A digital services framework designed to give the public sector access to suppliers to help them design and build public services has gone live.
The framework put together by Government Procurement Service (GPS) and Government Digital Service (GDS) supports the Government’s Digital Strategy by enabling departments to build services that are digital by default, focusing on users' needs.
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Central government, local authorities, devolved administrations and wider public sector bodies will be able to commission agile suppliers to work on digital projects through the framework, with the online store opening shortly.
183 suppliers have won places to sit on the framework, more than a third of which have never done business with the government before. Of the 70 suppliers new to government, 94% are SMEs.
“SMEs are a key driver for our economic growth, but in the past it was far too difficult for them to win business with government because of unnecessary and bureaucratic procurement procedures. That’s why we have reformed how government buys public services and streamlined the procurement process to make sure we’re attracting the most competitive, innovative suppliers, including SMEs,” said Bill Crothers, government chief procurement officer
Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “The Digital Services framework shows how we are leveling the playing field for government contracts and living up to our ambition to support growth by giving opportunities to new entrants and smaller suppliers who can deliver innovative, cost-effective solutions based on user need.”
An estimated £40m will be spent on the project in the first nine months of the contract. The framework will be refreshed after six months, when new suppliers can apply to be part of the framework, similar to G-Cloud.