GDS to extend Digital Services Framework to November

The Government Digital Service is to extend the second iteration of its Digital Services Framework (DS2) until November this year. It was originally set to expire in May.

It said in a blog post that reason for the move was so that buyers can complete their existing procurements even after Digital Outcomes and Specialists services are available on the Digital Marketplace.

The Digital Outcomes and Specialists service is a new framework devised by the GDS to enable suppliers to build and support a digital service for public organisations. It also helps suppliers in providing specialists to work on those services. These specialists can be developers, business analysts, and technical architects, to name a few.

The Digital Services Framework (DS2) is a website through which SMEs can offer products and services to public organisations. The Digital Marketplace is a web-based platform where public sector organisations can find people and technology for digital projects.

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“We can keep DS2 open until 5 November 2016 but we expect to close it before then. We’ll email DS2 buyers and suppliers 30 days before we do this to let them know the new closing date,” said the Digital Marketplace team in the blog.

The team added that buyers who’d like to buy DS2 services must award contracts before the framework closes, otherwise they will need to start the procurement process again through Digital Outcomes and Specialists.

It said in the meantime that it was still working on the “earliest usable product” for Digital Outcomes and Specialists. “We expect users to be able to buy and sell services on the Digital Marketplace in April,” said the team.

In another blog, the Digital Marketplace team laid out steps it had completed in order to deliver a usable product. Among these ensuring buyers could publish requirements, information on the way they’ll evaluate suppliers, including their evaluation criteria and weightings, and supplier questions about their requirements, along with a response. Buyers will also be able to view a shortlist of suppliers who’ve registered their interest

The team said that once Digital Outcomes and Specialists is live, buyers will no longer be able to access the Digital Services Store for DS2 services through the Digital Marketplace. The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Managed Service team will continue to help users complete any DS2 procurements.

Colin Marrs

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