Small firms need agency to land contracts: report
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Federal policies squeeze companies out of deals, stifle growth, firms say
July 9, 2009
The web of bureaucracy surrounding bids on government work is so complex that small Canadian businesses need a special independent agency to help them navigate it, says a new parliamentary report.
"We need someone who thinks for the SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises), a standalone agency that won't be captive to the public administration, will take chances, be bold and promote SMEs like a big lobbying firm and then we'd measure its success and achievements" said Liberal MP Derek Lee, who chairs the Commons government-operations committee, which recently released its study on small-business problems in landing federal contracts.
A proposed small-business agency is in a package of recommendations aimed at several key goals: improving the bidding process so SMEs know about and get access to federal contracts; "unbundling" big contracts into smaller ones so SMEs can bid; ensuring small firms get "fair" access to contracts and picking suppliers for "innovation and quality" and not just lowest price.
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