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Government aims to beef up Digital Marketplace



Strategy document includes plans for 'digital by default' commissioning and to get more frameworks onto the platform

The Cabinet Office has declared it wants to push more IT procurement through the Digital Marketplace and build a 'digital by default' commissioning platform, as part of a strategy for the future of the Marketplace.

It has published a strategy document that highlights a number of plans, including the building of the commissioning platform. It says this will cover end-to-end processes and could be used by central government and the wider public sector.

"In the same way that the GDS transformation programme is designing services so good that people will choose to use them, so the Digital Marketplace will be an exemplar that buyers will want to use for commissioning goods and services," it says.

Seven actions highlighted in the document's introduction include the plan to make more IT and digital frameworks available through the Digital Marketplace. This is part of an effort to ensure the public sector can get all of its digital services in one place.

Other actions include: increasing awareness of the Marketplace; ensuring new frameworks meet Government Digital Service design principles; helping users to 'do it themselves'; identifying the total potential value, by department, of the spend that could go through the Marketplace and G-Cloud; and working with buyers and suppliers to encourage take-up of the service.

techUK approval

The strategy has received a thumbs up from IT industry association techUK. Its associate director for central government, Naureen Khan, said: "The Digital Marketplace strategy recognises that the government must do more to create a competitive and open market for technology. There is no doubt that, to date, G-Cloud has been the star of the show and the one of the most successful stories of this coalition government.

"It's refreshing to see government acknowledge the real challenge of getting the wider public sector to drive more spend through G-Cloud. The key to this is simplification and better engagement with buyers and suppliers, and we fully support the commitment to a 'one place to go' approach."

The strategy provides a further indication of the Cabinet Office's emphasis on increased use of the Digital Marketplace. Last month it reversed a decision, following complaints from suppliers, to drop the lot for the procurement of agile services development.

Pictured: The Cabinet Office in Whitehall, by Paul Clarke


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