Brexit will prompt greater reliance on private sector suppliers, many civil servants believe

Research from Dods ranks the performance of 29 of the government’s biggest IT suppliers

The UK’s departure from the European Union could create a greater level of government reliance on private-sector IT suppliers, many civil servants believe.

PublicTechnology parent company Dods recently published its annual Strategic Supplier Index, which ranks the performance of 29 of the government’s biggest technology suppliers, based on feedback from civil servants. 

The study also asked Whitehall officials whether, in the post-Brexit country of five years hence, the government will have increased its use of private-sector suppliers.
Of the 1,000-plus civil servants who took the survey, less than 12% believe that the use of external providers will decrease in the years following the UK’s exit from the EU. About 43% believe that the use of external providers will grow in the coming years, with about 30% expecting usage levels to stay the same. 

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The study also quizzed civil servants on what they consider to be the most significant factors in guiding which suppliers are awarded contracts by their department. 

Emerging as the most important consideration – ahead of even price, which came second – was trust. This is considered ‘very important’ by almost two thirds of respondents. An understanding of public sector needs is the third-biggest factor.

Considered to be of far lesser significance is whether or not a company has been a previous supplier of the department in question, which is considered to be very important by only one in eight survey respondents. This was the second-least important factor, our civil servants indicated, ahead of only a supplier’s size, which was bottom of the pile.

The Strategic Supplier Index asked civil servants to rank the 29 firms in question against four metrics: value for money; understanding of public sector needs; trust; and corporate social responsibility. From these rankings, a positive or negative score for each supplier was calculated, ranging from 2 to -2, with a score of 0 indicating that respondents had an entirely neutral view of the company in question.

Eight of the 29 were given a negative score overall.

But the suppliers’ understanding of public sector needs is improving, our survey indicates, with only four firms given a negative score in this metric – compared with eight in 2017.

To see the full ranking of the government’s largest IT suppliers, and find out who came top – and bottom – of the civil service satisfaction league table, please call 020 7593 5500 or email Dods to discuss buying the Strategic Supplier Index report.


Sam Trendall

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