COVID-19: Financial support for businesses

The Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF): information for those seeking to participate in the scheme

Ideally companies should have an investment grade rating, if not the BoE advises either:

  • Their existing bank may be able to say the company is viewed internally as equivalent to investment grade as at 1 March 2020. The Bank will then make an assessment based on a range of existing information.
  • Major credit rating agencies may also to be able to confirm credit quality in a form that can be shared with BoE and HM Treasury.

Please read a list of FAQs for SMEs.

 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

 The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The scheme is a part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees. Read more at the Government’s Business Support website.

 

COVID-19

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are looking for organisations who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the United Kingdom as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19. They are seeking suppliers with the ability to design, manufacture or supply the below components, in addition to those who have/provide medical training or logistics capabilities.

Further details, including how suppliers can respond is available here: https://ventilator.herokuapp.com/

  • Air Compressors / Pumps
  • Bellows
  • Self-inflating bags
  • Gas mixing valves
  • Pressure Regulators
  • Flow Control valves
  • Solenoid valves
  • Pressure relief valves
  • Check valves / one-way valves
  • Industrial Automation components (Safety Relays, PLCs)
  • Power Supplies
  • Electric Motors, and motor controllers
  • Linear actuators and controllers
  • Tubing and fittings
  • Pressure Sensors and Indicators
  • Oxygen Sensors and Indicators
  • Flow Sensors and Indicators
  • Manometers
  • Heat and moisture exchanging filters (HMEFs)
  • Air Filter, HEPA Filters

Exciting new opportunities in human and social science research

Are you an expert in human, behavioural or social sciences research? Maybe you’re a wizard with statistics and data science, or a skilled facilitator that can lead multidisciplinary workshops and research sandpits. Can your organisation find innovative solutions to defence and security research challenges?

We are looking for new members to join the 100+ SMEs, universities and major corporations which have already signed up to the Human Social Science Research Capability Framework.

 

What sort of opportunities exist?

We commission defence and security research and advisory tasks (ranging from £20k to £1m+) across six technical themes:

  • Personnel
  • Training and education
  • Humans in systems
  • Human performance
  • Understanding and influencing human behaviour
  • Health, wellbeing and enhancing medical systems and capabilities

 

Who are the HSSRC Framework’s Customers?

The framework is available to the Ministry of Defence and other UK Government departments including the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, the College of Policing, and Departments for Education, Transport, International Trade and Work & Pensions.

 

Do suppliers need experience in defence or security?

We are keen to hear from organisations with expertise in delivering high-quality research across all sectors, and really value the different experience, perspectives and insights they can bring.

 

Are smaller suppliers really welcome?

Definitely! To date, 48% of research tasks by value have been awarded to SMEs, with 17% awarded to micro enterprises (those with fewer than 10 employees).

 

How does the HSSRC support suppliers?

We understand that suppliers, especially smaller organisations or those new to defence and security, might need some extra support. Our small and approachable project team is here to help by:

  • Responding promptly to any questions you might have
  • Providing guidance on what a proposal should contain
  • Publishing the assessment criteria that are used to inform competition decisions
  • Offering constructive feedback on proposals
  • Running regular face-to-face engagements and networking events

 

In addition, once a task has been awarded, technical leads from the HSSRC Framework and our customer organisations will be available to support new suppliers and provide domain-specific knowledge.

 

How do I take part?

We run regular competitions, with new opportunities published to all members. Our suppliers have a wide range of complementary skills and experience, and we encourage them to work together in multidisciplinary teams to address research challenges – the regular networking events are a great way to meet and share ideas with other suppliers.

 If you would like more information on the HSSRC or are interested in joining the supplier network, please get in touch with the team at hssrc@baesystems.com.

 

 

Public Consultation on the UK Global Tariff

The UK left the European Union on 31 January. We now have the opportunity to develop an independent trade policy. The UK has always been a champion of free trade and firm believer in the vital role trade plays in boosting wealth and raising billions out of poverty. We will seek to use our new powers to catalyse free trade across the world.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is the UK’s international economic department responsible for securing UK and global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment, and championing free trade. It is working to establish deeper trade and investment relationships with countries across the world. It is also preparing the UK’s first independent tariff policy (or Most Favoured Nation (MFN) policy) in nearly fifty years

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will apply to goods imported into the UK on 1 January 2021 and thereafter unless an exception such as a preferential arrangement, e.g. under a free trade agreement, or a tariff suspension applies. This tariff will not apply to goods coming from developing countries that benefit under the Generalised System of Preferences, or to goods originating from countries with which the UK has negotiated a Free Trade Agreement. The Northern Ireland / Ireland Protocol in the Withdrawal Agreement provides for certain specific arrangements as regards Northern Ireland.

The Government is committed to taking account of the views from the general public, business and civil society and international stakeholders and launched a 4-week public consultation on the UK Global Tariff on 6 February 2020. This consultation will close on 5 March 2020 at 23:59 GMT.

For more information, or to contribute to the consultation please click on the below link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-uk-global-tariff

Prompt Payment Policy

Government has a longstanding commitment to improve payment practices across the public and private sector. To support this commitment, a new Prompt Payment policy has been introduced which will use prompt payment performance as part of the supplier selection process, with effect from 1 September 2019.

