G-Cloud 6 tender postponed

The government has delayed publication of the tender for the next iteration of the G-Cloud framework until next month.

Last month, Tony Singleton, director of digital commercial programme at the Government Digital Service said the tender for G-Cloud 6, alongside one for the Digital Services 2 framework, would be published by the end of October.

However, the Crown Commercial Services website has now moved the estimated publication date for both tenders to November.

The reasons for the delay are unclear, but the news follows another missed deadline – for turning off the Cloudstore – replaced by the new Digital Marketplace – by the end of September.

Singleton last month said that the aim was to get both the G-Cloud and Digital Services frameworks in place as early in 2015 as possible.

Last week, Ivanka Majic, service manager at digital commercial services programme at the GDS, urged suppliers to submit their new and existing services on G-Cloud to the new iteration.

She said: “Submitting all services to G-Cloud 6 will mean that you can showcase the features and benefits of your services more clearly. “You’ll also be given a dedicated supplier page where you can describe your company and include a client list.”

Speaking at the 2014 Socitm annual conference in Manchester, Tony Singleton, director of the digital commercial programme at the Government Digital Service, said that the government was looking at how new amendments to EU regulations relating to dynamic purchasing could be applied to G-Cloud at the earliest opportunity.

This would allow changes to the services offered on the framework without having to wait for new iterations.

But the conference also heard delegates voice concerns over the quality of some of the suppliers on the framework, with one saying “there are a lot of crap suppliers on G-Cloud – are these people government should be dealing with?”

The government announced that 1,132 suppliers had been appointed to the fifth iteration of the G-Cloud framework in May.

Writing on PublicTechnology.net last week, Louise T. Dunne, managing director at data Analytics, ICT and Security consultancy Auriga Consulting warned that if G-Cloud “becomes a faceless shopping channel it is liable to become more bureaucratic, no longer championed by enthusiasts intent on making the framework actually work better.”

Colin Marrs

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