Feeds

New gov rules stick pin into bloated ICT frameworks

Cabinet: Suppliers 'of all sizes' need to get a fair crack

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Following an internal review of government IT procurement, the Cabinet Office has announced that it has scrapped plans to use some existing ICT frameworks.

It has said that government departments will only be able to establish framework agreements in future if they can show it will "explicitly deliver against key strategic needs" and if suppliers "of all sizes" are given a "reasonable chance" of winning work through the system.

Framework agreements allow buyers to obtain services they want from a select list of "pre-approved" suppliers without "excessive procurement procedures and the need for extensive tendering" to occur, the Cabinet Office said.

"Framework agreements only work if they deliver what they set out to deliver and drive the greatest competition from a wider range of suppliers, including SMEs – that’s why we’re strengthening procurement by ensuring they align with what Government needs as well as working for suppliers," Cabinet Office parliamentary secretary Chloe Smith said in a statement.

In October last year the Cabinet Office announced that David Shields, managing director of the Government Procurement Service, was to lead an internal review of the way Government procures IT services. Following this review the department has now announced that some existing framework agreements have been scrapped.

"Bold action is necessary if we are to find greater efficiencies whilst attracting more innovative suppliers and supporting growth," Bill Crothers, the government's chief procurement officer, said.

"After looking at the current frameworks in use, we’ve decided to cease the Application Development, Delivery and Support Service (ADDSS) and Hosting Services procurements from today and Service Integration & Management Services (SIAM) will not be progressed through the framework route," he added. "Frameworks which are already operating effectively and delivering significant change such as the Public Services Network (PSN) and G-Cloud provide a model for success and will continue."

IT procurement law specialist Simon Colvin of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said that it is right for procurement processes to be stopped "where they are not going to achieve objectives".

"It makes sense to scale back to make sure Government departments use frameworks appropriately for procuring services from suppliers," Colvin said. "However where that approach isn’t aligned to the key strategic objectives it is likely that other frameworks may be appropriate or more bespoke procurement arrangements will be needed, as frameworks have a more rigid tie-in of terms at the outset."

"The revised approach set out by the Cabinet Office will not stop procurement through frameworks but will ensure that they are used for the right reasons. That has got to be a good thing both for departments and suppliers, particularly SMEs, given likely bid costs involved," the expert added. "It will be interesting to see whether the Cabinet Office provides any further guidance as to the best way to procure services targeted by the withdrawn framework agreements. Guidance could help provide better alignment across government departments."

Copyright © 2012, Out-Law.com

Out-Law.com is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.