At the end of last year, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) released a procurement plan, which outlines a programme of major projects and contracts over the next five financial years.

Defence tenders for the construction of new buildings and accommodation and the refurbishment of current facilities are set to be released across this time period. To fulfil these contracts, DIO wants to branch out and work with a “more diverse supply base”.

New opportunities with the DIO

Alongside the opportunities mentioned above, new DIO tenders will be released for facilities management elements such as catering, waste management and cleaning.

With new opportunities for defence suppliers on the horizon, DIO Commercial Director Jacqui Rock has recognised the importance of working with suppliers of all sizes and levels of public procurement expertise. She plans to introduce new measures that will support small businesses and businesses that lack experience working with the MOD throughout the bid process.

In a government statement Ms Rock said:

“As DIO we recognise that our current and future suppliers are key to our success. We have worked with industry to produce the Procurement Plan and we are committed to building a broader, more diverse supplier base.

“We believe in being as transparent as possible in our procurements and through this new approach we are encouraging new entrants, including small and medium-sized enterprises, to consider the benefits and opportunities that working with DIO can deliver.”

 

New to defence procurement?

If you would like to learn more about working with the MOD and DIO, visit the Defence and Security section of our website.

Supply2Gov gives UK and Irish suppliers the tools to get started. If you would like to search for defence and security contracts for FREE, register for our “Ready to Take Flight” subscription now.

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Amongst all the Brexit uncertainty this week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered his Spring Statement.

Mr Hammond kept his statement concise and promised that he would return to parliament with a three-year spending review before the summer recess.

Although the statement was brief, there were many points relevant to SME businesses. We dissect the Spring Statement and tell you what you need to know below.

 

No more late payments

Mr Hammond said that the government’s plans will “restore confidence and unlock a brighter future”. He stated that the government has plans to tackle the late payment problem that many supply chain businesses are facing.

Post Spring Statement Simply Business reported that “late payments continue to affect small business cash flows everywhere. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says as many as four out of five firms have been paid late.”

Moving forward large companies must have an audit committee in place. This committee should be led by a non-executive director and will be required to report on payment practices when dealing with small businesses annually.

 

Sustainability

This week the BBC reported that “businesses looking to secure public sector contracts will need to do more to help improve society” and during the Spring statement sustainability and efficiency was high on the Government’s agenda.

The Chancellor has pledged to increase the amount of ‘green gas’ in the National Grid and has set a goal that by 2025, all new homes will be ‘future-proofed’ with low carbon heating, as opposed to fossil fuel-based heating systems.

It was also announced that there will be a ‘call for evidence’ that will focus on the benefits of energy efficiency and carbon reduction for SMEs. The results of this will lead to SME-specific investment commitments.

 

Investment into apprenticeships

Mr Hammond announced that there will be further support for businesses implementing apprenticeships. £80 million will be placed to help get three million new apprenticeships started by 2020. During his speech he said:

“to help small businesses take on more apprentices, I can announce that I am bringing forward the £700 million package of reforms I announced at Budget to the start of the new financial year in April.”

From 1 April, employers will see the co-investment rate they pay reduced from 10% to 5%, while levy-paying employers are “able to share more levy funds across their supply chains”, with the maximum amount rising from 10% to 25%.

 

Let Supply2Gov support your SME

Just like the government, Supply2Gov wants to help UK businesses win more work.

If your business is looking to work with the public sector, then we can help you get started. Simply register for free and you will gain access to tender alerts from the area of your choice.

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Today marks the end of Cyber Security Awareness week.

Cyber security is something that we often discuss on the Supply2Gov blog, but why is it important for the supply chain to invest in cyber security?

Learn more about why your business should invest in cyber security below.

 

Growing concern over cyber threats

The supply chain is often described as the weak link when it comes to cyber security risk for the public sector.

According to the Cyber Security Breaches report 2018, over four in ten businesses (43%) have experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months.

This is something that public sector organisations are becoming aware of, making them warier of the suppliers they choose to work with. Last year the government stated:

“A series of high profile, very damaging attacks on companies has demonstrated that attackers have both the intent and ability to exploit vulnerabilities in supply chain security. This trend is real and growing. So, the need to act is clear.”

The government allocated an additional £1bn to the MOD to cover the remainder of 2018 and this year to boost cyber capabilities.

 

Some government contracts require Cyber Essentials

Did you know that the Government requires all suppliers bidding for contracts involving the handling of certain sensitive and personal information to be certified against the Cyber Essentials scheme?

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed, industry-supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common online threats. The certification can be achieved by organisations, of any size, in any sector.

 

How to get Cyber Essentials certification

Supply2Gov’s partner Cyber Essentials Online is offering £50 off during Cyber Security Awareness week. Customers can use the code Cyberaware50 at the checkout. This is available for a limited time only.

To find out more about Cyber Essentials certification with Supply2Gov, learn more here.

 

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We have been keeping our readers up to date with the latest guidelines on government tendering after Brexit.

Now that the UK Parliament has voted against Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, public sector buyers and suppliers are asking “what’s next?”

If you would like to learn more about how procurement will change if there’s a ‘no-deal exit’, download a copy of the  ‘Procurement: Deal or No Deal’ factsheet.

This helpful document outlines created by our parent company, BiP Solutions, outlines what we currently know about how public procurement will proceed, given the various possibilities for Britain’s exit from the EU. It discusses:

  • What will stay the same if no deal is negotiated
  • How a negotiated deal will affect UK procurement
  • What contracting authorities can do to reduce how much they need to prepare

The factsheet is available for download now.

Get your copy here.

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