The North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) and Bloom Procurement Services have championed the role of small businesses in public procurement at a Houses of Parliament event.
The Gateshead-based organisations were joined by Ian Mearns MP for Gateshead, alongside over fifty attendees from government, the wider public sector and industry representatives.
Ian Mearns MP said “I’m delighted that Bloom Procurement Services and NEPO are based in the heart of Gateshead offering employment opportunities locally and nationwide.
“I’ve been particularly pleased to learn of the work the NEPRO solution delivers, working hand-in-hand to connect SMEs and local businesses with public sector contracts across the UK. The partnership between Bloom and NEPO, over the last decade, has not only diversified public sector contracting away from the large companies who previously dominated this field, but it has also connected the public sector with expert SMEs who would have otherwise found it incredibly difficult.
“I’m excited by the impact Bloom and NEPO can have on our local economies and public sector in the future with better results, better value for money and a locally based solution to public sector procurement delivered from the heart of the North East.”
A key focus of the event, which took place on the same day the Procurement Bill reached report stage in the House of Lords, was the best practice emerging from NEPRO, Bloom and NEPO’s ten-year partnership connecting professional service experts to public sector customers.
Steven Sinclair, procurement and commercial director at NEPO, said: “Over the past ten years NEPO has worked with Bloom to deliver a compliant route for the public sector to buy professional services. When we launched NEPRO in 2012 we wanted to open up opportunities for small businesses to win work with the public sector. We did this by removing barriers, by simplifying the competitive process, and by embedding prompt payment. More than £1bn of projects have been delivered through NEPRO, with 70% of these projects awarded to SMEs and third sector organisations.”
Adam Jacobs, founder of Bloom, commented: “The ten-year anniversary of our partnership with NEPO is an opportunity to reflect on our achievements to date, and take this insight and learning to a national audience. We were honoured to be joined by cross-party MPs and peers to discuss our view of how procurement policy can be used to support SMEs, drive growth and innovation in the economy, as well as create savings for the public purse. This is more important than ever given the current economic picture and the opportunities that lie within the Procurement Bill, which is now making its way through Parliament.”