Cabinet Office reboots IT framework strategy

21 December 2012

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21 December 2012 | Adam Leach

The Cabinet Office has cancelled three IT frameworks over concerns they are not sufficiently accessible to SMEs.

The government recently suspended all use of IT frameworks while it conducted a review into how effective they have been in improving access for small businesses into public sector contracts. Following the conclusion of review it has decided to focus on making frameworks simpler and more appropriate for a wider range of businesses, particularly SMEs. As a result it has cancelled three frameworks for the purchase of IT, covering web hosting management services and app development, with immediate effect.

To deal with any disruptions caused by the cancellation of frameworks, government departments will be given the power to buy certain services from the market and will be encouraged to do so in groups, enabling them to benefit from economies of scale. The Government Procurement Service will continue to communicate with the market on frameworks and procurements.

Bill Crothers, government CPO, said in a statement: “After looking at the current frameworks in use, we’ve decided to cease the application development, delivery and support service and hosting services procurement from today and service integration and management services will not be progressed through the framework route. Frameworks that are already operating effectively and delivering significant change such as the public services network and G-Cloud provide a model for success and will continue.”

Chloe Smith, parliamentary secretary for the Cabinet Office, said: “Framework agreements only work if they deliver what they set out to deliver and drive the greatest competition from a wider range of suppliers, including SMEs, that’s why we’re strengthening procurement by ensuring they align with what Government needs as well as working for suppliers.”

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