CCS opens £90m framework to drive government uptake of AI

Written by Sam Trendall on 7 August 2020 in News
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Procurement agency invites bidders for dynamic purchasing system

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The Crown Commercial Service has opened bidding on a £90m two-year buying vehicle designed to drive government’s uptake of artificial-intelligence technologies.

The dynamic purchasing system – which, unlike a traditional static framework, can add new suppliers and services over the course of its lifespan – opened on 3 August. The deal is scheduled to run for 18 months, and conclude on 2 February 2022 – but this could be extended, CCS said.

The procurement agency estimated that £45m will be spent over the first half of the deal, and the same amount in the second half.


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Bids are invited from suppliers of “general AI services; discovery and consultancy work related to the use of AI in public services; development, implementation and support of AI systems in the public sector; data Analytics using AI; [and] the development and implementation of intelligent virtual assistants and intelligent personal assistants”.

All public sector agencies will be eligible to buy through the DPS, as will third-sector and charity organisations. 

The goal is to make it swifter and easier for the government to adopt AI.

“The UK government is seeking to accelerate the uptake of artificial intelligence services by government departments. The commercial agreement is to be utilised by Central Government Departments and all other UK bodies,” CCS said.  “This opportunity may be suitable for economic operators that are small or medium enterprises.”

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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