Procurement agency says public bodies can continue to use incumbent vehicles
The next iteration of the G-Cloud and Digital Outcomes frameworks have been formally delayed until some point later this year, while the Crown Commercial Service continues work to deliver a new digital platform for public sector buyers.
G-Cloud 13 and Digital Outcomes 6 were slated to come into effect around the end of June but, in an update published last week – more than a month after the frameworks should already have begun operating – CCS said that it has now “taken the difficult decision to delay” their launch.
A definitive target date for their implementation has not yet been set, but the procurement agency indicated that the plan is for the buying vehicles to go live at some point in 2022.
The extra time will allow CCS to continue its work on “developing a new digital service for buyers to access a number of our commercial agreements”, including the new technology services contracts. The new platform will, in large part, supersede and replace the Digital Marketplace platform which was introduced in 2014 and supports public sector entities in buying via the G-Cloud and Digital Outcomes and Specialists arrangements.
“We are focused on ensuring the user testing is informing the final product and this has identified further feedback and insight that we need to consider in more depth before we can roll this out to our customers,” the buying agency said. “We have therefore taken the decision to delay the go-live of DOS6 and G-Cloud 13. We appreciate that this will be disappointing for many of our customers and suppliers, but are confident that delaying the launch is the right thing to do and will allow us to go live later in the year with an improved digital experience.”
Public bodies that were planning to use the new agreements are advised that the incumbent G-Cloud 12 and Digital Outcomes and Specialists 5 agreements are still in full effect, and that “any live procurements will continue and any new procurements can start and be seen through to award”.
As of earlier this year, also now in place is the first Digital Specialists and Programmes framework – a £4bn agreement intended to support public bodies in delivering transformation programmes. The framework incorporates elements that previously formed part of the Digital Outcomes and Specialists vehicles.
Organisations wishing to procure goods and services via the incumbent G-Cloud and DOS agreements can continue to use the Digital Marketplace buying platform.
“Digital Outcomes 6 and G-Cloud 13 customers will be directed to the relevant platform to procure services when ready,” CCS added.