Digital Marketplace team changes name of procurement framework and streamlines contracts and drops reverse auctions
The Digital Services Framework is no more, now replaced by a contract for Digital Outcomes and Specialists, according to the government official in charge of the procurement channel.
Tony Singleton (picutred), director of the Digital Marketplace Programme, outlined the change at the Central Government Business and Technology Conference, staged by Whitehall Media, in London yesterday.
He said it has been made as part of an effort to make the forum for buying technology and digital services more responsive to what public sector customers require.
“We want to encourage buyer and supplier communications and move competition to the points of procurement,” he said. “It’s so customers can go right to the Digital Marketplace and speak to suppliers about what they need.”
The launch of the new framework is scheduled for early next year.
Cutting contract size
In addition to the name change, the team in charge is following up its plans to reduce the size of procurement documentation by about 40% and to cap the length of sentences at two lines in order to make it easier for buyers and suppliers who are not legal professionals.
The programme team is also creating boilerplate clauses, to be made available through GOV.UK, which can be referred to within documents without having to include them.
“It’s part of the framework’s evolution that there will be no more need to read any 13,000 word essays as part of the process,” Singleton said.
He also pointed to a decision taken with the Crown Commercial Service in the early summer to drop reverse auctions from the Digital Marketplace, saying there was evidence that they had lowered the overall quality of services that many suppliers could offer.
Singleton added that the value of sales through the G-Cloud amounted to £40 million in August, bringing the total to £753 million since its launch three years ago. About half of the business and two-thirds of the value has gone to SMEs.
He also told the conference that audited figures show the G-Cloud had provided savings of 20% for customers compared with legacy single vendor agreements.