The performance guarantee requested as a deposit from companies which are awarded government contracts will go down from 10% to 4% from tomorrow, as long as the value of the contracts does not exceed €500,000.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said today that the measure, originally announced in the Budget, is aimed at helping small firms bid for government contracts.

He said that that when a company is awarded more than one contract by the same department or public entity, a single bond may be deposited instead of a bond for each contract, thus saving money for the companies involved and also boosting their competitiveness. This measure comes into force on January 1, 2016.

Prof Scicluna reiterated the government’s commitment to improve public procurement by cutting down on bureaucracy and improving efficiency, particularly through IT.

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