We know that suppliers have to trawl through a number of complex tender documents to get on a framework. It’s time consuming for all suppliers, but in particular for small businesses that generally have limited resources. Tech UK’s SME survey last year showed 64% of responders pointed to onerous procurement practices as the main barrier in selling to government. This complexity doesn’t help CCS get good value bids for their customers either.
As part of our programme to make things easier for suppliers, CCS has been working on simplifying the bidder pack, giving it a new look and feel, and most importantly for the supplier, setting out all the information in one place. It is written in plain English, has fewer and shorter tender documents, and a clear split between ‘what CCS requires’ and the ‘what the customer needs’ so suppliers can clearly see what they need to do and for whom.
The bidder pack is being piloted through a new framework, Cyber Security Services 2 (CSS2), which is replacing the current CSS agreement expiring in February 2017, and includes the ability for suppliers to gain their CESG certification during the life of the new agreement, rather than needing it beforehand.
Cyber Security Services attracts a large proportion of SME suppliers, which makes this simplified process even more appealing for those bidding to join the framework.
This is an ongoing process and we’ll be asking all the bidders for Cyber Security Services 2 what they thought about the new bidder pack - so we can keep improving as we go. We will also continue to take advice on our design from the public and private sector and work through the CBI, techUK and the FSB to make sure that we follow best commercial practice.
The simplified bidder pack will be rolled out to a number of new agreements over coming months.