Organisation says new version of DefCARS has several improvements over its predecessor
The Single Source Regulations Office (SSRO) has launched its new Defence Contracts Analysis and Reporting System (DefCARS 2), claiming a number of improvements on the first version following a six-month consultation exercise.
SSRO, the non-departmental public body that monitors the profit margins on spending by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) outside of competitive tenders, said it has met its schedule in launching the new system website.
In an announcement hinting at a degree of urgency around the launch, it pointed to a quick turnaround since signing the contract for the development with Synectics Solutions in August of last year. In that time it has run a series of workshops with contractors and emphasised that the new system has been developed with feedback from them and the MoD.
It said that key improvements include moving from excel based templates to online web forms, increasing auto-population and reducing duplicated fields in reports. A single comprehensive user guide is available and will also be built into report web forms via interactive guidance information prompts.
It is hosted on a platform annually accredited for OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE data by the Cabinet Office and has received security accreditation from the MoD. Hex Security, a National Cyber Security Centre certified supplier, advised the SSRO during development.
DefCARS 1 was launched in April 2015 in accordance with the Defence Reform Act 2014 for qualifying defence contracts (QDCs), sub-contracts (QSCs) and business units. All of the data it held has now been migrated to the new version.
The organisation added that the system has been designed to facilitate any future regulatory changes to the Single Source Procurement Regime, and will allow the introduction of better trend analysis and reports to inform contract negotiations involving the MOD and contractors.
It said it will also review the functionality and make changes where necessary.
Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0