26. The target of 20,000 successful high-growth business
start-ups by 2005 was measured from a 1994 baseline of 15,300.
It is only after several years have passed that the success
defined as having at least 10 employees and/or a turnover of at
least £1 million in the fourth year of trading or
otherwise of start-ups can be measured. DR 2000 records that "latest
indications" are that there was an increase in 1995 of such
start-ups over 1994. We questioned the Permanent Secretary as
to the practical value of such a measurement, which can only be
an assessment of policies pursued by a different administration
in an earlier Parliament.
He accepted that the penalty of such a measurement was that some
years would be needed before it would be possible to assess whether
current policies were having the desired effect. The
target of increasing the number of successful high-growth business
start-ups is theoretically admirable. The inevitable time-lag
in measuring its attainment renders it of no practical use in
assessing the department's recent or current performance.
|1998 PSA target 7 To increase from 350,000 to 1 million the number of UK SMEs wired up to the digital marketplace by 2002.
Wiring up SMEs
27. This target will be met. The May 1999 benchmarking
exercise showed that 600,000 firms were already "wired up",
defined as making frequent use of "external networking technologies".
As a result a new 2002 target of 1½ million SMEs has been
set, together with subsidiary targets of 1 million firms trading
online, and the performance of micro businesses to be of world
The latest study shows that the main target has already been met,
but not that of trading online, nor that of micro business performance.
The department told us that " There is more to do if we are
to achieve the target".
|SR 2000 PSA target 2 Help build an enterprise society in which small firms of all kinds thrive and achieve their potential, with an increase in the number of people considering going into business, an improvement in the overall productivity of small firms, and more enterprise in disadvantaged communities.
19 Cm 4011, Modern Public Services for Britain, July
4181, Public Services for the Future: Modernisation, Reform, Accountability,
December 1998 Back
4211, pp 8-9 Back
4611, pp 12-18 Back
pp 19-23 Back
pp 31-33 Back
4807, para 2.24 Back
p 78, Box 15.1. These are SR 2000 targets 1,2 and 5 Back
Spending Review: Public Service Agreements, Cm 4808: HC Deb, 28
July 2000, col 1034w Back
paras 1.11-1.13 Back
4915, Spending Review 2000:Service Delivery Agreements 2001-04:
A Guide Back
21 ff Back
p 26, para 3 (a) (i) Back
p 26, para 3 (a) (iii) Back
p26 para 3 (a) (iv) Back
39 ibid Back