Public Services > Central Government

techUK report wants public sector procurement to foster innovation

David Bicknell Published 30 January 2018

Along its recommendations, report says use of Digital Marketplace should be expanded by increasing spend going through frameworks, with focus on ‘non-Whitehall’ parts of the public sector

 

techUK has launched a report which discusses how procurement can act as a tool for government to deliver its vision for the future of public services and use public sector procurement to help foster innovation in the supplier community. 

The  report argues that for the government to deliver its transformation and growth commitments, it must make a step change in procurement in central government and the wider public sector.

Drawing on findings from techUK’s Civil Servants Survey 2017, and GovTech SME Survey 2017, the report outlines the key challenges and opportunities for government as it seeks to build the ‘Smarter State’. Its key recommendations include:

  • Using procurement as a tool to deliver the vision of government transformation - The use of the Digital Marketplace should be expanded by increasing the spend going through frameworks, and the number of non-Whitehall parts of the public sector using the system - with a focus on local authorities and government agencies.
  • Taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the UK GovTech market - One minister in every department should be given responsibility for tech and should champion driving consistent implementation of the Digital Strategy, as well as aligning with the government Transformation Strategy. A key area of focus for these ministers should be the commitments relating to procurement and SMEs, and promoting the use of Contracts Finder to advertise opportunities.
  • Taking a strategic and innovative approach to market engagement - Central government departments should take a broader, transparent and strategic approach to communicating with the tech sector on planned procurement activity. This should include adopting a more proactive approach to engaging with prospective suppliers, publishing pipelines and emerging opportunities well in advance of procurement decisions.

The report wants to see greater commitment to expanding the use of the Digital Marketplace across the wider public sector, with the Cabinet Office clearly communicating across government the approach it will undertake to promote adoption, and make the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) easier to do business with.

It also argues city chief digital officers and metro mayors should champion smarter procurement processes for their city or region to deliver more efficient and integrated ICT services. These leaders should also be working together with public sector finance and procurement leaders to collaborate with the tech industry to adopt meaningful pre-procurement engagement with the breadth of tech industry. It suggests this will help to better understand what innovations are available.

Launching the report at the National Government ICT Conference Rob Driver, Head of Public Sector at techUK said, “The message of this report is simple - for the government to deliver its transformation and growth commitments, it must make a step change in procurement in central government and the wider public sector. I look forward to working in partnership with government to develop the next generation of public services, and to stimulate growth in the UK GovTech market.”

Niall Quinn, Procurement Director for Technology at the Crown Commercial Service said, “The UK benefits from one of the most vibrant and thriving tech ecosystems globally and the experience and innovation of the UK’s tech industry is a valuable resource for the public sector.”

“The last decade has seen an increased understanding within government of the importance of driving digital transformation to deliver efficient, effective public services which meet the needs of citizens. As such this is an important report that should be considered as a platform for the whole of the public sector to engage with current and prospective ICT suppliers.”

 

 

 







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