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Government To Publish £50bn Of Public Projects, Reform Procurement

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Francis Maude has announced reform to the way that government interacts with business in a major reform to procurement | AFP/Getty Images

The government is to reform how it works with the private sector in a new package of measures to be announced on Monday. More than £50bn worth of opportunities to work with the public sector will be released online, according to the Cabinet Office.

Government procurement is highly inefficient and is cutting domestic suppliers out of contracts, while uncertainty over the public sector's buying decisions mean that companies are unable to invest in their supply chains, the Cabinet Office said.

"The current system isn’t working," Francis Maude, the minister for the Cabinet Office said. "UK-based suppliers are finding themselves excluded, opportunities for growth are missed due to the public sector’s timidity and carrying out a procurement in the UK costs over twice as much as in France. This is wrong from every point of view."

Potential contracts with a value of more than £50bn will be published on Monday, based on forecasts of the government's requirements across a range of sectors, including IT and facilities management. By April, other departments will publish schedules for other major construction and infrastructure projects.

The government hopes that by giving potential suppliers information on future requirements it will give companies an impetus to invest in new facilities and staff.

Maude will be traveling to Brussels on Monday in order to negotiate with the EU "for a radical simplification of the relevant directives", the Cabinet Office said.

"While other countries manage to settle down and develop long-term relationships with business – this country appears to have taken a rather less successful overly formal and legalistic approach, failing to think beyond the immediate contract and failing to adequately support our businesses. We look forward to working with businesses on our new approach," Maude said.

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