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Gov.UK inhaled G-Cloud, spat out framework – ex-lead claims

Original team member claims there are 'vision' problems

Whitehall is coming under fire for subsuming the G-Cloud into its coding house GDS (government digital service) at the expense of encouraging uptake of the framework.

Mark Craddock, former G-cloud lead, said: "GDS is obsessed with what I call pub-prietary software – the public sector building everything in-house and putting itself in danger of replicating the failures of the large [system integrators]."

Craddock added that the £1.5m of additional investment in the programme since moving to GDS last year has mainly been spent on the development of the Digital Marketplace platform – the catalogue through which public sector digital services will eventually be purchased. The team now has 14 developers, he said.

"G-Cloud is in danger of losing focus, because the poorly designed, implemented and over complex digital services store is consuming too much effort," he said.

The focus needs to be back on buyers and suppliers, he claimed, adding: "The performance dashboard should be measuring this."

An anonymous blog post, which appears to be written by someone close to the original G-Cloud programme, said the recent changeover of the G-Cloud Twitter account handle (@G_Cloud_UK) to Digital Marketplace (@GOVUKdigimkt) signifies that "GDS just don’t get it and there is no G-Cloud team anymore."

It added: "G-Cloud is more than a marketplace; it’s about cloud policy, cloud security, cloud standards and driving change."

The GDS recent annual report made no reference to G-Cloud, the government's cloud-first policy, or its commitment to push 50 per cent of all new IT spend through this route.

Craddock added: "G-Cloud needs to be handled with care, because too many people want it to fail."

He added: "There's not a single person from the original G-cloud team now and all the principles that we worked, too, are being gradually diluted in GDS and [Crown Commercial Service.]"

The Cabinet Office said it categorically denies the budget for the G-Cloud programme is being diverted into coding and development at the expense of buyer uptake. ®


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