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UK Cabinet Office's £200m IT bonanza: I got 999 contracts but a pitch ain't won (yet)

Bidding's only just opened and I feel bad for you, son

The UK government is seeking as many as 999 firms to provide a raft of tech services across the public sector, according to a contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The Cabinet Office, acting via government procurement body Crown Commercial Services, is splitting the Technology Services framework into 11 lots to replace the existing IT Managed Services (ITMS) deal in February.

The number of lots alone on the new agreement is more than the total number of suppliers on ITMS, which included Steria, SCC, Phoenix IT Group, Bull, Capita, Centerprise, CGI, Civica, Computacenter and Northgate IS.

Technology Services, expected to run for 18 months with an estimated spend of between £100m to £200m, is aimed specifically at central government, non-departmental public agencies, NHS bodies and local authorities.

These organisations “have a need for a new technology framework agreement which will deliver local, regional and national technology services”, the notice stated.

The lots include service desk, desktop support, network management, security, infrastructure and platform maintenance and support, audit services and asset management, asset disposal, back up and data services, DR and biz continuity, service integration, and IT infrastructure transition services and delivery.

The number of framework participants envisaged runs to 999, the notice stated, which presumably will include numerous small businesses – the UK coalition government is edging closer to the 2015 deadline to transact a quarter of its spend with SMEs.

But given that Crown Commercial Services had trouble reviewing and awarding contracts to just 33 suppliers under the recent Technology Products framework, it will be interesting to watch the attempted certification of so many.

The Channel foresees no problem ahead ... nope, none whatsoever. ®

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