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Cabinet Office launches consultation for future of Digital Services Framework

A supplier consultation has been announced to discuss changes to the Digital Service framework before an Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) is published

The Cabinet Office has announced a prior information notice for the digital services framework to allow the market to share their views on the framework before changes are made to its current structure.

Existing and prospective government suppliers have been called to attend an event to discuss the redesign on the third iteration of the digital framework, known as Digital Services 3, and how to make contracts clearer and simpler.

“Before we publish the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), we want to consult with the market to seek views on whether suppliers can provide the services required under the framework,” said the Digital Marketplace team on its blog.

“We’ll be consulting on the procurement approach and proposed contract terms and conditions, as well as elements of the invitation to tender (ITT),” it said.

During supplier consultation, the department hopes to speak with those already supplying government, those who would like to supply government, companies of any size in the digital and technology sector and companies offering services in areas such as software or design.

To help with the consultation, the Cabinet Office will be providing proposed framework elements such as descriptions of the structures, terms and conditions of the framework agreement and a procurement timeline.

The Cabinet Office hopes to issue a contract notice by the end of 2015 and have an operational framework agreement by February 2016.

Read more about government procurement

The framework was originally launched in November 2013 as a platform for services procurement where firms can be commissioned to work on public projects.

But since its launch, many have spoken out against the framework. Earlier in 2015, 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 Government Digital Service (GDS) announced plans for the framework’s redesign in June 2015, where it stated it would be building a framework more fit for purpose and may be given a different name.

Read more on IT for government and public sector

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