back to article Soz SMEs, we're not interested in your direct biz

Small biz suppliers received no more love from government procurement departments last year, with direct spend dipping by 0.1 per cent compared with 2012/13 to £4.5bn. Over the last two years, direct spend rose by just 0.3 per cent, according to government figures. In 2010 the government set a target for 25 per cent of all its …

  1. James 51

    If you can meet your goal, move the posts. I thought this was standard operating procedure for big projects.

  2. Desk Jockey


    It is very hard to prove one way or another whether the Government is meeting this target. Not too bad for direct spend but a nightmare for figuring out indirect spend. Companies don't exactly have a checkbox in their accounting systems to say a supplier is an SME. While I am ready to believe the Cabinet Office is capable and willing of fudging its figures, saying that SMEs received less in total by 0.1% completely ignores the fact that total government expenditure is meant to have been savagely cut under this Government. Thus SMEs could well be getting an increasing share of a shrinking pie. This article criticises Government claims by cherry-picking the figures to use in that criticism.

    Whatever criticisms you can make of the Cabinet Office (and there are many!) it is undoubtedly true that they have been making a concerted effort to improve SME spend by making the whole bidding process easier even if sometimes counter-productively. Right now a lot of European countries are looking at what the UK has done with its SMEs and realising that the UK is streets ahead of them. I can only imagine what it must be like for SMEs in those countries.The grass is not always greener elsewhere.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Evidence

      You can find out if they are a small or medium company from the accounts they file at Companies House. If they don't file accounts at Companies House because they are a sole trader or partnership, then they are almost certainly small.

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