Rise in local government G-Cloud spending

Local government spending through the G-Cloud rose between February and March – but at a slower rate than the rest of the public sector – according to government figures.

Latest sales data released by the Cabinet Office yesterday showed that councils have now spent a total of £9.6 million through the platform since its inception up to March. The figure is up 16.3 per cent from the February total of £8.2 million and compares to a rise of 20.5 per cent among all public sector organisations of 20.5 per cent.

Total spend through G-Cloud rose by the end of March to £154.6 million, of which local government made up 6.2 per cent of the total spend.

The figures show a massive increase in local authority take-up of the platform over the past year. In March 2013, councils had spent a total of £1.4 million on the platform, meaning that the latest figures show a rise of 610 per cent since that time. Again, however, the figure lagged behind the rise for the whole public sector which reached 745 per cent over the year.

The data also shows that the total spent with SMEs over the course of the programme by small and medium sized enterprises rose by 22.4 per cent over the past month, compared to 17.7 per cent by large suppliers.

Earlier this week, Tony Singleton, director of digital commercial programme at the Government Digital Services said his team was introducing a series of measures to increase awareness of services and products available through its G-Cloud framework in response to surveys showing low awareness of the platform.

The measures include the spreading of good practice by early adopters, a new online resource and a new monthly blog.

In March, a survey found that almost half of local public sector bodies have no plans to procure services from the government’s G-Cloud marketplace.

Colin Marrs

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