Bolstering SME participation in public procurement: Policy options for Lebanon

The government of Lebanon is working on a new public procurement law and implementing regulations to unify and modernize public sector procurement. Based on a review of the literature and analysis using available data on procurement policy, this report explores options to enhance participation by SMEs in public procurement. Six areas for actions are suggested for consideration. They include (i) measures to improve the integrity and quality of procurement processes, bringing these closer to best practice standards; (ii) improving transparency and lowering transactions costs by implementing e-procurement systems; (iii) defining the size of public procurement contracts so as to facilitate SME engagement, (iv) measures to ensure timely payments and address financial constraints that affect SMEs ability to bid for contracts; (v) specific measures that explicitly target greater participation by SMEs; and (vi) action to solicit information and feedback from stakeholders on procurement policies.