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Bigger, longer deals dangled at G-Cloud 2.0 launch

UK.gov buffs incentives in revamped tech bazaar

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The UK government has launched the second version of G-Cloud, its tech shopping catalogue for the public sector, with reworked conditions to entice suppliers.

Among the changes, the length of some IT contracts up for grabs has been doubled to 24 months under “exceptional” circumstances.

There’d been some concern from civil servants and suppliers that the initial 12-month contract cap would act as disincentive because it wouldn’t be worth the time or investment involved in setting up projects.

As an added incentive, the size of contracts that can be awarded through a G-Cloud framework agreement has gone up £40m to £100m in value.

There have also been changes to improve the terms and conditions, including the removal of the data protection element in the framework “as it did not apply between supplier and GPS [Government Procurement Services]”.

To attract more SMEs, there’s no longer a lengthy pre-qualification questionnaire and there are “less stringent requirements of financial history” among other changes.

G-Cloud emerged in February with the objective of opening up government and public IT contracts to new suppliers large and small, as well as reducing costs and increasing reuse.

That attracted 260 tech suppliers offering around 1,700 services.

The second G-Cloud was due to float at the end of April or first week of May but programme supremo Denise McDonagh warned on 16 May it was now slated to arrive end of May or start of June.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson told The Reg the procurement process on the second version of G-Cloud would take three months.

The government received 562 expressions of interest from suppliers to sign up to G-Cloud version 1.0. Their sign-up cutoff date was 19 December, 2011, and it took until February this year for the suppliers to be approved. The government admitted it had been unprepared for the level of demand the first time around. ®

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