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GDS to completely redesign Digital Services Framework

The Digital Service Framework for services procurement will be redesigned and possibly renamed

The Government Digital Service (GDS) will be scrapping the Digital Services Framework to build one fit for purpose.

Director of digital commercial programme for GDS Tony Singleton announced in a blog post the current framework will be redesigned to the extent “that it will essentially be a new framework”.

“We’re even considering giving it a new name that more accurately reflects its purpose,” he added.

It was found suppliers on the framework wanted to have the capability to deploy teams which can address specific needs and work towards an outcome.

Therefore, the unnamed framework will be designed to allow buyers to engage with individuals or teams to deliver a business outcome, or have access to resources such as research labs or research participants.

Singleton confirmed the redesigned framework would stand independently from G-Cloud as it uses different procurement processes and caters for different users to G-Cloud, but would follow the same GDS-designed principals to ensure it meets user needs.

“We did consider whether the redesigned digital services should be a lot on G-Cloud, but decided against it as G-Cloud is for commodity cloud services and is based on supplier terms and conditions,” he said.

Read more about the Digital Services Framework

  • Government to spend a further £100m on IT services and technology from SMEs through the CloudStore and Digital Services Framework.
  • There is a tension between governments’ need to be more flexible and agile, and the discipline to use standard platforms and open architecture.

“To include this in the G-Cloud framework would add considerably to the contract terms and conditions, increasing the burden on SMEs [small to medium-sized enterprises],” he added.

Many have spoken out against the framework since its launch in November 2013, and earlier this year a small agile development services supplier told Computer Weekly it had to pull out of the framework after difficulties with what was required of it under the framework guidelines.

The SME, Clearleft, had to back out after the service required suppliers to meet very specific requirements meaning several mid-to-junior level employees with specific skills would have to be based in government offices if the firm had chosen to work on a project. 

Read more on IT for government and public sector