The government body which is supposed to represent SMEs in Whitehall has struggled to operate effectively, according to a new report.The report, from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said that the Small Business Service (SBS) "failed" to achieve its own target of testing the impact of new regulations on SMEs.However, the report was more concerned with the fact that the investigation found "a declining regard for [the SBS’s] ability to set the government’s agenda on small business issues".In October last year, the Department of Trade and Industry announced that the SBS would be reformed. In the future the organisation will operate as a policy unit within the DTI’s ‘Enterprise and Business Group’. Its focus will now be on influencing the business environment and offering support to entrepreneurs. However, the SBS will lose its status as an executive agency. Regional organisations, such as regional development agencies will be taking on its service delivery roles.Edward Leigh, the chairman of the PAC, welcomed the changes, commenting that the new SBS "must now do what its predecessor never managed: justify its existence."© Adfero Ltd

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