New public contract guidelines will allow small sized enterprises to compete.

It's been claimed that new public contract guidelines issued by the Government will allow more small to medium sized enterprises compete for government contracts.

Donegal North East TD Niall Blaney says the new guidelines should ensure that SMEs are not unfairly hindered in competing for public contracts.

Deputy Blaney says until now, small firms have found it tough to complete, and this is an issue he's been pursuing with Finance Minister Briasn Lenihan and Labour Affairs Minister Dara Calleary.

From now on, advertised contracts up to €250,000 for works and €125,000 for supplies and general services must be open to all potential tenderers without a prequalification process.”

This will make it a lot easier for local, small firms to tender for works such as the summer works scheme, following claims that unrealistic prequalification demands stopped them from tendering for work they were perfectly capable of doing, but instead went to bigger companies. In Donegal, that created an extra point of resentment, as mabny of the contracts went across the border.

Also from now on, public bodies will be prohibited from making those who wish to enter public competitions pay to do so. Deputy Blaney says he hopes this will see more local firms secure government contracts.