MPs unconvinced by UK government claims on spend with SMEs

Government efforts to channel public contracts towards SMEs have stalled and spending on small business may not actually have increased at all despite ambitious targets, according to MPs.

In a report the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said it was not convinced by claims from the Cabinet Office (CO) and Crown Commercial Service (CCS) that they had made strenuous efforts to increase SME spending.

It said: “We are not persuaded that the government’s approach so far has resulted in substantially greater competition for government business or definitely led to more business flowing to SMEs than before.”

The government has set itself a target of 33% of its procurement spending to reach SMEs by 2020. But the report said it was unclear to what extent this target was achievable.

“Momentum has been lost with some initiatives stalling or stopping altogether and the centre needs to reinvigorate its approach,” the PAC said.

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Economy, General, Procurement