The government has launched a Digital Marketplace framework designed to change how businesses sell IT services to Whitehall and the wider public sector.
The Digital Outcomes and Specialist framework replaces the Digital Services 2 framework, but is not merely a third version, according to the Cabinet Office and the Government Digital Service (GDS).
It has been designed to allow suppliers to talk directly to government buyers in order to better understand the projects they work on and the digital services requirements.
The new framework enables suppliers to bid for contracts, which the GDS said will make it “easier than ever” to work with a wide range of companies, including new firms. It is claimed that 50 per cent of companies on the framework are new to the Digital Marketplace.
A total of 1,261 suppliers are said to be on the framework, 92 per cent of which are small and medium businesses.
This would seem to indicate that the GDS is looking to create a procurement structure that allows departments to move away from large monolithic contracts with only a few major suppliers, and instead set up smaller, more agile agreements with a wider range of suppliers, especially SMBs.
The Digital Outcomes and Specialist framework has been completely redesigned, and features a simplified application process which makes it easier for companies, particularly SMBs, to get onto the supplier framework, according to GDS.
Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock explained that the new framework is the next step in the government’s digital transformation, and will provide more innovative products and ideas for the government, which should in turn lead to better services for taxpayers.
“The Digital Marketplace is rethinking the way the government works with companies. It is the best way yet devised to get small businesses to solve problems for government,” he said.
“Already over a quarter of government spending on contracts goes to SMEs, and we are committed to opening up more business to smaller companies to support a thriving economy.”
The continued growth of sales in the Digital Marketplace through G-Cloud and the Digital Services framework suggests that GDS has created an effective way for government departments to procure and integrate digital technology into IT infrastructures.
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