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HMRC outlines its SME action plan for 2019

The HMRC is aiming to raise the SME share of central government procurement spend to 33 per cent by 2022.

  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • July 16, 2019
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The HMRC has released its small and medium enterprise action plan for 2019, aimed to help the UK government achieve 33 per cent of its procurement spend with SMEs by March 2022.

The HMRC’s initiatives outlined in the plan, focus on facilitating engagement with SMEs, promoting an ‘SME-friendly’ procurement process, and strengthening SME relationships with primary contractors.

The office revealed that in the 2017-18 financial year, the total net procurement spend totalled £1.47 billion, of which £151 million or 10.3 per cent equalled the total direct SME spend. In the same period, total SME spend, which includes indirect spending, reached £283 million or 19.3 per cent.

Compared with a year earlier, however, the total share of government procurement spending on SMEs dropped by 17.3 per cent.

“We have analysed our spend profile to help us identify and target opportunities to increase SME engagement, participation and, ultimately, spend with HMRC. This in turn will stimulate growth and innovation,” the HMRC said.

Moreover, it revealed it is endeavouring to make it easier for SMEs to bid for its work by:

  • adopting the cross-government suite of streamlined procurement documentation and the new Public Sector Contract wherever appropriate;
  • reviewing and amending terms and conditions and procurement documentation to ensure they are ‘SME friendly’ and make government procurement more attractive to SMEs;
  • incorporating a contractual obligation in HMRC contracts to improve visibility of sub-contracting opportunities available to SMEs in the supply chain; and
  • dividing HMRC contracts into smaller lots wherever possible.

The HMRC, however, admitted that while it is committed to providing more opportunities for SMEs, it is unable to guarantee that there will be “new, different, or a greater number of opportunities for SMEs over the coming months or years”.

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