After long gap, GDS vows to resume quarterly publication of Digital Marketplace spend data

Written by PublicTechnology staff on 30 August 2017 in News
News

Digital Marketplace Director says delay down to migration of data and reaffirms commitment to openness

The Government Digital Service has pledged to continue publishing quarterly Digital Marketplace spend data, after a lengthy gap raised questions about its commitment to making the transparency information regularly available.

The Digital Marketplace was launched in 2014, allowing public sector organisations to buy off the shelf digital and cloud-based services without going through a lengthy procurement process.

It was launched with a commitment to quarterly publication of spend data, including a breakdown of how much public sector organisations had spent with small and medium-sized enterprises in a bid to increase the range of suppliers used by government.


Related content


However, until last week the transparency page appeared to have fallen by the wayside, with no new updates in over eight months.

Cloud Industry Forum, a body representing suppliers of cloud services, recently urged the Cabinet Office to do more to open up, saying it should commit to maintaining and publishing up-to-date G-Cloud sales figures “on a monthly basis”. 

Writing as the latest figures were published this month, digital marketplace director Warren Smith acknowledged the delay, saying the government had “stopped publishing the spend data for the Digital Marketplace” in order to move the data to a new home on GOV.UK.

But the delay had, he said, given the team “the opportunity to look at how we use data and through looking at it, determine what’s important to our users”.
 
“One of the key aspects of the Government Transformation Strategy relates to data,” he wrote. ‘Specifically its ability to act ‘as the foundation upon which everything else rests’.

“As a result, we are looking at how we can improve and open up procurement and contract data.”

Smith’s post pointed to a number of initiatives which he suggested would improve the quality of spend data - currently reliant on invoices submitted by suppliers to the Crown Commercial Service - which is made public by the government.

He highlighted ongoing work to provide fresh model framework agreements and call-off contracts through the digital contracts alpha, as well as moves towards the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), which he said had the potential to shed more light on spend data.

“The OCDS enables the UK government to make data open,” Smith wrote. “It makes it transparent and machine-readable throughout the process of planning, procuring, awarding and delivering public sector contracts. This includes spend data.”

And Smith reaffirmed the government’s commitment to quarterly publication, while hinting that changes to the presentation of the transparency info could be coming down the tracks.

“Spend data helps us to identify where we can better support digital and technology suppliers,” he wrote.

“It shows the spread of supplier diversity across the UK, and where the UK taxpayer’s money is going. We use this data to design the Digital Marketplace in a way that meets our users’ needs.

“For the time being, we’ll be publishing our spend data quarterly. We will determine how we can present it in a way that’s useful for suppliers, the rest of government, and citizens.”

This month's data showed that since 2012, public sector organisations have spent £1.2bn with SMEs through the Digital Marketplace. This is out of a total spend of £2.6bn.

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

No plans for ‘right to challenge’ laws for algorithm decisions
12 September 2018

Government response to recent select committee report ignores recommendation for new legislation

Government to hand GOV.UK Verify over to private sector and cease funding
10 October 2018

Five of the service’s seven existing commercial partners will assume responsibility for the product

 

Number of GOV.UK domains rises for first time since launch
3 October 2018

Figure goes back past 3,000 as parish councils continue to embrace digital – but we bid farewell to secureyourfertiliser.gov.uk

Q&A: National Crime Agency CIO on progress of tech transformation
24 September 2018

Following the recent annual update from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, the law-enforcement organisation’s IT leader provides on update on the rollout of cloud and other technologies...

Related Sponsored Articles

GDPR already isn’t working
15 October 2018

The policies may be in place, but is it happening in practice? BT's Bas de Graaf looks at the reality of GDPR today

Simplicity in a complex world
8 October 2018

Cisco's Dominic Elliott shows how global organisations can embrace the benefits of SD-WAN without adding complexity

Make more of your digital transformation with Intelligent Connectivity
25 September 2018

When it comes to digital transformation, you want your organisation to lead from the front

Government begins to "rightsize"​ its estate
17 September 2018

BT's Simon Godfrey on how government is fundamentally rethinking its strategy for both people and places