Council takes to Twitter to help local businesses

In an innovative move, aimed at helping local companies to easily access and apply for council contracts, Norfolk County Council has announced a plan to tear up procurement red tape and promote business opportunities via Twitter.

At Thursday’s ‘Open for Business’ event at Carrow Road, Council Leader Derrick Murphy told local business representatives that, with immediate effect, all contract tenders will be tweeted by the council.

The council began by tweeting 18 contracts for passenger transport services for Great Yarmouth and North East Norfolk schools and colleges on Thursday afternoon.

The County Council is believed to be one of the first councils in the country to begin tweeting tender opportunities to business community followers.

The move has already been welcomed by local businesses – who not only feel that it is an easier way to receive information, but is also easier to forward on to fellow businesses that may be interested in the contract.

The @NCCContracts address will be promoted to any businesses that are currently amongst the council’s 5,500+ corporate Twitter account followers.

In a move also welcomed by local businesses the council announced that it is to speed up its procurement process by abolishing the need for pre-qualification questionnaires to be completed for tenders for contracts valued at under £100,000.

Presently some suppliers are put off tendering by the two-stage process, which requires the pre-questionnaire being completed.

The council will also look to try, where possible, to use the same speedier process for some contracts valued at over £100,000.

Derrick Murphy also announced that the council will encourage all authorities in Norfolk to use Contract Finder – which the County Council uses to advertise tenders.

He also announced other improvements to either speed up the council’s procurement process, or help companies to be aware of tender opportunities.

Derrick Murphy, Leader of Norfolk County Council, said:

“About forty percent of the County Council’s expenditure is already with smaller businesses, and many of our large suppliers also make extensive use of smaller companies in their supply chains.

“Anything that we can do to help local companies to be aware of and apply for our contracts can only help them in the current economic climate.

“The changes to our procurement process and now tweeting tender opportunities are small steps that will help local businesses – many of whom have already welcomed these changes.”

*Opportunities 2012 was a Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Chamber of Commerce event, that took place today (March 15), designed to boost local businesses and unlock growth through providing opportunities for local firms to find new business, tap into supply chains, and learn new business skills.

Appointments with buyers could be booked on the dedicated website at www.opportunities2012.co.uk, where there was a full list of all the buyers that were present and details on the types of products and services they were looking for.

 

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