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CCS plans AI procurement framework

07/08/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has published a plan to develop a dynamic purchasing system (DPS) framework for artificial intelligence systems in the public sector.

Two robot hands touching

It has posted a market notice indicating that the framework, set to run until March 2024, could be worth up to £200 million combined for suppliers winning places.

It covers programming services of application software, business analysis consultancy services and programming services, and is aimed at providing public authorities with a simple route to the relevant procurements.

A more detailed breakdown of the types of AI covered includes applications, augmented decision making, data and analytics, virtual assistants and chatbots, and medical AI. Functions of the latter include screening, diagnosis, augmented decision making and improving system efficiency.

First of its type

The DPS is the first for AI to be produced by CCS, reflecting the growing take-up of relevant technologies in public services. Other procurement frameworks contain elements of what will be available – notably the Automation Marketplace DPS – but this is the first aimed at encompassing a wide scope of AI.

It has estimated the value from £25 million in the first year of operation £50 million in the second then holding steady for the third and fourth.

CCS pointed to the recent publication of a guide to procuring AI for public services by the Office for Artificial Intelligence, and in recent months the Information Commissioner’s Office has produced guidance on data protection and how to explain the use of the technology.

Image from iStock

 

 

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