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Procurement in a Nutshell – G-Cloud 9 framework for public sector cloud services procurement extended until May 2019

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has issued an extension notification, confirming that the existing G-Cloud 9 framework will be extended until May 2019.

This will allow it to complete the lengthy innovation exercise it sees as necessary to transform and improve the revolutionary system.

What is the G-Cloud?

The G-Cloud is an online government procurement framework designed at simplifying contracting for IT services.  In order to access the framework, suppliers must first satisfy a number of screening assessments.

In particular, the G-Cloud has proved successful with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) due to its ability to provide them with business opportunities that they would not normally have access to.

The Cloud is now in its ninth version and was due to expire in May 2018. However, this statement from the CCS has extended that term, to delay the implementation of the tenth upgrade until May 2019.

The debate

The delay has been criticised by various experts including Peter Middleton, chair of the Cloud Industry’s G-Cloud focused special interest group, who said that any significant delay in the roll out of the mark 10 system would betray the founding principles of the framework, namely driving innovation, choice and value.

However, the CCS emphasised that it had not taken this decision lightly, the extension is necessary to make sufficient changes and developments to the Digital Marketplace. Up until now there have only been regular refreshes but now the platform needs to be developed beyond the simple refresh for updates and bug fixes. The CCS wants more time to transform the platform and make it better and more flexible, to enable even more suppliers and buyers to use the Marketplace. The aim is to encourage those suppliers on the marketplace who are yet to make a sale on the framework and get more businesses using the service. The CCS believes this delay will be favourable in the long-run and there will be greater benefits for all bodies if they are given the extra time to make these developments.

Why is it important?

The Digital Marketplace and the G-Cloud are revolutionary mechanisms which allow public sector bodies to easily and quickly compare and award contracts. The system is much easier and simpler, avoiding the time-consuming and costly nature of the traditional procurement process. It is important that the public sector continues to encourage and attract SME business, as illustrated repeatedly by the UK Government, they are the backbone to the UK economy. On this basis, any development which will benefit the platform, even if this means delaying the upgrade, is welcomed.

How can I find out more?

If you have any queries on the issues raised or on any aspect of procurement, please contact us via our procurement hotline on 0191 204 4464.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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