APHC has called on contractors and installers to use the Cabinet Office Mystery Shopper scheme if they come across any issues while involved in tendering for any local authority contracts.
In February 2011 the Government announced a package of measures to ensure that small businesses and organisations are not left out of procurement processes due to unnecessary bureaucracy and regulation – this was known as the Mystery Shopper Scheme. Earlier this year the scheme was extended to include issues relating to unfair practices in the supply chain.
Since the scheme began a record number of 238 cases have been received and investigated by the Cabinet Office. The majority of cases received so far relate to wider public sector procurement.
The Mystery Shopper scheme uses the feedback from SME’s and Contractors to promote best practice across the whole public sector. SME’s and contractors are urged to use the service whenever they feel there is an issue that disadvantages small players in the industry, or best practice is not being followed.
John Thompson, APHC Chief Executive commented: “We have received feedback from both small contractors and installers, some of whom are already involved in local authority procurement, commenting on how cumbersome the process is, and how they feel at a disadvantage compared to major contractors who have the time and finances to produce comprehensive tenders. This scheme finally gives a voice to all the smaller businesses and contractors who have been affected in this way and I would urge any businesses that have been affected to complete the Mystery Shopper form. This is a welcome move by the Cabinet Office and proves the government are working to improve business conditions for small/medium enterprises.”
More details on the scheme are available to download from the Cabinet Office website: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/mystery-shopper-scope-and-remit you can download the Mystery Shopper form here: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/form/mystery-shopper-feedback-form