CABINET OFFICE SME PANEL UPDATE – 10/9/19 Ian Fishwick

Payments to the Supply Chain

At yesterday’s Cabinet Office SME Panel, we met 2 Ministers; Kelly Tollhurst, Minister for Small Business and then Simon Hart, Minister for Implementation, along with senior Civil Servants. All are determined to speed up payments to small suppliers from big companies, so that we do not have another Carillion fiasco again.

If you want to find out how long it takes, on average, a big company to pay its suppliers you can now check this information on a special government website. Simply type in either the companies name or company number and it will tell you their results.

Every 6 months large companies must send their payment data to BEIS (Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy). This data will also be used to decide whether to disbar a large company from bidding for further Government Contracts because of their poor performance in paying their suppliers.

From 1st September 2019 the new Government Procurement Policy is that on all contracts over £5m, a bidder must be paying 95% of their suppliers within 60 days.

Try the website at https://lnkd.in/dDn4kXP

An update on Social Value

If you recall, the Government is keen on using a Social Value section in tender responses, to ensure that suppliers contribute to society, as well as imply supplying goods and services. Earlier in the year the Cabinet Office issued a consultation and Innopsis, on your behalf, was one of the 240 responses that were received. This is clearly a very hot topic and likely to feature more and more in a post-Brexit world (whenever that might be).

There has been a consistent concern raised that big companies can offer to create more jobs than smaller companies. If a buyer chooses to use a job creation paragraph in their Social Value section, then volume will be irrelevant in the response i.e. offering to create 2 apprentices will count the same as 20 apprentices.

Some small pilot trials are under way with a view to agreeing a model for evaluating Social Value responses by the end of March 2020. It is likely that 10% of a tender response marks will be allocated to Social Value.  After a 6-month period of training Central Government buyers, it is expected that we will start to see Social Value questions as standard in tenders from October 2020.