Much of the lobbying that Innopsis does is behind closed doors. This can mean that it is not immediately obvious to members what is happening. We therefore thought it would be useful to members if we gave you an update on some of the things we are involved in at Cabinet Office level. 

The simple objective of this note is to help you understand how much stuff we are involved with.

INSURANCE COVER

The new Technology Services 3 framework sees two new insurance requirements. We have never before seen suppliers being requested to take out £10million of cover (previously the maximum was £5million). The £10million insurance cover request relates to a new category of insurance – Data Breach Liability.

We have written to the Cabinet office SME Panel expressing our concern that suppliers on frameworks are not guaranteed to win any work and the insurance cost of participating is getting ever higher. We are particularly concerned that these extra costs will discourage SMEs from applying. We also asked whether other sectors outside of technology were also seeing the same issue with insurance cover requirements.

Our complaint caused a tsunami of comments from members from other sectors on the Cabinet Office SME Panel.

The end result? The Cabinet Office has agreed to meet Crown Commercial Service to discuss strategy on insurance requirements. We are particularly concerned that there is no proportionality – the same insurance is required, regardless of the size of the contract. We are also highlighting that ‘data breach liability’ insurance is open to interpretation and the cost of cover can vary.

KICKSTART – JOB CREATION FOR 16-24 YEAR OLDS

The Government announced a £2billion KICKSTART scheme with the aim of creating 250,000 jobs for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit. We expressed considerable concerns that the design of the scheme made it unnecessarily difficult for SMEs to join in. A company can only apply directly to DWP if they can create 30 or more jobs. SMEs therefore can only apply if they use an ‘approved aggregator’ such as a Chamber of Commerce. Given that SMEs employ 60% of the workforce, it is extremely difficult to hit the target of 250,000 new jobs, without SMEs.

We have had several meetings with DWP and the Cabinet Office to assess progress. Only about 17,000 jobs have been created so far and the bulk of applications from companies are being rejected. DWP has agreed to let us review the vetting rules being used. We are submitting a series of recommendations on how to simplify the scheme so that more jobs can be created.

SUMMARY

It is key that Innopsis has a seat at the Cabinet Office SME Panel so that we can get our voice heard.

If you spot any issues that you think we should be campaigning on, then please send them to me.

Ian Fishwick

Commercial Director

Ian.fishwick@innopsis.org

Post expires at 6:30pm on Tuesday May 18th, 2021