Working over Christmas? Government tech suppliers will be

Network Services tender and 700 questions cause Xmas upset, delays

The government’s tech procurement arm is asking suppliers to burn candles brightly over the festive season by filling in a 700-question Network Services tender after redrafting it.

An OJEU contract notice for the framework, worth between £100m to £2bn over four years, was rewritten because suppliers claimed it was convoluted. As a result the submission deadline has slipped.

Originally, Crown Commercial Services (CCS) told suppliers to get their responses in at the start of this month, it then was postponed until next, and has now moved to 3pm on 9 January.

“They are incompetent arseholes,” one frustrated supplier said of CCS, “Network Services was the worst tender ever… it seems they almost went out of their way to make it complicated.”

Network Services is a 10 Lot agreement that covers telephony services, mobile voice and data, local connectivity services, video and audio conferencing and paging services.

Potential users of the framework include central government, local authorities, police, the NHS and the voluntary sector. It is set to run for four years including a two year term with an option to extend it by another 24 months.

“They [CCS] are cancelling Christmas for potential suppliers because they are too stupid to read the diary,” said another red-faced reseller.

The Cabinet Office confirmed the tender had been re-drafted and submission deadlines pushed back but made no further comment. ®

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