It's June, and you guessed it! Pork barrel time for resellers as £500m public sector framework gets go-ahead

18 county and city councils – as well as an NHS trust – get ready to dish out taxpayers' cash

Capita is among a bunch of resellers to win a place on a four-year framework worth up to £500m, set up for city and county councils across England to buy software, commodity hardware and related services.

The contract award notice for the Software Products and Associated Services 2 agreement confirms that in total 10 suppliers will be permitted to compete for contracts dished out by the councils.

The framework provides "software (including open source software), essential hardware and associated services and support and maintenance for cloud based, on premise and hybrid software solutions."

Councils will be able to select software for accounting systems, commercial-off-the-shelf and non-proprietary stuff, as well as CRM, ERP, data analysis, business intelligence, database tools, and inventory systems.

Framework agreements allow public sector buyers to set out prices and quantity for a specific period (in this case four years). The £500m valuation of this tender isn't guaranteed spend, but rather an estimation.

The idea is for the public sector to reduce pricing by lumping potential spending together, while vendors get to access something of captive market: public sector buyers would have to demonstrate a good case in value for money to buy outside the framework.

Councils accessing the deal, led by Kent County Council, include but are not limited to Brighton and Hove City Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, and Coventry City Council. Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is also party to the agreement, as are Suffolk County Council and Norwich City Council.

In addition to our friends at Capita Business Services, contract winners also include Leatherhead-based reseller Bytes Software Services, CDW, Civica, Insight Direct, Phoenix Software, Softcat, Software Box, and SoftwareONE.

Categories also available under the deal also include operating systems, human resources (HR) and payroll systems, recovery and data backup software, school information management systems, security software, workflow management systems and software, and bespoke software solutions.

In May, a group of London NHS trusts announced the winners for a similar framework, this time worth £3bn, with winners including Deloitte LLP, Capita Business Service, Fujitsu Services, Atos IT Services, but also SMEs including Manchester's 4net Technologies, Adappt Ltd and Liverpool's Aimes Management Services.

Capita, which won places on both frameworks, announced job losses over the weekend. According to reports, it is set to lose people in its central support teams in London. Those working directly for clients are not expected to be affected.

In March, the company cut £25m from planned capital spending in response to the "unprecedented situation" caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak. ®

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