Posted: Thu 27th Nov 2014
Appointed on 11 February 2011, Stephen Allott is the Crown Representative for Small & Medium sized Enterprises with a role to enable Government to secure full value from small business suppliers, so government can reach its aspiration of procuring 25% of products and services from SMEs by May 2015.
Attend The Government Exchange to meet Stephen and read more about his role here.
Q: What is your role?
A: At the time of my appointment, the government stated:
'We are changing how we do business to make sure that small companies, charities and voluntary organisations are no longer shut out by excessive bureaucracy and poor procurement practices.'
My role is to realise this vision and has 3 parts:
To ensure a dialogue between small businesses and buyers both direct and through trade associations
To be a "Strong voice at the top table" influencing the design of reforms to ensure that Government gets full value from SMEs
Intervening in the design of specific procurements to ensure they are right sized and get full value from small businesses.
According to the government website:
The job is to bridge the gap between government and smaller suppliers with main aims as follows:
Understand the concerns of small business suppliers
Stephen Allott has close links with trade associations representing small businesses, and they keep him informed of the issues and concerns of their members. He also receives feedback on SMEs' experience of government procurement via the Mystery Shopper service.
Open up government procurement to small businesses
The Crown Representative helps to design public procurement policy and processes. Stephen also gets involved with specific procurements to enable them to get full value from SMEs
Q: What are your top tips for small businesses wanting to sell to government?
A: Sign up for G Cloud 6. You can also see my top tips (both video and text) here. 53% of spend on the G Cloud goes direct to SMEs which shows the way forward.
Q: Will government hit the aspiration of 25% procurement from SMEs by May 2015?
A: I don't know what small business spend will be by 2015. We measure SME spend (both small and medium business) and the last figure published for direct spend was 10.5%. Indirect spend is 9.4%.