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Government Advertises £4bn ICT Framework

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The new procurement framework for public-sector bodies will cover everything from desktops to servers to tablets

The government has launched a £4 billion ICT framework designed to deploy a wide range of hardware, including desktops, portable devices and infrastructure.

The Government Procurement Service (GPS) advertised for suppliers to join the framework in the Official Journal of the European Union, saying it will include central government departments, non-departmental public bodies, NHS organisations and local councils. Among the organisations to use the two-year framework are the BBC, the Royal Mail Group and the Met Office.

Hardware suppliers

The government is looking for three suppliers for desktop client devices,  four suppliers for laptops, five suppliers for tablet devices, three contractors for monitors and monitor equipment, three suppliers for thin clients, three suppliers for servers, including tower, rack and blade servers, three suppliers for storage devices, three suppliers for network switches, five suppliers for desktop printers, and three suppliers for ICT peripherals.

The framework is also looking for five suppliers for non-standard products related to desktop hardware, as well as eight suppliers for non-standard infrastructure hardware. The deadline is 19 March for companies to submit their details to participate in the tender process, according to the GPS.

Last week the government issued a pre-tender notice worth up to £1.5 billion for ICT services including CRM, human resources, business intelligence and other services.

Open source

The government has said it wants to improve the procurement process, while using more open source software and relying more on smaller businesses.

Last November Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude banned public officials from using consultants in the procurement process, telling attendees at a suppliers conference that defaulting into a comfort zone of hiring external consultants to run any kind of complex procurements was a waste of money since they neither drove simplicity nor achieved goals quickly. He said the move will enhance competition in the supply chain and drive innovation.