Help and Support for Small Businesses and The Third Sector
Corporate Procurment Services (CPS) want to help businesses, SMEs and the Third Sector to engage with the procurement process. Local authorities are sometimes percieved as bureaucratic and although we cannot always simplify processes we hope this web page will help those interested in working with us.
Birmingham City Council recognises that SMEs and the Third Sector can provide value for money services and offering a greater level of flexibility and local knowledge with regard to service delivery.Terminology:
Third Sector: term used by us to describe the voluntary and community sector including registered charities, voluntary organisations, community groups, faith groups engaged in voluntary/social action, not-for-profit organisations, community interest companies and social enterprises.
SMEs are defined as those with less than 250 employees.
The National Compact is an agreement between the Government and voluntary and community sector (VCS). The Compact provides a framework for their relationship to focus on providing benefits for the community.
The CPS Concordat is a statement of principles intended to support effective trade between local authorities, small businesses, third sector and voluntary organisations.
- The key benefits of the Concordat are that it will develop greater transparency between the Council and suppliers.
- and improve communications between SMEs/the Third Sector and the local authority.
Construction related and social care contracts are co-ordinated within specialist areas - See Tendering Opportunities Other work:
Where it is appropriate equalities and sustainability issues will be addressed specifically through the specification of a contract and made clear within the tender documents. All contracts are subject to Equlities Impact Needs Assessments and minimum standards within the pre-qualification stage will include the following:
Equalities - The West Midlands Forum - Common Standard for Equalities in Public Procurement. The aims of the Standard include: helping contractors meet their obligations for non-discrimination, encouraging and acknowledging firms who comply with the Standard, sharing good practice, and securing contracts that deliver equalities in public procurement. businesses who pass the Standard will be exempt for 3 years from the process with any forum member (Birmingham City Council, Coventry City Council, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Redditch Borough Council and Wolverhampton City Council).
Sustainability - Corporate Procurement Services also evaluates tenderers on sustainability issues. The 'Going for Green' Scheme is restricted to use within the Council but is also designed to request different information based on an organisation's size. The Scheme has been developed in partnership with the environmental charity Groundwork Birmingham & Solihull who offer subsidised training and support for small businesses meeting certain criteria.
We do not want prospective suppliers to see these issues as barriers to tendering and can offer support through this stage either directly or through our partners.
www.groundwork-birmingham.org.uk - Groundwork supports communities in need, working with partners to help improve the environment.
SME Friendly Concordat for Local Government