£500m framework agreement centralises local government software purchasing

The government is setting up a framework agreement worth £500m on behalf of local government, in one of the first examples of software for local councils being bought centrally.

The government is setting up a framework agreement worth £500m on behalf of local government, in one of the first examples of software for local councils being bought centrally.

The contracting authority Buying Solutions is putting in place a collaborative framework agreement for development of systems and creation of applications across local government.

Jos Creese, president of Socitm, the associtaion for public sector IT professionals, said he was delighted that Buying Solutions had consulted with local government on the development of this framework first.

"The availability of such solutions within the portfolio of procurement options open to all public services can only help the drive to control and reduce IT costs," he said.

However, there is concern that the framework could overlap with existing successful public IT service frameworks already in place.

Better value from IT procurement in the public sector will also come from simpler and more flexible frameworks, allowing contracts to be shared, he added.

"What will be helpful going forward will be an over arching strategy and co-ordination for this topic across the public sector IT space," said Creese.

The framework agreements will be awarded for a two-year term, with the option to extend for two further terms of up to 12 months each.

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