Results 1–20 of 493 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Oliver Dowden

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Government Procurement: Small Businesses (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we are determined to continue to level the playing field so that they can compete for Government contracts. That is why in April I announced a number of measures to help achieve that and have recently met the Government’s strategic suppliers and Ministers in several Departments to ensure that those measures are delivered.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Government Procurement: Small Businesses (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: As my hon. Friend will know, small businesses generate more than 16 million jobs and we are determined to level the playing field so that those in coastal towns such as Southend get their fair share of prosperity and win Government contracts. I encourage businesses in Southend to look on Contracts Finder, on which more than 17,000 small businesses are already registered, for procurement...

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Government Procurement: Small Businesses (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: My hon. Friend is absolutely correct. It is crucial to ensure that we have a diverse supplier base. We have made a number of changes to the Government procurement processes to assist small businesses, including requiring prime contractors to advertise subcontracting opportunities on the Government Contracts Finder. We also divide contracts into separate lots, including by region, when that...

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Government Procurement: Small Businesses (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: We already require buying authorities to disaggregate contracts so that small and medium-sized enterprises can compete. However, there will, of course, be contracts in which disaggregation would affect value for money. That is why we recently announced that when large contractors are successful, they will be required to advertise those subcontracting opportunities on Contracts Finder, so that...

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Government Procurement: Small Businesses (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: As the hon. Lady will know, the Cabinet Office has extensive processes to ensure successful procuring. If she is questioning the overall purpose of procuring, I refer her to the comments made earlier by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office. In addition, research shows that public authorities save at least 11% by contracting out services. That means more money for health...

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Government Procurement: Small Businesses (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: The hon. Gentleman raises an important point. In the previous Parliament, we set and met a target of 25% of all Government procurement going to small businesses. We set a challenging target in this Parliament of a third of all procurement going to small businesses. I am taking a number of steps to help us to try to achieve that.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Government Procurement: Small Businesses (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: We are absolutely committed to prompt payment. That is why the Government pay over 96% of their suppliers within 30 days. In respect of application to contracting, I have just announced a consultation to ensure we can exclude contractors if they fail to pay small businesses on time.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Senior Public Appointments: Widening Access (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: We want to ensure that public boards represent the people they serve. That is why in December we launched our diversity action plan, which committed to 50% women and 14% ethnic minority representation by 2020. Just last month, I appointed Lord Christopher Holmes to undertake a review of removing barriers that disabled people might face when applying for public appointments.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Senior Public Appointments: Widening Access (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: The hon. Lady raises a very important point about our making sure that public appointments reflect the country as a whole. That is why we have taken a number of measures to increase diversity based on the Bridge report recommendations.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Senior Public Appointments: Widening Access (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. Diversity means not just ethnic diversity or gender diversity, but regional diversity. That is why, for example, we recently held an event in Glasgow to encourage people in Scotland to apply for public appointments.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Senior Public Appointments: Widening Access (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: As ever, my right hon. Friend is absolutely correct, and I take on board his recommendation. Diversity also means ensuring that we do not have the same old faces constantly applying for and succeeding in winning public appointments. That is why, as part of our diversity measures, we are encouraging a wider array of people to apply for public appointments.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Senior Public Appointments: Widening Access (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: Yes, my hon. Friend is absolutely right, and we will be launching a consultation shortly to deal with exactly that point.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Senior Public Appointments: Widening Access (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: As ever, the hon. Gentleman makes a rhetorical flourish. Sadly, the facts just do not bear it out. The Government’s code for public appointments is clear that political activity is neither a judgment of merit nor a bar to becoming a political appointee. If he looks at the statistics, he will see that of 1,000 candidates in the past year—2016-17—4.9% were Conservative and...

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Topical Questions (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: As the hon. Gentleman will know, the Cabinet Office has extensive functions to ensure that we award contracts only to companies that offer the very best value, and that was exactly the case in that instance.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Topical Questions (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. For too long, unions in the public sector have received taxpayer funding for an activity that is inadequately controlled and poor value for money, which is why we are introducing transparency in respect of facility time. We believe that proper management could save our taxpayers up to £100 million.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Topical Questions (27 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: Departments across the Government are committed to working with local partners in Weymouth and Portland to build jobs and prosperity. In July, representatives of a range of Departments will visit local partners to see for themselves the enormous opportunities that exist in the area, and to identify how Government policies and programmes could help to support their ambitions.

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Owen. I congratulate the hon. Member for Glasgow South West (Chris Stephens) on securing the debate. I know that, in his role as chair of the PCS union parliamentary group, he takes a keen interest in matters relating to the civil service—as do I, as a responsible Minister. This has been a valuable debate, with intelligent...

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: The problem was that the last Labour Government did not fix the roof while the sun was shining. We entered this situation as the least well prepared of any G7country, so that when we faced those challenges, instead of having a robust fiscal situation, we were already borrowing.

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: Forgive me; I thought I made that very clear at the beginning. When we inherited such an enormous deficit, we had to constrain public expenditure. Given that public sector pay accounts for a quarter of public expenditure, public sector pay had to play its part. That is why we initially introduced a freeze, followed by a 1% cap from 2013 to 2017. Those were difficult decisions, and I genuinely...

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Oliver Dowden: I thank my hon. Friend for that helpful intervention; I am absolutely sure that he is correct. Inequality was also raised, but again let us look at the actual figures. Income inequality is down since 2010, and is lower than at any point under the last Labour Government, so let us start with the facts of the situation. Not only that, but we have helped the lowest paid. For example, when the...


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