Government expects sixfold increase to take value of bumper Tech Services framework to £12bn

Supplier input is being sought for the incoming fourth version of the cross-public sector procurement vehicle, which is set to be expanded to include services currently covered by other deals

The government has shed light on plans to hugely expand the scope of the multibillion-pound Technology Services framework, which enables public bodies to find suppliers to support major digital transformation projects.

The tech-buying agreement is currently on its third iteration, which came into effect in summer 2021 and is due to run until 15 June 2025. The framework – which is valued at £2bn – features 243 suppliers across eight lots and sub-sections. The deal can be used by all public-sector entities, and includes a dedicated lot for procuring support in delivering “major transformation programmes”, as well as a comprehensive range of tech services, ranging from design and strategy to ongoing maintenance and management.

In a freshly published early engagement notice, the Crown Commercial Service has begun the process of creating the Technology Services 4 framework.

The notice reveals that the government procurement agency expects £12bn to be spent via the new agreement – a sixfold increase on the incumbent version of the deal. CCS expects that the fourth iteration of Technology Services will include a range of new services not covered by its predecessor – as well as those currently addressed by other frameworks.

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Over the coming months, the Cabinet Office-based buying agency is seeking to shape the structure and focus areas of the framework by gathering input from suppliers and buyers in a series of online and in-person events, hosted in partnership with techUK. Proposed new procurement laws – currently making their way through parliament – may also impact the content of the new agreement, CCS believes.

“Technology Services 4 is the next iteration of the successful Technology Services 3 framework and will continue to cover traditional information and communication Technology services, from strategy through to transition and operational deployment,” the engagement notice said. “Technology Services 4 will also include new services which have been requested through supplier and buyer engagement, and potentially services amalgamated from other CCS agreements where appropriate. We are also seeking to confirm whether the new Procurement Regulations will bring benefits to Technology Services 4.”

When it goes live, the new version of the IT services deal will set alongside another £12bn tech framework which has also been expanded to cover a much broader range of offerings, including those covered by other contracts.

The second iteration of the Technology Products and Associated Services (TePAS) framework is due to come into effect next month. The agreement has been designed not only the incumbent TePAS deal, but also government’s Technology Online Purchasing Content framework, and parts of two other vehicles respectively dedicated to IT products and services for the education and health social care sectors.

The expanded arrangement is expected to offer public sector organisations a means of addressing “all their end user devices, technology infrastructure and software needs”, according to CCS.

Sam Trendall

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