SMEs in Public Procurement

Practices and Strategies for Shared Benefits

image of SMEs in Public Procurement

The relevance and economic implications of public procurement – which represents 12% of GDP and one-third of government expenditures in the OECD area - make it a powerful tool for improving public service delivery. At the same time, governments are increasingly using their purchasing power to pursue strategic objectives in different policy areas such as sustainability, innovation or providing support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Making it easier for SMEs to access public procurement opportunities improves the general economic environment, promotes inclusive growth and supports principles such as equal treatment, open access and effective competition. This report takes stock of the approaches adopted in 37 OECD and non-OECD countries to help SMEs perform better in public procurement markets, including removing barriers to their participation. The report also describes the main features of a public procurement system that benefits both the public sector and SMEs.



Enabling implementation: What is it SMEs and public procurement officials need?

This chapter looks at how government efforts to support SME participation in public procurement also tackle policy implementation. The success of SME policies depends on the effectiveness of their implementation by contracting authorities and ultimately by public procurement practitioners. For this reason, governments typically go beyond policy development to support implementation by providing training, guidance and tools. Similarly, in many cases, SMEs depend on guidance and support in order to make the most of opportunities to participate in public procurement markets. This chapter identifies the enablers used by countries to support successful policy implementation. Mention is made that the strength of policy implementation for SMEs in public procurement will hinge on the strength of governments’ relationships with those SMEs, bolstered by direct consultation.


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