Nearly half (46%) of public sector spend on digital, data and technology services through the government’s Digital Marketplace is placed with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), maintaining the level from last year, latest figures have revealed.
The Digital Marketplace was established by the Cabinet Office to simplify the application process for smaller firms seeking to win public digital contracts. According to the Cabinet Office, thousands of SMEs are now signed up to provide their digital, data and technology services to government.
Setting out the figures for spending through the portal in the last year, Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden said that in the last year, £1.3bn has been spent through Digital Marketplace, with £602m worth of business going to SMEs.
The proportion is slightly lower than the 48% of revenue – equating to £1.44 out of every £3 – reported to be going to SMEs in figures reported in February, but similar to the proportion reported in August last year.
Speaking on the publication of the latest figure, Dowden said: “The Digital Marketplace is enabling small businesses to work in partnership with the public sector to drive the UK’s digital transformation.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy and this government is committed to help them prosper.”
The government has a target for 33% of all government spending – not just digital – to be with smaller firms by 2022. Moves intended to help government reach this target include a new standard public sector contract to make it easier for SMEs to bid for government work.