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Government “loses momentum” in efforts to increase SME spend

The Government has “lost momentum in its efforts to spend more with SMEs”, according to a report from the Public Accounts Committee.

The Committee, which scrutinises public spending, concluded, “It is not clear that SMEs are better able to compete with larger providers or whether they are actually getting any more government business than before.”

Questionable target

Referencing the Government’s reported progress on increasing procurement spending with SMEs from 25% to 33% by 2020, the Committee piled on further pressure, commenting, “It is not clear how the Government decided on 33% as a target or how achievable it is.”

The Committee also called on the Government to make it easier for SMEs to find out about contract opportunities.

Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, commented:

“We are sceptical about just how much progress has been made on increasing spending with SMEs.

“The fact the Government has changed its approach to measuring such spending in four of the last five years makes it impossible to properly assess performance.

“The Government has now committed to an ambitious, higher target for SME spending and there is clearly work to be done if that target is to be achieved. It’s a simple point, but launching initiatives is not the same as delivering results.”

You can read the full report here.

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