Every year, thousands of businesses experience severe administrative and financial burdens as they are not paid on time. Late payment is a key issue for business, especially smaller businesses, as it can adversely affect their cash flow and jeopardise their ability to trade.

The Prompt Payment policy means that bidders for government contracts (including defence) will be required to provide evidence about their payment performance, including the percentage of invoices paid within 60 days across both their private and public sector business. Suppliers who are unable to demonstrate that they have effective systems in place that ensure a fair and responsible approach to payment of their supply chain may be excluded from bidding.

The Cabinet Office has now published detailed guidance PPN 04/19 on how payment performance will be taken into account in the procurement of major government contracts and you may need to take action to mitigate the risk of being excluded from bidding for government work.

Key points to note are as follows:

  • This policy will be implemented in government contracts with expected revenues above £5m per annum.
  • Although guidance PPN 04/19 applies to the Public Contracts Regulations (PCR) 2015, the MOD has adopted a similar approach to procurements conducted under the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations (DSPCR) 2011.
  • A phased approach to implementation will be adopted. Suppliers will not be excluded from bidding provided they meet 75% (of invoices paid within 60 days) in one of their previous two reports and submit an acceptable action plan for improvement to the contracting authority with their bid.
    The action plan will need to follow the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) format and meet five key criteria:

    • Identification of the primary causes of failure to pay
    • Actions to address each of these causes
    • Commitment to regular reporting on progress to your Audit Committee Plan signed off by a director
    • Plan published on company website (this can be a shorter summary plan)
  • The 75% threshold will be raised over time, and any changes will be fully communicated in advance.
  • Bidders can remove inter-company payments from their calculations, which can skew the headline figure on the published data.
  • Large companies should already be reporting payment performance every six months in accordance with the Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regulations 2017, and all relevant legal entities should be reporting this data via BEIS – https://check-payment-practices.service.gov.uk.

Suppliers are advised to:

This does not preclude the MOD’s standard contract condition (DEFCON 534) requiring suppliers to pay undisputed invoices within 30 days, which will take precedence. This condition also seeks to ensure prompt payment throughout the supply chain by requiring an equivalent condition to ensure that subcontractors also pay within 30 days.

Interested in working with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation?

Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) manages the defence estate in the UK and abroad. We will be tendering £5 billion worth of contracts in the next few years. We will be tendering hard and soft facilities management services, construction, professional services and utilities.

We would like to hear from suppliers that do not currently have contracts with DIO, but would be interested in doing business with us.

Our Supplier Management team will be contacting a sample of suppliers who complete the form. We would like to know how we can support those companies who are interested in our business.

This is part of delivering our strategic objectives to:

  • be easier to do business with
  • engage meaningfully with our suppliers;
  • and have a broader and more diverse supplier base.

Please fill out this short Expression of Interest form.

 

Defence Infrastructure Organisation priorities

List X – FAQ’s

What is a List X Facility Security Clearance?

List X Facility Security Clearance is intended to safeguard UK classified material held by Industry, in support of a Government contract. A List X security clearance allows contractors to securely store, process and manufacture material designated SECRET (foreign CONFIDENTIAL) or above on their own premises rather than a government facility. The regulations for this arrangement are set out in the HMG Security Policy Framework, published by the Cabinet Office.

How does my company obtain a List X Facility Security Clearance?

List X is not available on request, it has to be sponsored by a contracting authority, such as the Ministry of Defence or a prime contractor.

A List X clearance is needed where:

  • A contract at SECRET (foreign CONFIDENTIAL) or above is to be awarded.
  • There is a requirement either for the work to be done on the contractor’s premises or for protectively marked information to be held on site.

Who carries out the assurance of List X status?

Premises which necessitate a List X clearance will undertake a facility security clearance process completed by the Defence Equipment and Support Principal Security Advisor (DE&S PSyA) Team.

Does my company need to obtain List X before I can bid for a MOD tender?

No. A List X clearance is not a pre-requisite for bidding for MOD contracts, other than in exceptional circumstances.

The List X process is completed once a contract has been agreed or where it is clear that a contract will be awarded.

What happens if I require access to confidential information throughout the bidding process and I do not have List X clearance?

Arrangements can be made for bidders who do not hold a List X clearance to obtain a provisional clearance if this is required.

How long is the List X clearance valid for?

List X status is granted for the duration of the contract.

Once the contractual requirement to hold SECRET material has lapsed, the clearance is deemed inactive, however it can be reactivated providing this is completed within a year and there have been no material changes to company structure or physical infrastructure.

Who do I contact for more information regarding obtaining a List X Security clearance?

Defence Equipment and Support Principal Security Advisor (DE&S PSyA) Team

Email: despsya-securityadvicecentre@mod.gov.uk

Telephone: 03067934378

Relevant sites

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/defence-equipment-and-support-principal-security-advisor

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/security-requirements-for-list-x-contractors

SME Business Growth and Support Workshops – Boston, Durham, Norwich and Taunton

NEW The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is holding a series of workshops for SMEs on issues related to business growth and success. The events will allow businesses to set out their priorities on a range of businesses issues, including Brexit. Officials from across government will also be sharing information on operational areas that are expected to change when the UK leaves the EU and the preparations businesses need to make on areas including importing, exporting & transporting and employing EU citizens.