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Ex-Cabinet Office rep claims ‘simple’ tender rewrite could open up G-Cloud to Europe

Former Cabinet Office Crown representative says a simple rework of the G-Cloud tender could open up the procurement hub to public-sector buyers across the EU

A “simple” tweak to the wording of the G-Cloud OJEU contract notice would allow all public-sector organisations across the European Union (EU) to use the cloud procurement hub, it has been claimed.

Stephen Allott, former Cabinet Office Crown representative for SMEs, says opening up G-Cloud to all 28 member states would allow the UK to “single-handedly” deliver 7% GDP growth to the EU, which would equate to “more than £1tn” by 2025.

“A simple OJEU notice wording change would enable the G-Cloud to be compliant by default with all 28 EU member states’ procurement regulations,” he said.

“Any public-sector buyer in the EU could then buy transparently-priced cloud services in minutes, not months.”

For this to happen, the UK government would need to add the details of each country’s contracting authority to the OJEU notice, said Allott.  

The claims appeared in a guest blog that Allott penned for G-Cloud procurement advisory firm Advice Cloud. He also outlined what the supplier community and public sector stood to gain from the move.

“Some 2,300 suppliers are registered on G-Cloud,” he wrote. “While the UK public sector IT market is some £17bn [Kable], the 28 EU members’ public sector IT market is much larger – probably of the order of £100bn.

“Going [to the whole EU] will give suppliers a step-change in scale and domain expertise, equipping them to be globally competitive, creating employment in their home countries and creating shareholder value on a large scale.”

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Citing figures from the GDS Digital Marketplace which suggest G-Cloud buyers tend to save about 20% on IT purchases by using the framework, Allott said the European public sector would also get more for their money if they could use the hub.

“Not only will cloud drive the economy, but buying cloud on a digital marketplace through a G-Cloud-style framework will deliver superior value for money,” he said.

The overseas rollout of G-Cloud has been a recurring topic of conversation within public sector IT, and has gathered momentum on the back of the European Commission’s push to make its vision of a digital single market a reality.

However, some industry watchers have previously queried how well-placed UK suppliers are to tap into the opportunities that a Europe-wide G-Cloud could open up because few can currently offer multi-language support or services.

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