11 May 2006 | Anusha Bradley
IT suppliers are challenging the use of standardised contracts for major government projects.
Model contracts have been used on a number of large deals - including the Home Office's national Identity Cards programme - but Intellect, the trade association for IT suppliers, believes they hinder innovation and flexibility.
It has published Contracting Best Practice Guidance for Suppliers, which challenges guidance issued by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).
Nick Kalisperas, director of Intellect, told SM: "Our members felt there were elements in OGC's model contracts which were not in suppliers' best interests. Our guidance addresses that but also looks out for the interests of our customers as well."
Intellect said contract terms should include ensuring value for money for the customer, the customer recognising it has a role in contributing to delivery, risk sharing, and ensuring "healthy and profitable" project delivery.
An OGC spokesman said it planned to "refresh" its guidance later this year and would consider Intellect's view alongside feedback from other projects.
These include the Department for Constitutional Affairs' DISC programme, a £1 billion merger of IT contracts, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's ITSOP programme, a £35 million IT outsourcing project, and the Land Registry's e-conveyancing project.