Government could shelve £1bn IT procurement due to faulty technology

The government has put a £1bn tender for IT services on ice because of hardware problems with the procurement

The government has put a £1bn tender for IT services on ice because of hardware problems with the tender process.

The four-year Applications Development, Delivery and Support Services (ADDSS) framework was issued in June and open to 680 participants.

The Government Procurement Service (GPS) said it was reviewing the project, but added there was no guarantee it would be re-issued. 

“Pending the results of this review we may decide to recommence some of the procurement activity, however, we cannot guarantee that at this stage,” it said in a letter to suppliers seen by Computer Weekly.

The procurement has been paused because it was hit by hardware capacity issues for the servers running the eSourcing system, affecting suppliers’ ability to upload their submissions, said the letter.

“Despite inviting all suppliers to validate their tender submissions offline to ensure the integrity of all tender responses received, compliance checks have identified incomplete and, in some cases, altered tender responses from suppliers,” it said.

The infrastructure of the eSourcing system is in the process of being upgraded to prevent these issues occurring again, and to improve the overall performance, it said.

But one prospective small business supplier told Computer Weekly he was furious at the time and money wasted in the procurement process.

“This has affected hundreds of suppliers, which have had to go through the pre-qualification questions and proposals stage. This amount of effort amounts to hundreds of man years wasted,” he said.

If the government does decide to can the procurement entirely, existing government departments in need of applications development will have to attempt to find those services on existing government frameworks.

“We recognise the work undertaken to date and are committed to minimising the impact on suppliers. Once again, please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused,” said GPS in the letter.

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