The Scottish IT company at the forefront of calls for a fairer public procurement system has won a £500,000 state agency contract which it says highlights the opportunities being closed off to smaller local suppliers.

NVT, based at Bellshill, came out on top after the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) departed from the official Government tender process and appointed its own advisers, law firm Scott Moncrieff, to handle the procurement.

Last year NVT and Bathgate-based Dacoll called on the First Minister to intervene in a new IT procurement system which they claim shuts out smaller companies from a £1.3 billion market.

The Scottish Government's "managed services framework", a supplier pool for IT contracts, was created using criteria that meant only the biggest firms were eligible.

Hamish Fraser, business development director at NVT, said the SLCC process was welcome. "In government procurement there is too much a situation where you write a document and then get a response back telling you whether you've won or not."

The SLCC had required a presentation and discussion of competing firms' submissions.

Mr Fraser said a small IT hardware maintenance contract for Falkirk council, formerly handled by NVT and worth under £30,000, was being offered to companies in the Government's managed services framework.

"Of the 10 companies on the list, the vast majority are big players and I would suggest there is probably only one company naturally matched to that type of contract opportunity."

Stephen Park Brown, chief executive of NVT, commented: "We have had calls from people working for two or three of the companies on the list saying this is crazy, it is exactly the sort of thing you should be tendering for."