Sat. Dec 3rd, 2022

Open Access Government provides an update on Crown Commercial Service technology frameworks, as part of the wider picture of public procurement in the UK

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) in the UK assists the public sector to save money when purchasing common services and goods. As the largest public procurement organisation in the UK, CCS uses its commercial expertise to assist those in the public and third sectors to buy everything from laptops and locum doctors to electricity and police cars. “The collective
purchasing power of our customers, plus our procurement knowledge, means we can get the best commercial deals in the interests of taxpayers,” the CCS said.

A wide array of CCS commercial agreements help the public and third sectors to buy what they need, when they need it, therefore, saving both money and time. Did you know that in 2021/22, CCS helped their customers achieve commercial benefits worth no less than £2.8 billion of public money? While buying through CCS is in step with public procurement regulations, it also makes the process for buyers simpler. (1)

In September 2022, all CCS public-facing activities such as supplier and customer events were postponed until after the period of National Mourning ended, following the death of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. CCS’s Customer Service Centre remained open to supporting customers and suppliers, but all communications on commercial activity (for example, framework awards) were paused except those which were the most urgent. (2) Let’s now look at some of the commercial technology agreements from CCS.

Technology Services 3

The Technology Services 3 Agreement from the Crown Commercial Service ensures that technology services can be bought from all public sector customers, ranging from design and strategy to operational deployment. It gives access to technology strategy and service design plus services to provide support towards the operational running of an IT estate. It also supports large projects, up to top secret classification plus an array of other technology services like IT service desk management and end-user device support. Technology Services started in June 2021 and ends in 2025 plus there are 245 suppliers
involved. (3)

Philip Orumwense at CCS gave his view on Technology Services 3 when Open Access Government reported the framework in June 2021. “Technology Services 3 has been designed and developed using an extensive discovery and consultative process with many of our customers, suppliers, and partners. This framework truly reflects and represents their expectations and provides the platform for the country to build back better with the right mix of quality and innovative suppliers, including SME providers. “This is another example of how CCS is putting customers at the heart of everything we do to help support the public sector to continue on its digital transformation journey.” (4)

Digital Outcomes and Specialists 5

In a previous issue, we looked at Digital Outcomes and Specialists 5 (DOS 5) (5), an agreement that can be used by all public sector organisations to locate suppliers who can design, build, and deliver made-to-order digital services using an agile approach. This was launched in January 2021, as reported by Open Access Government, indeed the DOS 5 framework is designed to help the public sector buy, design, build and deliver bespoke digital solutions and services. Open Access Government provides an update on Crown Commercial Service technology frameworks, as part of the wider picture of public procurement in the UK Patrick Nolan, Technology Director at Crown Commercial Service said:

“Our Digital Outcomes and Specialists agreement continues to facilitate our customers’ digital transformation while also creating opportunities for suppliers of all sizes. By simplifying the application process as much as possible we are reducing the barriers that SMEs can face when seeking to supply to the public sector.” (6)

Digital Outcomes 6 & G-Cloud 13 updates

Coming next is Digital Outcomes 6, applications for which closed in late February and those successful in this vein were informed on 17th June this year.

Following a standstill period in June, framework award letters were issued on 28th June. (7) The CCS announced in late August that the launch dates for Digital Outcomes 6 and G-Cloud 13 have been amended. G-Cloud 12 will remain open for customers to call off from for two months after its current end date, until 27th November. “This will ensure that customers can continue to buy the services they need and will give us the additional time to ensure that when G-Cloud 13 is launched on 9 November, it will deliver the best experience for customers and suppliers,” CCS explain.

CCS is confident that delaying the launch is the right thing to do and will allow them to go live later in 2022 with an improved digital experience for those they serve. It is worth adding that both G-Cloud 12 and DOS5 are still live agreements and as such, can carry on.

In addition, any new public procurements can commence and be seen through to the award stage. G-Cloud 13 will launch on 9th November and DOS6 will start later in 2022. Additional updates will be posted on the relevant agreements’ webpages and via CCS customer newsletters, for example. Suppliers on the respective agreements will have an update communicated to them when such information is available. (8)

References

1. https://www.crowncommercial.gov.uk/about-ccs/#
2. https://www.crowncommercial.gov.uk/news/period-of-national-mourning-a-message-for-ccs-customers-and-suppliers
3. https://www.crowncommercial.gov.uk/agreements/RM6100
4. https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/ccs-launches-technology-services-3-framework/113040/
5. https://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&edid=85f0d134-d2ec-4b73-b1ac-c5001c395a2a&pnum=263
6. https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/ccs-launches-the-digital-outcomes-and-specialists-5-dos-5-framework/101899/
7. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/digital-outcomes-6-what-to-do-and-when
8.

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