This morning, Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan TD launched a new range of materials from the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) aiming to promote SME participation in the public procurement process. The initiative, developed in response to industry feedback, includes a series of introductory breakfast briefings, organised by InterTradeIreland, and a range of videos explaining the procurement process.
The innovation in providing additional encouragement to Irish businesses comes at the suggestion of a ministerial SME Advisory Group. The group, containing representatives from the public sector and business representative bodies, has been working to further promote SME participation in the public procurement process.
Speaking today at the launch of the new materials, Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan said:
“Public procurement represents an important market for Irish businesses. Public bodies in Ireland spend €12 billion on goods, services, and works and the wider European market is worth €2 trillion. These new materials, developed by the OGP, which we’re launching today are aimed at demystifying the process for SMEs so that they feel better able to bid for these valuable opportunities.”
Breakfast briefings will be available to businesses across Ireland at a range of different levels over the course of the coming year. Grant Gilmore, Public Tendering Operations Manager for InterTradeIreland, who are organising the events, said:
“InterTradeIreland provides a range of development supports to businesses across the whole island of Ireland. Our two-day Go2Tender training has already proved highly popular for businesses looking to sell to the public sector. These breakfast briefings are an important addition to our training supports for smaller businesses or those who are just starting to consider the opportunities represented by public procurement.”
Shayne Heaney from Heaney Meats, one of the businesses featured in the videos, said:
“Registering with the OGP has been vital to growth of our business. We now receive updates on competitions relevant to us and have succeeded in gaining contracts with the Defence Forces, HSE, and Irish Prison Service. We’d advise any other business to find out more about public procurement and how to compete for these opportunities.”
The events are endorsed by a range of business representative organisations including the Small Firms Association (SFA). Linda Barry, Assistant Director of the SFA said:
“Public contracts represent an important source of business for many of our members. The SFA is working with government not only to make public procurement more accessible to small firms, but also to provide them with the knowledge and skills to successfully bid for public contracts. This initiative from the OGP is a positive contribution in this regard.”