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Government Procurement: SMEs

Volume 636: debated on Wednesday 21 February 2018

5. What steps his Department is taking to promote Government procurement from small and medium-sized businesses. (903974)

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we are committed to supporting them in securing public sector contracts. Our aspiration remains to spend a third of our procurement spend with them by the end of 2022.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his answer. Does he agree that individual Government Departments have crucial roles to play in promoting the use of small businesses in Government procurement, in order to deliver greater diversity in the firms that are awarded Government contracts?

I completely agree. We are working with Departments through the Crown Commercial Service to develop detailed SME action plans Department by Department, with every Department putting in place both a ministerial lead and a senior official with a role to champion small businesses. The figures so far show that more than half of Government Departments have increased the proportion they now spend on SMEs.

When we start the major work on this building, which will be a massive multibillion-pound infrastructure project, will the Government ensure that small businesses all around the country get contracts, not just the big corporations?

I certainly hope that that will be the case, and I believe our guidelines and approach to different Government Departments will encourage small business to secure those opportunities, but it will also be a matter for the Commons Commission.