launches ONE kit-buying FRAMEWORK to RULE them ALL

Public sector lifts shutters on internal Compare The Market-style site today opened its long-awaited Digital Marketplace for public sector procurement, which will bring the “confusing” number of frameworks under one roof.

As yet the Marketplace is looking rather lonely, with the G-Cloud the only framework on the platform. The next version of the Digital Services framework for “agile” digital services will move over to it early next year.

Yet other frameworks are expected to move across soon, such as the newly released £200m Technology Services framework and £300m ICT Services for Education framework.

The "vision" of the Marketplace is to allow users to more easily search for IT services, Mark Craddock, former Cloudstore lead for the G-Cloud programme, told El Reg.

"So if a user is looking to procure a firewall, for example, they will be able to view it as a G-Cloud service; a PSN [public services network] managed service; or as a piece of kit they can buy and put in themselves. They should be able to choose what fits best for them," said Craddock.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said the platform will help address the "confusing" range of frameworks the public sector currently have to sift through. "[This] makes it clearer, simpler and faster for the whole of the public sector to buy digital products and services when it needs to. It is a vast improvement for both supplier and customer."

Some £314m has gone through the fifth iteration of the G-Cloud framework, while £13.6m has gone through the Digital Services framework since it opened in November 2013.

A Cabinet Office mouthpiece said more details about the framework will follow shortly. ®

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