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Encouraging small and medium enterprises

The definition of a Small and Medium sized Enterprise as quantified by the European Commission is one that does not exceed 250 employees.

We want to do business with SMEs and will:

  • Become more familiar with SMEs in Wales and the services they provide;

  • Remove barriers to doing business with SMEs;

  • Recognise that SMEs can offer good value for money;

  • Explain our tender processes to help SMEs bid for our business;

  • Make it easier for SMEs to talk to us;

  • Ensure our processes do not discriminate against SMEs;

  • Ensure that SMEs have every opportunity to compete for our contracts;

  • Encourage our suppliers to provide sub-contract opportunities for SMEs;

  • Welcome applications from new businesses;

  • Welcome collaborative or consortia bids from small businesses;

  • Comply with EU and UK procurement legislation and apply the rules to all tenderers in a fair and transparent manner.

We are totally committed to sustainable development and will:

  • Make SMEs aware of sustainability criteria and how they affect the assessment of tenders;

  • Encourage SMEs to embrace the principles of sustainable procurement.

We are modernising our procurement processes, to ensure that they are transparent and fair for SMEs. To achieve this, we will:

  • Ensure skilled and professionally qualified personnel manage the procurement processes.

  • Explain our tender processes to SMEs

  • Keep our tendering process as simple as possible to minimise cost.

  • Increase the use of e-procurement including procurement cards and electronic invoicing, in order to improve efficiency.

  • Consider the most appropriate approach to achieve value for money and manage risk, for each procurement.

  • Split large contracts into separate lots where appropriate, to maximise tender opportunities for SMEs.

  • Discuss the procurement with SMEs on request to help them understand our requirements and assess their own suitability.

  • Inform interested SMEs of the criteria and weightings we will use to evaluate expressions of interest and tenders.

  • Set financial qualification requirements on a risk assessed, tender-by-tender basis.

  • Require not more than two years audited accounts, and accept alternative information from newer businesses.

  • Consider alternative solutions that SMEs offer.

  • Debrief all tenderers on request to help SMEs improve their tendering performance.

  • Pay within 30 days from receipt of a correct invoice.

  • Require our main contractors to pay SMEs within 30 days of receipt of a correct invoice.

To make sure our procurement processes continuously improve, we will:

  • Take account of good practice procurement guidance;

  • Welcome feedback from SMEs on our processes and procedures;

  • Have a complaints procedure.

  • Continuously improve our procedures and processes.

  • This is a summary of the practices we aim to adopt.

In order to preserve flexibility and encourage the widest possible take-up across public sector bodies and SMEs, it is necessary for us to make clear that this document does not create, and is not intended to create, any binding legal relationship, obligation or right of action whatsoever whether in public or private law, in relation to any public sector body or SME which participates in this Charter.

SMEs Commitment to the National Assembly for Wales

In order to help us help you do business with us, you will be prepared to:

  • Provide any further information needed to understand your business.

  • Take advantage of opportunities to meet with us.

  • Ensure that you understand our requirements but if you do not, seek advice.

  • Be realistic in assessing your own capability to deliver our contracts.

  • Welcome e-procurement and as a minimum become Internet capable.

  • Ensure all your activities are conducted honestly and responsibly.

  • Continuously improve your business’ contribution to sustainable development.

  • Have in place suitable policies, processes and certification that demonstrate you are committed to quality, health and safety, equal opportunities and the environment.

  • Develop and work with your supply chains to include other SMEs.

  • Treat your suppliers fairly, and pay within 30 days from receipt of a correct invoice.

You will have a reputation for and will want to provide us with a high quality competitive service, by:

  • Continuously updating personnel skills and your business’ capability, seeking assistance from Business Support Agencies, if appropriate.

  • Consider collaborating with other suppliers if this makes your service more competitive or reduces risk.

Contact Us

You can contact the Assembly Procurement Office at

0300 200 6550

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