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Cabinet Office looks for temporary staff sourcing replacement worth up to £5bn

The Cabinet Office has begun looking for a replacement for its controversial contract for sourcing temporary staff in government

The Cabinet Office has begun its process to replace its Contingent Labour One (CL1) framework, which expires in June this year, and is seeking a “new and innovative” contract.

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has issued a prior information notice on behalf of the Cabinet Office for the contract, which will be worth up to £5bn.

Initially, the focus will be on “hard-to-fill requirements” for specialist contractors with digital, cyber, legacy technology or technology change skills and expertise.

“The remaining phasing of the model will be reliant on input from the market and customers, and will depend on the scope, scale and complexity of the solution,” the notice said.

CCS will undertake market engagement to understand what’s available in the marketplace.

“To be successful, the new contractual vehicle needs to be able to meet current and future challenges from our diverse customer base and particular requirements, including the need for specialist technical resources to drive digital transformation,” the notice said.

“There is a desire to understand how the market is evolving in terms of trends, emergence of new technologies and innovation with regards to commercial models and methodologies to deliver a fit-for-purpose contracting vehicle.”

Read more about Contingent Labour One

CCS currently envisions that the scope of temporary workers will include positions such as interim managers, administrative functions, digital and IT specialists, and specialist contractors.

However, it’s also considering expanding the scope of the contract to include the ability to direct hire, talent pooling functionality and create an “ecosystem for temporary workers to track performance and easily transition workers between contracting bodies”.

The current CL1 aimed to bring in workers, from interim CIOs to clerks, for short-term needs, and in 2013 outsourcing giant Capita was contracted to manage sourcing the higher value, more skilled requirements.

The Capita deal proved controversial, with a consortium of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) claiming they lost millions of pounds in revenue as a result of the framework. Capita was also accused of breaching the terms of its own contract.

A National Audit Office report published in January 2016 found that IT specialists account for 25% of the government’s spend on temporary staff.

The report also found that “significant skills shortages remain in the areas needed to transform government, including project management and ICT, which are common specialisms of consultants and temporary staff”. 

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