For almost a year I’ve been part of a small team helping to create a new way for government to work with companies that design and build digital services. The result is the first iteration of the Digital Services framework, which is now open with 183 companies evaluated and selected to supply services.
The framework was originally conceived to support the Transformation program, but it’s actually available to the whole public sector to use. It gives government access to a competitive and wider pool of innovative suppliers, to design and build user focused digital by default services in an agile way.
We worked with the Treasury Solicitors to create a new set of flexible terms and conditions, which support software development in an agile environment.
As the press release says, the pool of suppliers is pretty diverse, made up of companies of all sizes and based across the UK.
The Digital Services Store
The store goes live this month with 13 different roles available to make up your digital team, across 8 capabilities:
- software engineering and ongoing support
- product development and service design
- agile delivery management
- front-end design and interaction design
- content design and development
- system administration and web operations
- user research
- embedding agile
The framework directly supports Action 10 in the government digital strategy and also represents a single strategic approach to the digital services market. Suppliers have one place to go to apply to offer these services, and in the upcoming store, buyers will have a single place to procure. The framework will also be the first one of its kind to be supported with a managed service from Government Digital Service and Government Procurement Service.
It’s iterative, evolving and adapting, the framework itself being designed in an agile way and based on user needs. Much like G-Cloud, we’re aiming for a 6-month refresh cycle, iteration two should be open to applications in early 2014. We’ll be learning from the journey, continuing to engage suppliers and buyers, our users, along the way.
Find out more about the framework and how to use the store.