Government Presses Ahead With G-Cloud III Procurement

Parliament Government London © anshar Shutterstock 2012

The UK government’s G-Cloud gets a new version and new features

Procurement for the third iteration of the government’s G-Cloud will begin in the new year with additional categories, after the government pledged it was “full steam ahead”.

The government made the announcement that it would be pressing ahead with G-Cloud III, following the cancellation of IT procurement frameworks in late October over concerns that the processes were not competitive enough.

Procurement Review

Speaking at the time, a Cabinet Office spokeswoman told TechWeekEurope that the G-Cloud framework was not affected by that halt, and neither were other current frameworks. It was only those that were planned to go up in the future that had been frozen, but today’s announcement makes clear that any procurement pause is now over.

“At the end of October, the government announced that it would be carrying out a review of the effectiveness of government ICT framework agreements,” said the government. “ This ran throughout November and into early December and meant that all new planned frameworks were paused, including the plans to launch G-Cloud iii in December.”

Essentially, the government was reviewing the efficiency and cost savings of its current ICT frameworks, after criticism that contracts were still being mostly won by large businesses, and that government departments were unprepared for the cloud.

“The review has now concluded and we’re pleased to confirm the good news that G-Cloud iii has been given the green light to go-ahead,” said the government. “We are busily working away to get the necessary tender documents ready as soon as possible.”

However the government admitted that following feedback, it is to add extra sub categories to cover buyer needs which have been identified, including identity services; service integration and service management tools; and finally software support.

Procurement will begin the new year during the week commencing 7 January 2013.

G-Cloud Iterations

The second iteration of the government’s G-Cloud went live in late October, with 458 suppliers, many of them small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

However TechWeekEurope learned subsequently learned that Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google, both of which had been keen to get on the framework for the second iteration of the government’s G-Cloud platform, were ultimately denied a place.

The G-Cloud is the idea of the government for a common platform for procuring the ICT technology behind government services. It was initially formed by the Labour government under Gordon Brown, and the coalition government is seeking to use it to drive major cost savings as well as making government services more flexible.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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