Feeds

Gov: Half of new tech spending must be made with SME suppliers

'Come on guys, we've got to hit a target here'

Security for virtualized datacentres

The UK government is trying to accelerate procurement reforms and hit ambitious targets by directing at least half of all new IT spending to small biz suppliers before the next general election.

One of the grand aims of the Cabinet Office had been to route 25 per cent of all government IT business through SMEs by the end of fiscal '15, but as of last March the figure stood at just 10.5 per cent.

"Our ambition is that at least 50 per cent of spend on new government IT flows to SMEs directly and in the supply chain," the Cabinet Office stated in a report Making Government Business More Accessible to SMEs [PDF].

It pointed to the abolition of pre-qualification questionnaires for contracts under £100,000 and the launch of the Contracts Finder service that allows SMEs to locate business more easily, as success stories for SMEs.

The majority of government business, however, continues to go through a select band of mega suppliers - multinational integrators and tech vendors.

The report revealed spending with SMEs, as a proportion of total spend, increased across 12 departments but went backwards in four, including Culture, Media & Sport; Work & Pensions; Justice; and the Home Office.

Programmes such as G-Cloud, now housed within GDS, were designed to level the playing field for SMEs. Yet the speed of progress has been slower than government would have liked. Public sector buyers have found it hard to break their old habits.

That said, the raft of the contracts that make up the majority of central government's £7bn annual IT spend are up for renewal at the end of fiscal '15 and government says it has lifted "barriers to entry".

"Competition in procurement will be encouraged with no like-for like extensions to existing contracts. Programme will be disaggregated for commercial purposes - broken down into components supported by the market to enable many suppliers to bid," the report added.

Outside of the traditional public sector procurement process, the government will set up a Solutions Exchange this summer as a platform for SMEs to pitch proposals. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.