Commercial opportunities for small and medium enterprises with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
The Government recognises the important role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in delivering UK economic growth and prosperity. In March 2011, the Government set a new target that 25% of spend with third party suppliers should go to SMEs by March 2015.
DWP is committed to supporting the achievement of this target and is putting processes in place to promote greater engagement with SMEs. We are working to increase the level of business they get from DWP, either:
- directly by winning contracts with us, or
- indirectly by winning contracts with prime contractors or further down supply chains.
We actively consider SMEs when awarding contracts and try and reach out to the small firms sector to alert them to upcoming commercial opportunities. This section details the steps that DWP, the largest civil Government Department, are taking to actively engage and advise small firms of the best sources of information.
We have produced an SME Action Plan setting out key actions we are taking towards helping meet the Government target.
- Department for Work and Pensions SME Action Plan (38KB) Updated 6 December 2012
The Cabinet Office actively promote initiatives to reduce the bureaucracy involved in bidding for Government business and to make Government contracts more attractive and accessible for smaller organisations. The Cabinet Office Efficiency and Reform Group provides details of measures announced by the Minister for the Cabinet Office to promote Small Business procurement.
Winning the Contract e-learning course
A free on-line procurement course, “Winning the Contract”, is available to help businesses, in particular small and medium enterprises (SMEs), learn about public procurement and how to bid for public sector contracts.
An Information leaflet about the course is available and the course itself is on the Learndirect website.
Opportunities for smaller organisations are advertised on the Supplying DWP pages. Details of live opportunities are also published on Contracts Finder. Contracts Finder is the main source of government contracting opportunities worth more than £10,000.
DWP contracts in the relevant categories are also advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in line with the Department’s obligation under the EU Procurement Directives. You can access information on such upcoming contracts by accessing the OJEU website.
Two big areas of DWP expenditure are governed by long-term strategic contracts. These are
- Information Technology services managed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services and British Telecom (BT)
- Estates services managed by Telereal Trillium
There may be opportunities for small firms to provide services subcontracted to these suppliers. You should contact Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services, Telereal Trillium or BT direct to discuss this and to register your interest.
Further help and advice
Any enquiries or feedback on this section can be provided by completing the Feedback Form, or by sending an e-mail to the Supplier Relationship Management team on QUARRYHOUSE.SUPPLYINGDWPQH@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK.