preparing to lob up to £4bn at commodity tech

Mega framework contract notice out ... also calls for open source

The government’s official procurement arm, Crown Commercial Services, has coughed the contract notice for a multi-year mega framework for commodity tech valued between £2bn and £4bn.

The Technology Products 2 buying vehicle is set to go live in November, replacing the previous iteration, which launched in the same month back in 2014.

The four-year framework is open to central government departments, arm's-length bodies and agencies, non-departmental bodies, the NHS and local authorities.

It is split into six lots covering hardware, software and related services – including repair, maintenance and installation.

Lot One – hardware. Aimed at resellers that can supply tablets, audio-visual, network infrastructure equipment and IT peripherals and related services including repair, maintenance and installation.

Lot Two - software. Seeking out specialist suppliers of commercial and Open Source commodity off-the-shelf software, software licences and associated services including SAM.

Lot Three - This is for suppliers that provide combined software and hardware requirements from public sector clients as detailed in the first two lots.

Lot Four - Information Assured Products including CCTV, data services, database and operating software.

Lot Five - volume hardware requirements bought directly from the Original Equipment Manufacturers.

Lot Six - Catalogue is to give public sector procurement heads a range of commoditised kit and software via an online portal.

A prior information notice was issued to prospective suppliers in February, and following publication of the contract notice, they have until July to lodge bids for the various lots.

Suppliers will be awarded a seat on the framework by September; at least this is expectation set by CCS - it has a chequered past in meeting such deadlines, including on Technology Products 1.

Although the total spend for Technology Products 2 is expected to be between £2bn and £4bn, this is not guaranteed. The estimate for the first two years is £1.4bn.

For any readers wondering why the government, having made a noise about G-Cloud, isn’t using the Digital Marketplace instead of creating yet another massive framework, the answer is simple: CCS only gets paid for sales transacted via its frameworks. ®

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