SMEs in Public Procurement

Practices and Strategies for Shared Benefits

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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.



Monitoring and evaluation: How are SMEs performing?

This chapter discusses current approaches for assessing implementation of SME support and public procurement policies, strategies and measures. While the importance of measuring and monitoring the performance is widely acknowledged, those activities not consistently carried out by countries. Governments that do measure SME policies focus on participation and success in tender processes. Such measures are useful for measuring changes in SME engagement over time, but they do not shed light on the location or size of the barriers that SMEs face. The proliferation of e-procurement systems has unlocked a great deal more data that can be analysed towards those ends. This chapter identifies the different measurement techniques employed by countries to improve the development and implementation of policies and regulations. The key role played by central purchasing bodies (CPBs) is also examined, followed by a close look at the various challenges to measuring the effectiveness of SME support policies.


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