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The government has standardised contract terms, replacing the wide variety of public sector documentation with two standard forms. According to the Office of Government Commerce, the new terms will be easier to administer, simplify the tendering process, and make it easier for small and medium-sized companies to compete for government business.

The new contract terms have been hammered out in collaboration with the IT industry and government departments, the OGC said. It has also produced a set of guidelines to help suppliers use the new terms and conditions.

The overhaul was prompted by the findings of the Better Regulation Task Force's investigation into the relationship between the government and its suppliers. Produced jointly with the Small Business Council, the report entitled Government: Supporter and Customer? found that smaller companies faced significant obstacles when pitching for government contracts.

"These new contract terms will simplify the IT tendering process and deliver significant time and money savings for suppliers and public sector buyers," said John Oughton, chief executive of the OGC.

"The publication of these new terms shows that the Government continues to listen to the IT industry and is determined to simplify procedures and reduce duplication and bureaucracy in IT contracting." ®

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