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Digital Services framework - suppliers and media

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Following Louis Hyde’s blog post about the Digital Service framework on 9 July, we’ve received a few questions. The framework has been a collaborative team effort between GDS and the Government Procurement Service (GPS) and so Kris Ross, the GPS lead, has kindly agreed to write a guest post to answer the questions.

The first thing to say is that because the procurement has started, the European Union (EU) rules around fair and open competition mean that GDS and GPS can't engage individually with you about the new framework.

So, if you are supplier and have any queries please go to GPS who are managing the formal procurement process. You can do this by registering on the GPS eSourcing Suite.

If you work in the media and have any queries please go to the Cabinet Office press office.

Framework value

We estimate that £40m will be spent in the first 9 months of the framework. This is indicative of the potential spend through the framework. The procurement is being conducted in line with EU regulations and provides a fully compliant procurement route for the public sector to access digital services.

Unfortunately, there is an error on the Official Journal of the European (OJEU) notice on the EU website which says that the framework value is £100m, it should say £40m. We have sent a correction through to the EU website.

Deadline for submission of tenders

The deadline for submission of tenders is 15:00 British summer time (BST) on 7 August 2013. Please note that this is shown as 14:00 Greenwich mean time (GMT) on the EU website.


G-Cloud provides access to commodity, cloud-based services. The Digital Services framework will allow Government customers to commission bespoke digital project build services via GDS/GPS. We're aware that G-Cloud contains some agile software delivery suppliers, which will give some overlap for suppliers who are also successful in their application to join the Digital Services framework. We'll see if there’s any overlap between the frameworks over the next few months and be in a better position to review the scope of future G-Cloud frameworks.

If you have any queries about G-Cloud, please send them to the G-Cloud team.

Purpose of the framework

The Digital Services framework will give public sector customers easy access to suppliers of all sizes with the right digital capabilities to help them produce public services that are digital by default and focused on user needs. It will be a flexible and speedy route to meet customers’ needs for digital project expertise.

We are aiming for the framework to be available for use by September 2013. The framework will be in place for 9 months, but we aim for it to be refreshed after 6 months.

The framework will be delivered as a GPS managed service to central government departments. GPS, GDS and departments will work together as a team to develop the digital project requirements and select suppliers. Wider public sector customers will use the framework outside of the GPS managed service.

Departments will be able to access either complete digital delivery teams or individual specialists to join an existing digital delivery team via GDS/GPS.

Initial demand is largely represented by the 25 transactional services identified in departmental digital strategies for digital transformation and implementation by April 2015; projects that are approved under the GDS digital spend control process.

Information for suppliers

  • The framework is open to all suppliers of agile digital services. The OJEU notice alerting the marketplace to the procurement sets out the specific roles and capabilities that we’re looking for suppliers to provide.
  • Current suppliers on other frameworks are welcome to apply to be on the new framework. Existing contracts under other frameworks are unaffected.
  • This is a 9-month framework, not a contract, and there is no guarantee of business for any supplier. The procurement process establishes a legal mechanism by which the government can set up individual contracts with suppliers should they be selected against a particular set of needs.
  • Call-offs under the framework will be for a maximum of 2 years.
  • It doesn’t matter where suppliers are based but suppliers must be able to deploy their staff to where the delivery teams are working.
  • This procurement will include a simplified set of entry criteria, and smaller chunks of work combined with simplified and shortened terms and conditions, to make the process more accessible to SMEs.

Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)

OJEU stands for Official Journal of the European Union. The term “OJEU‟ is used as shorthand for the “OJEU Contract Notice‟, which is the official way that a government notifies the market that it wants to buy something.

The OJEU contract notice for the Digital Services Framework is available on the OJEU website.

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