Singleton claims growth in Digital Marketplace popularity

Three quarters of customers creating new accounts on the Digital Marketplace since March are from outside of central government, according to new figures.

In a blog post yesterday, Tony Singleton, director of the digital commercial programme at the Government Digital Service (GDS) said 650 new buyers have created accounts in the Digital Services Store.

He said that the new customers come from more than 240 different departments from central and local government as well as wider public bodies.

The figures contrast with local government monthly sales on the platform, which were down almost a third in May.

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According to the latest figures from the Cabinet Office Digital Marketplace team, during the month, £1.72m of purchases were made by organisations in the local government category, compared to £2.53m the previous month.

Singleton also said that GDS has started to explore how the Digital Marketplace can play a role sourcing common technology services, in conjunction with the government’s chief technology officer.

In addition, GDS has formed a multidisciplinary digital services team to help identify and meet user needs with colleagues from the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and Government Legal Department.

It has also started development of an alpha allowing suppliers to apply for a framework and provide details on the services they offer.

Separately, CCS released its first annual report, outlining savings of £5.9bn of a 2009/10 baseline through implementing better commercial practices.

Ed Smith, non-executive chairman of CCS, said: “Investment in technology – in particular, the Crown Marketplace – is also key to improving organisational capability in order to support more efficient and effective service delivery to our customers.

“Greater levels of automation of simple processes will also reduce the requirement for manual intervention, which is resource intensive and costly to operate. “

CCS is aiming to deliver a further  £800m and £1bn savings against a 2014/15 baseline through continued leverage of savings from spend on common goods and services, advisory support to departments’ most complex commercial transactions and through strategic supplier management. 

Colin Marrs

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