Where's the Network Services framework at? Uh, dunno, says UK.gov

Delayed £2bn procurement structure now in its 42nd week

Clown Crown Commercial Services has told prospective candidates for the mega Network Services framework that it will confirm the line-up of suppliers at some point. Maybe soon.

It is now more than 41 weeks since the government’s supposed professional procurement arm launched the tender for the Network Services, a four year agreement worth up to £2bn.

The selection process was beset with troubles that have delayed the launch on multiple occasions, and CCS has again written to suppliers confirming that it will be writing to them again. Got it?

“Dear potential provider, in our last message to you on 11th June, we said we would keep you updated. We hope to be able to issue the intention to award notification as soon as possible and will update you again during the week commencing 22 June”.

The missive thanks the candidates for their saintly “patience” as it “works to conclude this procurement”.

A senior contact at one supplier told us that the delays could be related to CCS trawling through the hundreds of responses it received and classifying tech providers.

“I won’t hold my breath for a quick resolution – it is public sector. The only definite dates in government are Bank and personal holidays. Sorry for being cynical,” our man said.

When it does get off the ground, Network Services will be made up of ten lots, including telephony services, mobile voice and data, local connectivity services, video and audio conferencing, and paging services.

The original tender confirmed that up to 300 suppliers may be accredited for Network Services, which doesn’t give a guarantee of minimum business level for each, but allows them to compete for certain contracts depending on which lots they qualify for. ®

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