Minister helps Midlands firm deliver aid at supplier engagement event

Lord Bates

The Department for International Development held its first supplier engagement event to help businesses in the Midlands make the most of opportunities to deliver UK aid.

The Minister of State for International Development, Lord Bates, encouraged representatives from more than 50 businesses from across the Midlands to compete for DFID business and bring their local expertise and skills to help the poorest people across the world.

He said: “By working with DFID, Midlands businesses will support Global Britain and in turn create jobs for the local economy.

“As a result of a review of DFID’s work with suppliers, the Department is cutting red tape to boost competition and open up DFID’s market to new businesses including small enterprises in the UK and the world’s poorest countries. We are also stopping so-called “bid candy” practices, by which large suppliers include smaller businesses to win bids, but then drop them from the contract.”

DFID is running regional supplier engagement events – with the first Open for Business event held in collaboration with the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership in Austin Court, Birmingham – to simplify the application process for DFID contracts to help potential suppliers.

Lord Bates added: “The Department for International Development is committed to using the world-leading expertise of British businesses to tackle some of the greatest humanitarian and development challenges the world has ever faced.

“I have spoken today with business representatives who want to help deliver UK aid to achieve the best results that UK taxpayers and the world’s poorest deserve through the unique skills and expertise the Midlands has to offer.

“Ensuring that DFID delivers value for money is a cornerstone of the International Development Secretary’s agenda – boosting competition and making it easier than ever for new and smaller businesses to work with us through events like this show we are making significant progress.”