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26 October 2012 | Adam Leach
The Cabinet Office has launched its second cloud-based framework deal for IT services in a bid to involve small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) even more in competing for public sector contracts.
The framework, launched today, supports the government’s ambition to increase the proportion of contracts that go to SMEs to 25 per cent with roughly three quarters of the 458 suppliers on the framework made up of SMEs. Areas of IT covered by this second framework include end-user service devices, anti-spam and capcha, gamification and learning management.
Commenting on the launch, Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “This second G-Cloud [government-cloud] procurement builds on the success of the first. It will continue the transformation in how the public sector buys, manages and delivers IT services and how suppliers work with government, driving greater efficiency and savings for the taxpayer.”
The Cabinet Office also disclosed that so far, 99 purchases of IT have been made through the CloudStore – the government’s online IT catalogue. Of the £2.2 million spent, 70 per cent has gone to SMEs. G-Cloud programme director, Denise McDonagh, said: “The high representation of SMEs on both G-Cloud frameworks and in purchases from CloudStore are positive signs the government is moving away from dependence on a small number of large suppliers for IT services.”
Yesterday, Maude also announced that the iconic Admiralty Arch is to be leased to property developer Prime Investors Capital under a £60 million, 99-year deal. Currently the building is used as office space for Cabinet Office staff, but as part of Maude’s efficiency drive, the government is consolidating the amount of offices it occupies. So far it has exited 1,070 buildings, saving £362 million.