I invited David Gigg and Ian Sears from Stephen Allott's team along to the 3rd Agile Teacamp late last month. Stephen (pictured), in his role as Government Crown Representative for SMEs, is committed to giving emerging suppliers a stronger voice at the top table. He is currently working with SME's and across Government to 'level the playing field' by challenging preconceptions about the value, innovation and flexibility that smaller companies can deliver.
We were walked through the Product Surgeries where SMEs 'pitch' innovative products and services to a panel of senior decision makers in Departments. The Government e-marketplace (also known as the dynamic marketplace) allows users to register interest for public sector contracts below the EU threshold of £100k and receive email alerts for new contracts via the Contracts Finder service.
Another initiative, the Mystery Shopper programme, has been launched as an extension of the Cabinet Office Supplier Feedback Service to give SME's a forum to tell Government where our procurement practice needs improvement. You can email Ian (Ian.Sears@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk) or David (David.Gigg@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk) directly with your feedback, and we'll be keeping in touch at future Teacamps.
More on the Cloudstore
The G-cloud programme has announced that they are moving to the next stage of their development with “intent to award” notices being sent out to companies looking to implement the project. The CloudStore will be the catalogue of services and suppliers on the G-Cloud Framework and will be available soon. Nicola Westmore, from the G-Cloud team, has said that "We’re currently testing that what we’ve done makes sense and works and then we’ll be opening the store up for everyone to see, use and feedback on but before we can do that we need to get on with working through and assuring the 1700 services for the catalogue."
Mark O'Neill shared details on what GDS is doing to improve Agile Service Delivery in Government, including redeveloping the GPS online portal (Buying Solutions) to make it more transparent and SME friendly.
If you are an SME and want to get involved then:
• Please contact the Supplier Feedback Service, or email the ERG service desk heading up your email Mystery Shopper or Product Surgery. The mystery shopper programme publishes all enquiries and responses it receives with over 80% of responses being actioned.
• For all other Teacamp information - check out the new Teacamp website.
Next Agiletea - 15th March. Cafe Zest from 4 – 6pm Come join in!