The Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) SME Action Plan, last updated in October 2014, has positively affected a number of SME engagement activities and helped raise the issues SMEs face in Defence. The Action Plan was wide-ranging and although it did not achieve all the goals it was set, it has succeeded in bringing the issue of SME engagement, and more importantly SME contracting, to every part of the UK Defence business. Post SDSR 2015, and following the large focus on industry that featured in the Review, MOD released an MOD SME Policy Refresh document. This policy refresh highlights three strategic objectives, each with their own set of actions and observations.
Downloadable from the bottom of this page is techUK’s response to the Policy Refresh, set around the three strategic objectives with responses to a number of points within each.
Commenting on the Policy Refresh, techUK's Defence Programme Manager Andy Johnston said:
"techUK broadly welcomes this policy refresh and is pleased to see a number of practical actions that could begin to affect business immediately, as well as a longer term view to keep SMEs engaged with Defence in the long term. Framework contracts, piloting activities, removal of turnover thresholds, and prompt payment terms are all small but essential practical parts of the commercial process that, if changed, could lead to far greater SME engagement. No SME is the same and because of this diversity MOD must continue to offer a variety of ways to engage, be that for research, support, or capability delivery contracts. techUK particularly looks forward to the implementation of the Supplier Engagement Portal, presented and populated in the right way this modern technique for remote industry engagement could become a vital tool for reaching the 25% engagement target.
"techUK is committed to working with our members, wider industry, and Government to create the best possible circumstances for SMEs to do business with MOD. The MOD SME Policy Refresh highlights a number of issues and presents sensible measures to help address them, we look forward to working with all concerned to progress this work."