Earlier last week BEIS has published their SME action plan covering their current and future activity to increase SME spend. BEIS currently awards 29 percent of their procurement activity to SMEs and intend to raise this number to 33 percent Government target in 2021/22.
Progress so far
In the plan BEIS covers the current activity they are undertaking to achieve SME target, which includes early market engagement, breaking down large contracts and using CCS frameworks as a preferred route to market. techUK welcomes BEIS commitment to continue working on the progress of SME agenda and welcomes these steps as they have been continuously highlighted in techUK’ s SME surveys as the main barriers small businesses face in accessing public sector market.
BEIS have also outlined some clear measures they intend to take to improve SME engagement as well as increasing their prospects of achieving SME target. Among many improvements suppliers of major government contracts are now required to advertise their sub-contracting opportunities in Contract Finder. This change will hopefully foster the eco-system and encourage large suppliers to partner with SMEs to deliver large contracts. BEIS also intends to promote SME policy to their internal teams by raising awareness of the benefits of SME engagement and targets. Education of the government buyers have been highlighted in our SME survey and BEIS willingness to educate their teams on SME agenda is welcomed by industry.
In 2019 we will continue working together with Cabinet Office and government departments on a range of activities to improve SME access to public sector market. As part of our market engagement activity on the 14th of March we will be holding our Procuring for Innovation and Growth report launch event, where we will be joined by Martin Traynor, newly appointed Small Businesses Crown Representative to hear his priorities for 2019 and discuss barriers SMEs face in accessing public sector market. We look forward to working together with BEIS to support them in delivery of their SME action plan.
If you like to read a full report please see here.