A less than impressive benchmark's been hit: the 200th 'Mystery Shopper' complaint from an SME about procurement practices that prevent smaller firms from pitching for government business.
On 11 February 2011, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude announced a package of measures to open up the way that Government does business and to make sure that small companies, charities and voluntary organisations are in the best possible position to compete for billions of pounds worth of contracts.
Last year G-Cloud programme director Chris Chant caused something of a stir when he made a speech outlining what he saw as the unacceptable aspects of public sector ICT.
As he prepares to step down from the G-Cloud office at the end of this month, he's updated his views in a blog posting on the G-Cloud site. As before, it's difficult to disagree with any of his conclusions. Chant states:
Cloud uptake is on the rise – indeed, deployments are set to double by 2015 , and up to 200,000 UK jobs will be created by Cloud Computing technologies between 2011 and 2015. CIOs therefore have to accept that Cloud is here, and here to stay. So what considerations must a CIO make when moving to the Cloud, even if he or she is entirely unwilling to do so?!
- A single discount In the past, different parts of government have brought software from Oracle on different terms and at different discounts.
Speaking at the Federation of Small Business conference in Scarborough this week Stephen Allott, Crown Representative for SMEs in the Cabinet Office, talks about the changes in procurement in the public sector and how to win central government contracts. (Is that Selina Scott doing the intro, by the way?)