The Government Digital Service has received £11 million to support its plan to promote an international version of the Digital Marketplace.
The Cabinet Office has announced that the money will come from the Cross-Government Prosperity Fund, which is aimed at promoting growth in developing countries.
It is the latest step in the effort to set up a Global Digital Marketplace – mirroring the procurement channel that has been in use for the UK public sector since 2012 – following the recent indications that it plans discovery work on the prospects in selected countries.
The Cabinet Office emphasised potential of the programme to provide more transparency in government procurement in developing countries and to reduce corruption.
It highlighted the fact that 90% of suppliers to the Digital Marketplace are SMEs. Up to July 2018 more than £4.2 billion of purchases went through the channel.
Small business backbone
Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden (pictured) said: “The Digital Marketplace is enabling small businesses to work in partnership with the public sector to drive the UK’s digital transformation. Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy and this government is committed to helping them prosper.
“The creation of the Global Digital Marketplace will build on our successes and help tackle global corruption by improving transparency. It is right that we should share our innovative model with other countries who want to open up their systems of public sector procurement.”
Earlier this year Warren Smith, director of the Digital Marketplace, told UKAuthority that that any offer will be tailored to what individual countries need, and is likely to go further than the procurement platform itself.
The Cabinet Office indicated that the early work will be focused on countries including South Africa, Mexico, Colombia, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The Cross-Government Prosperity Fund supports the priorities set out in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and the UK Aid Strategy. Its primary purpose is to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals through addressing barriers to growth, improving the global business environment, strengthening institutions, and encouraging greater global private investment.
Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0