Press release

Government tech: 6 point plan to open up the market for suppliers of all sizes

The Cabinet Office and Government Digital Service have published new guidelines to help tech and IT companies do business with government.


Today the new Minister for the Cabinet Office, Ben Gummer, spoke at techUK in London to announce a 2-way commitment, called the ‘supplier standard’, to build and support collaborative and constructive relationships between government and the tech industry.

The supplier standard is a guide for businesses, and has 6 principles which will form the benchmark for IT and tech contracts. They are:

  • user needs first
  • data is a public asset
  • services built on open standards and reusable components
  • simple, clear, fast transactions
  • ongoing engagement
  • transparent contracting

The Cabinet Office will be launching a campaign to get more businesses bidding for government contracts, and has also brought in a Crown Representative for small business in Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation. One of the key areas of focus is tech and digital contracts.

In his remarks, the minister reiterated the government’s ongoing commitment to move away from large-scale, long-term IT contracts towards more agile and transparent interactions focused on joint delivery. He emphasised that government is open for business and wants to work with the best suppliers of all sizes to build or buy the right things, in the right ways, to deliver world-class services for citizens.

Ben Gummer, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, said:

My message to those who operate and work in this sector is this: no matter how large or how small your company is, this government is open for business. We are a government that wants to work for you.

The new supplier standard is just a starting point. We want suppliers, both current and potential, to take note of the key principles and use them to help in the bidding process for government IT and tech projects.

I’d like to thank techUK for helping us to put together these new standards – they have played an instrumental part in helping us to form this pact with the industry.

Julian David, CEO of techUK, said:

In order to achieve the government’s ambition of digitally enabled public services that meet the needs of 21st century Britain, it’s vital that public and private sectors work closely together.

These 6 principles are a great step forward in delivering the right collaboration between government and Industry. They will be the basis for opening procurement to companies large and small, exposing government departments to the best innovation our tech sector has to offer, and delivering value for money to the UK taxpayer.

The principles have been published on GOV.UK. For the next 3 months, the Government Digital Service is actively looking and collecting feedback on the new Supplier Standard online and a via number of workshops with the industry.

Published 7 September 2016