As shown in the latest figures from 2015/16, over £12bn worth of central government work was delivered by SMEs in that year, and there’s effort underway to ensure this figure continues to rise:Regular webinarsIntroducing small business owners to platforms such as Contracts Finder, services like Mystery Shopper, and buyers who set out the type of products and services they’re after. In the space of 30 minutes, with a conversation accessible from anywhere, these online events connect SMEs with the people in government who are working to make it easier for small firms to win work.Meet the Buyer eventsFace to face meet the buyer events are on the rise with cross departmental events, the popular and annual NDA supplier show, and sector focused innovation and buying exchanges such as such as Defence Contracts Online and Transport Systems Catapult. We are looking to collate these events on a single page so SMEs have one point of access to find out what’s happening in their sector/locality.Advice and guidance for SMEsA free selling to the public sector guide offers top tips and testimonials from entrepreneurs who’ve been there and done it, in addition to 4 videos featuring advice and guidance for SMEs, from SMEs, wanting to work with government.SME PanelA passionate group of entrepreneurs, in the form of an SME Panel, meets regularly to work on solutions to bring down the greatest barriers to SMEs winning work. And their counterparts in government, the SME Champions, meets to discuss how terms and conditions in contracts can be simplified, payment be prompt, and upcoming contracts communicated to a small business audienceThis work reflects a commitment from within government, and from willing entrepreneurs, to work towards government’s aspiration of spending £1 in every £3 with SMEs is met by 2022.There’s always more that can be done. That’s why in 2018 a key area of focus for the SME team will be in matching government’s largest strategic suppliers with small businesses, to jointly fulfil government contracts. We do not want to see the problems that have afflicted SMEs in the Carillion supply chain – far from it. But what we do want to see is greater cooperation between big and small to sort payment terms down the supply chain, and to jointly innovate to deliver the best deal for the taxpayer.The case of Carillion isn’t a warning against outsourcing; it’s an opportunity to build stronger relationships in the delivery of public services; between government and auditors, large companies and their suppliers, and SMEs direct with buying departments. The benefits of this will be felt by all.Emma Jones is SME Crown Representative for Crown Commercial Service.
Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP) at the John F. Kennedy School of Government announced on Jan. 13 the selection of an experienced group of individuals for resident fellowships this spring. Over the course of an academic semester, resident fellows interact with students, participate in the intellectual life of the Harvard community, and lead weekly study groups on a range of topics.“This ideologically diverse group of political professionals possesses a deep knowledge of international diplomacy, foreign affairs, speechwriting, and legislating on Capitol Hill,” said Eric Andersen, IOP fellows program director. “We are looking forward to hosting such prominent practitioners on campus to inspire the next generation of leaders in politics and public service.”The following resident fellows will join the institute for the spring semester:Caroline Croft, senior adviser, U.S. Department of StateBob Inglis, U.S. representativeJohn McConnell, senior speechwriter and White House deputy assistant to the president and assistant to the vice presidentEllen Qualls, senior adviser for strategic planning, office of U.S. House Speaker Nancy PelosiEmma Sky, senior political adviser, U.S. Generals Odierno and Petraeus in IraqBart Stupak, U.S. representative, MichiganThe fellows program is central to the institute’s dual commitment to encourage student interest in public life and to increase interaction between the academic and political communities.
Thwarted robberyThree men on Wednesday appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged with illegal possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.The weapons which were found in the carJason Hunte and Terrence Frank pleaded not guilty to both of the charges when it was read to them. However, Micheal Vanderscoop admitted to the offences.The first charge stated that on September 6, 2018, at Samantha Point, Grove, East Bank Demerara, the trio had in their possession one 9mm unlicensed firearm along with 9 live rounds of ammunition. The second charge alleged that on the same day at the same location, the trio were also found to have in their possession a 4.5mm unlicensed firearm along with four live rounds of ammunition.The prosecution is contending that on September 6, 2018, at about 09:30h, Police acting on information stopped a white Toyota Fielder Wagon, PSS 1418, and conducted a search during which they found the items in a bag on the back seat of the car. The trio were arrested and taken to the Ruimveldt Police Station where Vanderscoop in a caution statement told the Police that it was Hunte, who had planned a robbery in which the weapons were supposed to be used.In court on Wednesday, Vanderscoop was jailed for two years. Additionally, he was fined $50,000 for each of the offences. Hunte and Frank were remanded to prison.The matter was transferred to the Providence Magistrate’s Court where it will continue on September 21.