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Crown Commercial Service plans AI framework


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has published an indicator of a plan to create a dynamic purchasing system framework for the use of artificial intelligence systems in the public sector.

It has put out a prior information notice alerting potential suppliers of the plan, saying it reflects the Government’s desire to accelerate the take-up of AI services by its departments.

The framework would be open to all of the public sector, with CCS estimating the value at up to £90 million. As a dynamic purchasing agreement it would be open to additional suppliers to join after its launch.

It said the scope of the agreement will cover: general AI services; discovery and consultancy work; the development, implementation and support of AI systems; data analytics using AI; and the development of virtual and intelligent personal assistants.

The move reflects the rising interest in AI systems in the public sector and the formulation of guidance on its procurement and use. In June of last year the Government Digital Service and Office for Artificial Intelligence (OAI) produced a guide to help public authorities understand the technology, and in September the OAI published draft guidelines on procurement.

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