New EU procurement rules coming into force today via the new EU Public Procurement Directive have the potential to improve public procurement for SMEs, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The new EU obligation for public sector clients, including local authorities, to break down their contracts into smaller lots should help small construction firms win more public sector work. This means small firms can once again act as the principal contractor on smaller contracts rather than having to form part of the supply chain. This is important because working for large construction firms is not appealing for many SMEs as they are unwilling or unable to cope with late payment which is still a major problem in our sector.”

Berry concluded: “Public contracts account for almost 40% of total construction output but in recent years, small and micro firms have been increasingly losing out to the big players. It is essential that the new Rules are implemented promptly so that small firms can begin to benefit which in turn will unleash the potential for much needed economic growth in all parts of the UK.”