Tendering for contracts (Supplementary) [5]

Session date: 
December 7, 2005
Question By: 
Dee Doocey
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
LDA

Question

That is fine. I was surprised that the LCCI told us that 80% of their members employed 10 or less people and that that was the business profile in London as a whole. I think perhaps more needs to be done to make sure that those people are being included because a lot of businesses that employ less than 10 people will not have somebody dedicated to go on the website and to look for all the information. It is not easy to find information. It is quite difficult. Can I just mention targets? Manny (Lewis) mentioned earlier ' and I was very pleased to hear it ' that he thought there ought to be targets and indeed, Marc, when you came to the committee you were telling us about the Atlanta Games, that almost 40% of the contracts went to small SMEs and black, minority ethnic (BME) and women-led companies. You also said that it was done by stipulating it in the contract, by aggressive follow-up, enforcement and verification of what was going on. I think it would be very helpful if you could give us a categorical assurance that there will be targets and they will be worked out very soon because I have a concern about the amount of lead time it takes for the LDA to get its act together and that they will be rigorously enforced and they will be included in the procurement documents.

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Tendering for contracts (Supplementary) [5]

Answer for Tendering for contracts (Supplementary) [5]

Answered By: 
LDA

Two points: one is that I have already asked my team, on the back of that conversation, to look at the results from our annual business survey which I mentioned at the time. It is a survey of 4,000 businesses. We have already drawn up a list of 99 sectors, so it is not thousands of sectors because it ceases to be significant but it is about 100 sectors, and looked for each of those sectors at what is the ownership pattern in terms of BME, non-BME, gender and disability. From that, we are going to be able to say, `Well, if it is manufacturing and motor vehicles, the baseline in London is x. Let us at least target x when we are looking at procurement of contracts for the Olympics.' That is number one.

Number two is: we are working very closely with the Mayor's Office, GLA, ODA to make sure that the procurement strategy reflects all of the good lessons that we can learn from Atlanta and the lesson there basically was that you cannot take this for granted. If you are going to get local firms, you are going to get small firms, you are going to get minority firms involved you have to be very, very energetic and it has to be incorporated right at the very heart of the main procuring agencies, so that is the ODA and LOCOG, but ODA in particular. I know that the Mayor himself is personally committed to making sure that that happens. Manny (Lewis) was at a discussion we had just recently. There will be follow-up involving the Chair and Chief Executive of our organisation, of ODA and Mayor's Office to make sure that this is absolutely at the centre of how things are planned.