Investigation of the barriers to small and medium enterprises accessing public procurement market
Simbiri, A. E.
Simbiri, A. E.
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The research introduces the background of the study, prominently highlighting the roles of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).The Public procurement contracts in Kenya like other countries worldwide covers a wide range of supplies, services and works required by governments, local authorities and public organizations, utilities and agencies. Whilst these contracts vary hugely in size, some are clearly within the capabilities of Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs). The research problem elicits the barriers of SMEs in accessing Public Procurement Market (PPM) in the problem statement; the research objectives and questions, which guide the investigation and; the limitations and scope of the study as well. The study also mirrors all the variables under investigation: SMEs access to PPM: the legal framework; excessive bidding; complex procurement procedures and; limited access to procurement information and opportunities procurement policies and procedures in developed and developing economies is aimed at gaining a better understanding on the participation of SMEs in the procurement market. The Kenyan government through its Private Sector Development Strategy is seeking ways to promote competition, innovation and Value For Money (VFM) in the delivery of public services, (MoTI, 2007). Improving procurement process through enhancement of the participation of SMEs in the public procurement market is one way of achieving this. The third section of the study discusses the methodology used in the study. The research was based in Nairobi and involved SMEs operating in the Central Business District (CBD). The research design was research survey. The target population was from the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Roads. The sampling method was purposive sampling from both the ministries. The sample size of the SMEs who supplied general office computer stationery to both the ministries was 338 while those who supplied computers, printers & computer accessories were '427 making a total of 565. The actual sample size of suppliers who supplied general office computer stationery to both ministries was 34 while those who supplied computers, printers & computer accessories to both ministries was 22 making a total of 56 which is 10 per cent of the sample size. The total numbers of POs sampled were 9, 4 from the Ministry of Energy and 5 from the Ministry of Roads. The total sample size was 65, for the survey. The sampling design was systematic random sampling technique. Both quantitative and qualitative data was collected through a questionnaire with both structured and unstructured questions. The data was analyzed through descriptive research tools obtained through Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and presented in frequency tables, pie-charts and bar-graphs. The results and discussions were both quantitative and qualitative with regard to the research objectives. Legal framework; the bidding process; procurement procedures and; limited information on procurement information transpired as barriers to access of the public procurement by the SMEs. This was due to policy issues; invitation of too many competitors; complex procurement procedures and insufficient information on procurement opportunities respectively. The last section focuses on summary, conclusions and recommendations. The report reveals that SMEs are facing several barriers: Insufficient information in the invitation to tender; excessive administrative burden; complexities in the invitation to tender; poor information in the tender awards and opportunities. Facilitating SME access to public procurement opportunities can allow them to strengthen their competitiveness and enable them to contribute more towards growth, employment and competitiveness in the Kenyan economy.