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Ministry of Defence to access IT skills via £1.5bn framework

The new procurement vehicle is part of the department's plan to improve how it engages with the tech industry

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has published its intention to set up a new £1.5bn framework that will introduce a new mechanism for contracting technical skills.

In a prior information notice published this week, the department outlines some of the details of the new procurement vehicle, through which approximately £300m a year will be spent over a three-to-five year period.

According to the MoD, the intention is to select a number of suppliers onto a flexible delivery partner framework covering all the digital and IT capability required to deliver the department’s technology programmes and transformation strategy.

The MoD plans to sign contracts with partners to supply temporary IT and digital workers with a pool of “strategic partners”, which could include between six and nine companies, in July 2020.

According to the notice, the new multi-lot framework will be established for use by all UK public sector bodies including all central government departments, executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies.

The exact areas of expertise to be covered by the new procurement vehicle, as well as other details related to the new framework, are yet to be defined.

To give potential suppliers the opportunity to better understand its requirements, and provide input on potential ways forward, the MoD is hosting an event with industry trade body TechUK on 6 November 2019.

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Fostering mature relationships that encourage greater collaboration is seen as a key ingredient to the success of the new setup, and this is a core point of discussion for the event. According to Tech UK, early awareness of MoD pipelines will allow partners to plan resources more effectively and suggest better approaches to resourcing for each project.

As part of its IT strategy, the MoD has recently unveiled a new vision that outlines intentions to have a “more sophisticated relationship” with the tech industry.

The foundations of the department’s “transformed approach” to procurement are the Defence Technology Framework (DTF) and the Defence Innovation Priorities (DIP), which set out the strategic technology roadmap and outline the investment plans for the department.

The publication of the DTF and DIP builds on the Modernising Defence Programme announced in December 2018, which will invest £160m on fast-tracking new military capabilities onto the frontline. 

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