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Repetition of pre-qualification should be scrapped, says Government advisor

Contractors should have to pre-qualify only once regardless of how many local authorities they work for, according to the Government’s new small business advisor.

Lord Young of Graffham, who fills the hole vacated by Alan Sugar as Enterprise Czar, said he would seek to scrap the requirement for companies to pre-qualify for every local authority.

“At the moment, if a small business wants to sell to a local authority, they have to pre-qualify for that local authority,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “I would like to find a way for you to pre-qualify once and then you could sell to every local authority.”

The Tory peer, a former trade minister under Margaret Thatcher, has been asked by David Cameron to review the process of bidding for Government contracts.

Lord Young, who completed a review of Health and Safety for the Government on 15 October, said he would seek to retain the aspiration for Government to make payments to businesses within five days.

This puts him at odds with another Government adviser, the retailer Sir Phillip Green, who advised departments to delay payments to small businesses.