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How FSB promotes procurement for small businesses

The FSB Procurement “Guru” really is working for you

Tim Colman, the Wessex Vice Chairman, is also something of a procurement expert.

After nearly 30 years working in the corporate environment, successfully responding to tenders in the UK and worldwide, Tim established his own procurement consultancy in 2003 and in the same year he joined the FSB.

His procurement consultancy blossomed and in 2011 Tim was invited to become the FSBs’ National Procurement Spokesman. Then in 2013 he was asked to Chair the FSB Policy Procurement sub-committee and in 2015 was “promoted” to Chair his own Policy Committee – of course handling procurement issues.

Since then Tim has worked tirelessly to promote the rights of small businesses wishing to bid for Public Sector contracts. He regularly met senior officers in the Cabinet Office and Crown Commercial Services – as well as a wide range of Government Ministers - and feels he made good progress in making the procurement process more accessible for small businesses.

In Summer 2016 the Cabinet Office announced that it would be forming a new SME panel to ensure that small businesses would have a fair opportunity to win Government contracts. With the backing of the FSB Policy Director Tm applied to join the panel – and was accepted.

As Tim says – he did not accept the challenge to sit at the back and say nothing. He was quickly asked to join the “Contracts Finder” and “Frameworks” sub-committees and has certainly made his views known on both. In his work on the main panel Tim has already met with Ben Gummer (Minister for Cabinet Office) and John Manzoni (the Chief Executive of the Civil Service).

He adds – I am very confident that we will shortly see some changes in procurement legislation that will have a very positive impact on the ability of small businesses to win Central – and Local Government contracts. As we succeed I give my commitment to keep all FSB members informed.

However, his work is not restricted to Cabinet Office lobbying. With the support of members of the FSB London Office, Tim has negotiated commitments from the HS2 and Heathrow expansion teams that will open supply chain opportunities for FSB members across the British Isles. Again – full details will become available in the next few weeks and months.