More than two thirds (71%) of outsourcers and facilities management suppliers think the government needs to do more to help smaller businesses win more of its work, according to a survey by provider of interim managers to the private sector Interim Partners.

The survey of chairmen, chief executives and chief financial officers found strong industry agreement among 64% of respondents that the government favours larger outsourcing companies when awarding contracts.

Mark Kitchen, head of practice for business and support services at Interim Partners, says: “Despite the Coalition government’s attempts to improve outsourcing to SMEs, industry leaders agree that more should be done to help smaller bidders for government work.

“While some contracts can only go to outsourcers that have reached a certain scale, there is the concern that too much of the outsourcing market will consolidate in the hands of just a few players.

“Directors of mid-tier finance manager providers and outsourcers do not want to see the rapid consolidation within the sector that could happen if small providers are permanently locked out of the market for government work. Many larger providers sub-contract some of their work to small, specialist providers so they want to see as healthy a supply chain as possible.”