Hi-tech industry body Intellect has called for changes to Office of Government Commerce model contracts for IT programmes, arguing for a shift away from a one-size-fits-all approach.
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The trade association made the call as it launched new best practice guidance for IT suppliers negotiating public sector contracts.
Central government spends £2.3bn a year on IT – equivalent to 16% of total procurement expenditure – and IT is a major focus for the OGC, set up in 2000 to promote value-for-money procurement.
But Intellect director Nick Kalisperas said, “Intellect believes changes should be made to the OGC's current version of the model contracts for major IT projects/programmes in order to create a framework that is in the best interest of both customers and suppliers.”
He added, “There is particular concern amongst suppliers that a uniform model or 'one fits all' approach, which is accompanied by a tendency to add further restrictions and conditions to model contracts, can tip the balance of risk allocation inappropriately.”
This could “introduce unnecessary costs and inhibit flexibility in solution, provision and innovation”, Kalisperas warned.
The new guidance, “Contracting Best Practice - Guidance for Suppliers”, covers a series of key objectives, including successful delivery, value for money, compensation when the supplier does not perform as agreed and equitable balance of risk.