009

Reference: F&P 03/09/10

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Finance and Personnel will today pilot a new approach to evidence gathering as part of its Inquiry into Public Procurement Policy and Practice in Northern Ireland.

Around 100 participants, including local business representatives, procurement experts from across Ireland and the United Kingdom, and those involved in purchasing, will join the Committee at a specially arranged Stakeholder Conference at the Dunsilly Hotel, Antrim.

Speaking ahead of the conference Committee Chairperson, Jennifer McCann, MLA said: “Public procurement accounts for almost 25% of total public sector spend each year and amounts to around £2bn. Evidence the Committee has heard to date has highlighted a range of issues and barriers facing local Small and Medium Enterprises and Social Economy Enterprises as they try to access these contracts.

“However, today’s conference is about finding ways forward and it is vital that we identify ways in which local businesses, including SMEs and the Social Economy sector, can benefit from these opportunities. As a Committee we are looking forward to the conference and the participation and ideas of all parties involved in the procurement process. The ideas and suggestions flowing out from today will inform the Committee’s recommendations to the Finance Minister and the Executive.”

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