Lanarkshire IT company NVT revealed in 2011 that while itself and another medium-sized company Dacoll, based in Bathgate, had come out first and second in a government tender that used more traditional pro-curement methods in 2010, they both were excluded from a similar opportunity that was run through a "managed services framework".
The scoring mechanism for large-scale contracts made it "virtually impossible for SMEs to compete," said Stephen Park Brown, NVT's boss.
And despite a separate lot for small-scale contracts being created, it was still won by the same multinational corporations.
Mr Park Brown also cited how NVT had lost a council computer maintenance contract worth almost £30,000 because it had been offered to 10 companies in a framework - nine of whom were global giants without any local capability. He said: "A smaller company will probably end up with the work - but as a sub-contractor, and at a higher cost to the council."