Public Services > Central Government

CCS, GDS and Digital Catapult partner on future procurement landscape

David Bicknell Published 08 September 2017

Joint event will bring together Whitehall policymakers, procurement specialists and vendors to discuss the future of public sector digital and technology buying


The Government Digital Service (GDS) and Crown Commercial Service (CCS) together with Digital Catapult will on Monday explore the future of public procurement and making contracting more effective for digital government.

The "Open Procurement for a Digital Government" event will bring together a broad cross-section of the civil service together with its digital and technology suppliers to map out what Whitehall and wider public sector procurement should look like.

Attendees will include digital, data technology policy makers and delivery team, as well as procurement and commercial policy makers and practitioners, plus suppliers of all sizes, from micro providers, through SMEs and up to heavyweight large system and services vendors.

Speakers will include Civil Service chief executive and Cabinet Office permanent secretary John Manzoni, parliamentary Under Secretary at the Cabinet Office Caroline Nokes and Digital Marketplace director Warren Smith.

The event will feature a Q&A session that includes Small Business Crown Representative Emma Jones, CCS’ director of the Technology Strategic Category Niall Quinn and Open Data Institute chief executive Jeni Tennison.

The twenty minute session is likely to be lively, and could see questions raised around issues such as progress on the procurement of specific CCS frameworks; increasing CCS management fees – the forthcoming Spend Analysis and Recovery Services 2 framework will see CCS’ management charge jump from 5% to 10%; and SME suppliers’ perception that while doing business with government has been made easier for them, and several have flourished, they believe that continued leadership from the top of government on the SME agenda is starting to drift.

The event is also likely to see more public details emerge about the Crown Marketplace, which aspires to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for the public sector to buy its common goods and services.

It is understood that the “vision” for the Crown Marketplace is for it to be an online service available to the entire public sector, connecting buyers to suppliers, offering the most competitive deals on a wide range of common goods and services. The Crown Marketplace is effectively being designed to be an e-Marketplace available for UK public sector buyers to take advantage of the best supplier deals.

Government Computing understands that the marketplace, when it is up and running, will hope to provide central government and the wider public sector  with a ‘consumer-like’ shopping experience as well as providing tools for the public sector to collaborate and aggregate demand.

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