Paul Williams the prospective Tory Assembly candidate for Ynys Mon never misses an opportunity to make partisan and unwarranted attacks on the Deputy First Minister and his officers on his Druid blog. This week he attacks Ieuan Wyn Jones regarding the lack of opportunities for local Welsh companies to tender for public work contracts citing the building of the Welsh Government building in Llandudno Junction as a case in point with Pochin having been awarded that particular contract.
As always the Druid is somewhat off the mark a point picked up by Iolo in his excellent blog, "Own Goal from Druid" where he demolishes the arguments presented by Williams and explains in great detail the sub contracts and local employment opportunities arising out of the Llandudno Junction project.
Whilst I am no expert on procurement I am aware of great efforts made by Ieuan's, Jane Davidson and Jane Hutt's officers to draw up a 'procurement framework' for renewable energy tenders i.e photovoltaic panels, where 'local' SME's were given greater opportunities to tender. This project has now been delayed following complaints that the framework was 'uncompetitive.' The complaints were allegedly made by large multinational companies.
What this shows is that the governmental will to help local SME's in Wales, is there; but that the legislation is not geared up towards local procurement. The really difficult question is who is responsible for changing legislation in respect of procurement, is it Westminster or Cardiff?