Government procurement agency Buying Solutions has shelved plans for a public sector voice and data contract worth as much as £1bn to suppliers, because it was deemed to be out of synch with the government's recently published IT strategy.
The CIO Council outlined its vision for IT across the public sector earlier this year. Among its efforts to save £3.2bn a year in costs, the government plans to create a central telecommunications infrastructure to deliver voice and data services.
The plan meant the end of the Specialist Communications for Voice, Video and Data (SVVD) procurement programme that was due to run for at least two years from May and was valued at between £500m and £1bn.
The evolution of shared services in the public sector and the rise of the cloud - the government is currently working with suppliers to develop its G-cloud - represent a dramatic shift in the delivery of IT.
A Buying Solutions spokeswoman said: "It is important we adapt to the changing IT environment, and that we fully align with the IT Strategy for Government."
She added that the procurement process for SVVD was "complex" and overlapped with other schemes, including Public Sector Network Convergence.
"These factors, and changing customer requirements, would necessitate amending the current exercise which, we feel, would result in an inadequate procurement offering," said the spokeswoman.
Suppliers had already worked on bids for the framework agreement due to be submitted by the end of this month. Buying Solutions said: "We appreciate that some suppliers will be disappointed with the cancellation."
It is "reviewing whether a replacement procurement exercise or other solution" would better suit IT departments and will "discuss this with them individually".
A version of this story appeared on MicroScope.
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