A procurement framework designed to make it easier for local authorities to buy software and to bring into line the prices they are charged for software products and related services has gone live.
The Local Authority Software Applications agreement gives local authorities access to a single procurement channel to purchase common line of business application solutions for core services such as library or social care systems, a market thought to have a total annual value of around £500m. The framework is part of the LGA's strategy to help deliver a National ICT Commercial Category Strategy for Local Government.
Users may also access support services including implementation, integration and maintenance services through the framework.
There is currently a reported disparity between the prices that local authorities are charged for similar business applications across the country. In March Terry Brewer - ICT category lead for the Local Government Association (LGA) National Advisory Group on procurement - told a Local Digital campaign event on smart procurement that one council he spoke to reported paying £150,000 for the same ICT that another council paid £30,000 for.
Brewer described the agreement in an interview with Local Digital as "the first step on the road to moving from licensing-based to software-as-a-service models".
The framework runs until August 2016 and has been developed in conjunction with local authorities, the LGA and government procurement consortium Pro5.
Read an interview with Terry Brewer on plans for the Local Authority Software Agreement.