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9 September 2011 | Helen Gilbert
Great strides have been made in simplifying the ICT procurement process over the past year and some deals are being signed in record time, research shows.
The UK Government ICT Strategy: Progress and Direction report - based on interviews with senior public sector IT executives and carried out by independent analysts - counted the scrapping of PQQs for contracts under £100 million and the implementation of a Contracts Finder website to make contracts more transparent, among the successes of the past 12 months.
Allowing suppliers to submit their PQQ questionnaire information just once for all commodity procurements was a move also credited for helping small businesses compete for contracts. These changes were made earlier this year, as reported by SM. The TechMarketView report also found that the pace of procurement awards had picked up.
Georgina O’Toole, one of the researchers told SM: “Procurements have perhaps taken too long unnecessarily until now. We have seen procurements undertaken within unprecedented short timescales over the past few months. For example, a recent print services management deal signed with Williams Lea completed its procurement process and signed the deal six months ahead of schedule. And Transport for London is now talking about rushing through a tender related to an Olympic Journey Planner. The government hasn’t got the sufficient budget to embark on long drawn out procurements.”
Overall, however, the report said Whitehall was struggling to accelerate progress on its government ICT strategy and said real growth would not return to the UK public sector software and IT services market until 2014.