Policy and Practice. Are they aligned?
In today's volatile, technology-driven markets, Governments worldwide are re-examining policies towards small and medium business. If these are to be the future drivers of economic wealth, there are many questions to be answered.
Tim Cummins CEO, IACCM
To change the world, you must first challenge the tenets that drive your perspective. In the report that follows, we examine the mechanisms that are currently used in public procurement to drive small and medium sized business growth. The findings suggest that some of the historical principles that have driven public sector procurement policies and spend in this sector may be outdated, especially with regard to today's policy objectives. The report shows how the contracting community perceives some of the widely accepted approaches and indicates a number of areas for further, in-depth research. I would like in particular to acknowledge the contribution to this report of Jose Arrieta, Small Business Executive at the US Department of Treasury, who has worked with IACCM for the last four years as an advisor on the US market. Jose inspired the research and our efforts to understand how public procurement officials implement small and medium sized business policy in their respective countries. The IACCM is an organization that has a footprint in 163 countries around the world, making it an ideal partner to learn about public procurement practices globally. In the words of Jose Arrieta: 'As the small business executive at the Department of Treasury I am constantly challenging our operations and policies to improve our business outcomes. To do this successfully, I must increasingly engage and learn from other organizations around the world. The IACCM is an organization that has the same values and I am very appreciative of their efforts on this report. I hope that its findings stimulate thought leadership and engagement from academics, policy makers, industry partners, and contracting professionals around the world, inspiring fresh approaches on this important topic'.
This report is based on research undertaken in the period August - November 2015. It consisted of web-based surveys, supplemented by interviews and discussions with representatives from government, NGOs and private sector business, large and small. It highlights broad consensus over the theoretical benefits of SMB programs, but reveals that these are largely unquantified and, in the context of the public sector, that goals may not be well aligned with program design.