Maude wants government to hand contracts to private firms

THE GOVERNMENT is today encouraging private sector firms to bid for more than 1,700 public sector contracts worth up to £84bn in the hope of stimulating economic growth.

Writing in today’s City A.M., cabinet minister Francis Maude says that in the past unnecessary bureaucracy has hindered efforts to create strong links between the public and private sectors.

Instead Maude claims greater transparency is needed.

“For years under Labour, government didn’t bother to engage properly with potential suppliers. The market didn’t know what the public sector wanted – and government didn’t know what the market could offer,” he says.

The government has been publishing some public sector contracts since November 2011 but today’s announcement sees opportunities in four new sectors – including professional services and financial services – put online for the first time.

Matthew Fell, CBI director for competitive markets, said the announcement is a move in the right direction but that reform needs to happen faster.

“The government urgently needs to increase the level of commercial skills in the public sector to deal with the increasing complexity of contracts,” Fell added.