As previously reported, concerns have already been raised as to the division of governmental spending between SME and larger enterprises. And while governmental figures have highlighted a marked increase in the usage of SMEs on key contracts, further woes have been raised as to the skewing of such results where subcontractor works are performed on behalf of the larger enterprises.
As such, the National Audit Office has highlighted that it could not be certain as to whether there has actually been an increase in direct spending with SMEs, with the previous indirect spending figures being entirely incomparable with earlier statistics. A worrying notion, to be sure, with the NAO stressing the increased importance for more governmental focus on spending within the SME base of the supply chain.
With concerns already having been raised as to the continuity of the government’s success in integrating SMEs into the supply chain more appropriately, the notion comes at a time whereby increased questions are being raised as to just how much extra is actually being spent with SMEs, both directly and indirectly.
A positive sign can be seen in the increased accessibility of application for governmental works by SME practices as a bare minimum on the progress made thus far, however it is becoming increasingly evident that competing for such works and securing spending from the government may not yet be a great degree easier than has previously been seen.
BIFM’s Chair of the Procurement Special Interest Group, Wendy Sutherland, commented: “The ability for SMEs to actively participate in this environment is challenging despite the best intentions of central government, as can be seen when reading the list of the successful suppliers.”
Of course, as previously highlighted, the position is one whereby the government has been urged to reassess and identify further ways in which it can both engage with, and sped directly with the SME supplier base else, it is feared that targets for SME spending will not be met.