13 September 2010
Andrew Bridgen raises the concerns local businesses have about tendering for MOD contracts.

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con): What assessment he has made of the potential benefit to small and medium-sized enterprises of the new Defence Industrial Strategy. [14524]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Peter Luff): The Government are committed to enhancing the role of small and medium-sized enterprises, both as a vital part of the United Kingdom's economy and as suppliers to the Ministry of Defence. In December we will publish a Green Paper on our defence industrial and technology policy, which will include proposals for better support for small and medium-sized enterprises. It will be followed by a White Paper. In parallel, we propose to work with industry to review the representation of small and medium-sized enterprises on the National Defence Industries Council to ensure that their voice is properly heard.

Andrew Bridgen: I thank the Minister for his answer, but will he agree to meet me at his earliest convenience to discuss the legitimate concerns of companies in my constituency about tendering for MOD contracts?

Peter Luff: We are well aware that SMEs can suffer particular challenges as a result of excessive delays, frequent changes and complexity in the procurement process. We intend to take full account of those concerns during our development of the Green and White Papers. However, I should welcome an opportunity to discuss the issues with my hon. Friend in my office at an early date, and I look forward to seeing him with his constituents.

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