Survey results show Framework Agreements are disliked by SMEs

22 June 2018 by David Smith, FIA, FIRESA Secretary

A survey has been completed on behalf of the Frameworks Working Group, a part of the independent SME Advisory Panel advising on central government procurement. It targeted key small businesses providing a wide range of niche products and services to departments across Whitehall.  

The results of the survey from more than two hundred responses are clear; they show that Framework Agreements are often disliked by SMEs who feel that they are written in complex language, have expensive and time consuming tender processes, are inflexible and favour large companies over smaller ones. While government is trying hard to appeal to the small business sector, it may be inadvertently alienating those very businesses which it is trying to attract.

See the survey results here.

The Working Group will explore other methods of procurement such as Dynamic Purchasing Systems and will propose changes designed to make Framework Agreements more SME friendly. Crown Commercial Service is studying the report's findings and have pointed to a number of new and ongoing actions government is taking to level the playing field for small businesses.