Government hits SME procurement target

7 Dec 15

The government exceeded a target to spend a quarter of Whitehall’s procurement budget with small- and medium-sized business by 2014/15, figures from the Cabinet Office have revealed.

The update on government spending found that 27.1% of central government procurement spend was with SMEs in the year, above the 25% target set in the last parliament. This has now been increased by Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock to 33% by 2020.

The £12.1bn spending with small businesses showed that the government wanted to “turbo-charge” its ambitions for working with small businesses, Hancock said. He wants as many SMEs as possible competing for and winning public sector contracts.

“I want to turbo-charge our ambitions for small business and have £1 in every £3 of government spend going to small businesses by 2020. I look forward to seeing even more of our big suppliers sign up to the prompt payment code, and help the small businesses in their supply chain.”

The code, currently signed by 17 of the government’s 33 ‘strategic suppliers’, is a pledge on behalf of signatories to pay their suppliers promptly. This makes it easier for small firms, whose cash flow is critical to business, to work with bigger suppliers.

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