Procurement policies working for SMEs

Policies aimed at assisting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) gain fair access to the government procurement market are working, the Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Fran Bailey said today.

Fran Bailey said Australian Government figures showing SMEs won more than $12 billion in Australian Government procurement contracts in 2006-07, or about 41.6 per cent of the total value of all contracts.

"This demonstrates that SMEs are accessing the Australian Government's market for products and services, through the work of publications like the government's Selling to the Australian Government — A guide for business brochure," Fran Bailey said.

"The figures show that SMEs are able to deliver value for money to the Australian Government through providing high quality goods and services.

"They are able to provide products and services that are highly competitive with big business in this market place."

Fran Bailey said additionally, small businesses selling goods and services to the Australian Government had the assurance they would be paid on time.

"Australian Government departments pay 95 per cent of small business invoices within 30 days and in particular, my own Department is setting a strong example with 99 per cent of payments being made on time," Fran Bailey said.

"Everyone associated with SMEs knows that cash flow is absolutely critical for their ongoing success, the payment policy has gone a long way to ensuring that small businesses don't have to devote time to chasing up payments.

"Businesses wanting to access the Australian Government procurement market are able to learn more about the process through which is available through the website."

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