Framework agreements for the fourth iteration of G-Cloud were dished out to suppliers this morning as sales through the cloudy government procurement programme zoomed past £50m.
Originally launched in February 2012, G-Cloud is designed to transform the way public sector bodies procure IT.
After a slow start, sales through the associated G-Cloud catalogue, which now features over 7,000 cloud services from more than 800 suppliers, broke the £50m barrier this month. G-Cloud recently moved under control of Government Digital Services (GDS), meaning it now has a permanent budget.
Today, framework agreements for G-Cloud 4 commenced, following a 10-day standstill period from when intention-to-award notifications were sent out to suppliers. G-Cloud 4 features several supposed improvements for suppliers, including clearer instructions on how to apply for new suppliers and how to carry forward services for suppliers already on G-Cloud ii and G-Cloud iii. There is now no possibility of suppliers failing compliance for non-submission of documents, G-Cloud bods claimed.
Phil Dawson, chief executive of Skyscape, whose full range of cloud services will be available through G-Cloud 4, threw his weight behind the scheme, which is designed to loosen the stranglehold a small band of giant IT suppliers enjoy in the public sector.
"We firmly believe that the G-Cloud programme has been transformational in facilitating improvements in the use and procurement of IT services in the public sector, and ultimately delivering a better service at a better price to all UK citizens and taxpayers," he said.
Services provided under G-Cloud ii were turned off yesterday.
In a statement, G-Cloud said there are 999 suppliers on the new framework, taking the total number of suppilers with services in CloudStore to 1,186, 84 per cent of which are SMBs.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude (pictured) said: "G-Cloud is a simpler, faster and cheaper way for the public sector to buy digital services. It allows companies of all sizes to benefit from our digital by default approach to government. I'm delighted that so many SMEs have won representation in this new iteration."
G-Cloud director Tony Singleton said: "For G4, we have fed in valuable intelligence and opinions from buyers and suppliers. But the job of lowering barriers to participation and making the process as easy and open as possible goes on."
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