§ Mr. David Shaw
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the achievements of his Department and his policies in helping small businesses over the last 12 months compared with 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.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
Over the past 12 months, the Home Office has helped small firms by improving the information, access and opportunities necessary to enable them to tender for our business. We have issued a booklet 499W entitled "Selling to the Home Office", which provides details of our typical purchasing needs and guidance for potential suppliers on where and how to make the initial approach. The purchasing powers of local offices throughout England and Wales have also been increased; minimising procedures and extending opportunities for small firms.
Home Office performance indicators on purchasing are directed at getting better value for the money we spend, and do not differentiate between the size of firms to which contracts are awarded or provide statistical information about business placed with small firms.