UK Government Spend With SMEs – Where Has The 2103/14 Data Got To?

Just an idle thought for a Tuesday morning  - last year, the UK government published its figures for 2012/13 spend with SMEs (small and medium enterprises) on August 8th. It’s now almost December and nothing has appeared in terms of the 2013/14 figures.

In past times I would have asked an FOI, but I know the standard Cabinet Office approach will be “we are going to publish these figures eventually, so we don‘t have to tell you now – so f*** off”. I’m paraphrasing that somewhat but I get that response to most of the FOIs I ask them.

So I’m not going to waste a month going through that process. Let’s speculate instead as to why the figures have not emerged yet? There are a few possibilities.

  1. The dog ate the data. Or other generic excuses – lack of resource, incompetence, computer malfunction, the stars are misaligned, whatever.
  2. The numbers aren’t good so Cabinet Office is chasing around the departments, trying to find ways in which the numbers can be massaged – I’m sorry, clarified – to get closer to the 25% “aspiration.” Watch out when they do emerge for the inclusion of spend through the supply chain, and omission of MOD from the data, as techniques to get closer to the 25%.
  3. The numbers aren’t good so they are waiting for the right moment to slip them out, which could be using the “good day to bury bad news” philosophy, or perhaps just wait till December 19th. That should work OK. Or at least wait until Parliament has knocked off for Christmas. But they can’t just delay indefinitely, can they?
  4. The numbers are good. So Cabinet Office is waiting for some auspicious time to announce them to the delighted world and all the people who are waiting with baited breath for the data (i.e. the Federation of Small Business and Spend Matters).

So what is your money on? Can Crown Commercial Service enlighten us please?

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Voices (2)

  1. Robin P:

    Maybe the programme was so successful that larger SMEs tipped over into large enterprises? My company dropped out of the SME band and £80m+ of SME spend just disappeared from their numbers, it happens.

  2. Ali:

    They also haven’t published any spend data since June (which was for April’s figures) – even through many (much larger) departments manage to publish monthly, one month in arrears. A case of do as i say not as i do?

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