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Suppliers underwhelmed by UK's G-Cloud services catalogue

Applicants down, suppliers falling off

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The number of tech companies lining up to join the government's G-Cloud service has dropped by nearly half with just over two weeks to go before new applications can be submitted.

Existing suppliers, meanwhile, have left the government's directory of ICT services in the sky.

The government on Tuesday blogged that there had been 376 "new applicants" for G-Cloud 2.0, in a blog post written by G-Cloud chief Denise McDonagh.

But a Cabinet Office spokesman contacted by The Reg clarified that by "new applicants" McDonagh meant "expressions of interest."

That number of 376 is compared to 600 "expressions of interest" in the first iteration of G-Cloud in February that turned into an eventual 250 suppliers.

In the blog post, McDonagh also rounded up that 250 number to "around" 300. The final number of new applicants for G-Cloud 2 won't be known until next month, the spokesman said.

G-Cloud 2 was officially launched on 24 May, but is currently in the phase of accepting and approving applications from new suppliers. The deadline to apply is 22 August.

Meanwhile, some of the first companies to sign up to delivering state ICT through the government's new purchasing directory have lost interest.

In the post, the G-Cloud chief stated "the vast majority of the original companies returning for this new version" of G-Cloud indicating some suppliers on the older service have exited. She did not say which suppliers have pulled out of G-Cloud.

G-Cloud is designed to promote greater use of small- and medium-sized IT suppliers by civil servants, to establish quicker procurement and shorter contract lifetimes, and enable re-use of IT across more government departments.

Despite all this, McDonagh declared Whitehall pleased with the project and called the numbers a "continued endorsement of what we have been trying to achieve all along."

What the government is working towards, apparently, is: "A convenient, sensible approach to procurement that suits suppliers and customers across government."

According to McDonagh, the new suppliers announced next month will be the first accredited with the Government's Business Impact Level (IL) classification 2 and 3 - protected and restricted levels of clearance for security. ®

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