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G-Cloud framework the model of the future, says Liam Maxwell

Kathleen Hall

The G-Cloud should be held up as a model for how to do frameworks in government, deputy government CIO Liam Maxwell has said.

The comments follow moves by the Cabinet Office to freeze all new procurement frameworks, as part of its review of the efficacy of framework agreements for SMEs.

Speaking at a government roundtable event, Liam Maxwell said current frameworks are not fit for purpose. Maxwell referred to a framework for Microsoft CRM products as an example of their limited scope. 

"Where is the commitment to open standards and open source in that?” said Maxwell.

“CloudStore gives the most effective use of competition to market, more than any other framework. It gives the choice of the market and to the departments to realise better IT for much less money.” 

Maxwell said the review would examine how to embed the best practice of G-Cloud in new frameworks. 

Director of the Government Digital Service Mike Bracken said technology procurements had historically failed to address users' needs.

“We will not succeed if the framework of the way we think is technology-led,” Bracken said. 

“Technology procurements have been something that have got in the way, not things that have made IT better.”

Rohan Silva, senior policy officer to Prime Minister David Cameron, claimed £10bn could be taken out of government spending over the next couple of year. Currently government spends upward of £16bn per year.

“Part of the reason for high spending is there hasn’t been vision for the end user, with a focus on process and systems rather than the end result,” Silva said.

The government’s former chief procurement officer has already suggested the CloudStore model could be emulated across other government departments.

Speaking at Intellect’s World-Class Public Services conference earlier this year, John Collington, said: “The CloudStore will provide a landmark for the future. We are already looking at a facilities management store and a consultancy store.”

Government has been criticised for creating large IT frameworks which exclude SMEs and create supplier lock-in with system integrators.

Earlier this year former G-Cloud director Chris Chant called for a new framework policy that would make it easier for small suppliers to do business with the public sector and Whitehall.

 


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