HC Deb 19 July 1995 vol 263 cc1357-8W
Mr. David Shaw

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the results of(a) his policies and (b) his Department in helping small businesses over the last 12 months as against the previous 12 months; and if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring. [34706]

Mr. Arbuthnot

The Government continue to place a high priority on helping small businesses through improvements to the business climate, through deregulation and through specific programmes of support and assistance.

Measures operated by my Department to assist small businesses include:

  1. 1. The services of the Defence Suppliers Service which meets and corresponds annually with several thousand suppliers, a very large proportion of which are small firms, offering advice on ways in which they can bring their goods and services to the attention of our buyers. The DSS also supports business links, which provide business counselling and support small businesses.
  2. 2. The promotion of the many opportunities which exist to sell to the Department by publicising contracts in various publications including the Defence Contracts Bulletin, which is a particularly useful source of sub-contract opportunities.
  3. 3. Systematically reviewing our contracting processes to ensure that all administrative procedures are still required and to reduce any unnecessary burdens on businesses. When considering new contracting policies and procedures, we take particular account of the implications for businesses of all sizes.