24 May 2012
The launch of a second SME-friendly “G-Cloud framework”, giving more companies an opportunity to supply G-Cloud services through the CloudStore online catalogue, illustrates the progress in implementing the government’s ICT Strategy, said Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude today.
There was an overwhelming response to the first tender, with over 600 expressions of interest. Government Procurement Service subsequently awarded framework agreements to around 250 suppliers, of which around three-quarters are SMEs.
The new G-Cloud framework has a number of features to promote innovation and make it more accessible to SMEs, such as open procedures with no lengthy pre-qualification questionnaire, less stringent requirements of financial history, simplified mandatory questions and specifications, and provision of services on standard terms.
The creation of CloudStore - the online marketplace for cloud ICT services - an updated version of which was launched last week, was one of the key achievements of the first year of implementing the Government’s ICT Strategy, as a report published today shows.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said:
We are reforming the way the public sector uses ICT so that it is cheaper, more transparent, more innovative and flexible - with more opportunities for SMEs to enter the marketplace. Today’s report on the first year of implementing the ICT Strategy confirms that we are making significant progress and are prepared to meet the challenges ahead.
Our ICT Strategy is all about the public sector avoiding the expense and inefficiency of developing different systems and duplicating services that cannot be shared. This off-the-shelf, pay-as-you-go approach is a great example, and G-Cloud services typify the cheaper more agile model for government IT that our ICT Strategy is making positive strides towards.
The ICT Strategy is part of a wide-ranging programme of reform to make government cheaper, more efficient and provide improved public services and this programme delivered unprecedented savings - £3.75bn - in 2010/11 and is on target to deliver around a further £5bn in 2011/12.
Further clear evidence of the Government’s commitment, led by the ICT Strategy, to ensure value came recently with Government Procurement Service signing new deals with major IT suppliers Capgemini and Oracle that will deliver savings of £200m and £75m respectively by 2015.
Other successes in the first year of the strategy include:
- establishing the CIO Delivery Board, responsible for driving implementation of the strategy across government
- launching the Public Services Network procurements (September 2011) and awarded the PSN Connectivity Framework, while confirming savings of £64.2m for 2011/12
- the publication of a positive National Audit Office report, broadly endorsing the Strategy’s approach
- launching the Government Digital Service, a new Cabinet Office team tasked with transforming government digital services and establishing a single government domain, GOV.UK
Already, just one year on, implementing the strategy has resulted in:
- more opportunities for SMEs - for example, around three-quarters of the suppliers on the G Cloud framework are SMEs
- savings of £159.6m on ICT contracts during financial year 2011-12, with an additional £70m for wider public sector organisations
- dramatic improvements in the speed and ease of ICT procurement - a 22 per cent reduction in the average time taken (compared to 2009/10)
- success in making Government ICT more open to the people and organisations that use public services
- a reduction in the size and complexity of ICT projects, and better management of risks.
Notes to editors
- Read the report: One Year On: Implementing the Government ICT Strategy
- Also published in annexes to the report is initial data on the use of ICT across government departments. This is the first time such information has been collated and published. It provides only a partial picture at this stage but will be updated regularly, and future iterations will form a basis for comparisons across departments and for benchmarking progress against the ICT Strategic Implementation Plan. The raw data on departmental ICT metrics are available at http://data.gov.uk/dataset/ictmetrics
- More information on the G-Cloud tender can be found at http://gcloud.civilservice.gov.uk/applying-to-g-cloud/
- More information about the Cabinet Office efficiency agenda:
1. Tight controls on spending and a business-like approach to Government led to cash savings of £3.75 billion from May 2010 to April 2011
2. Government anticipates further savings of around £5 billion in this financial year, 2011-12