Fourteen G-Cloud partners have written to Government Digital Services (GDS) ahead of February's G5 tender, questioning various G-Cloud elements including contract length, terms and conditions and the Cloud First policy.
Simon Hansford, chief technology officer at cloud services provider Skyscape, said the G-Cloud framework so far has been a success and is changing the market for the better – but more improvements should be made.
"Our aim is to engage with GDS to help continually improve future frameworks and transform government procurement," Hansford said. "The improvements we have recommended as a group will facilitate the changes needed to streamline processes and reduce costs to support the UK public sector and, ultimately, UK citizens and taxpayers."
The group wants, among other things, clarity on changes to the Government Protective Marking Scheme (GPMS) for government information as well as on pan-government accreditation.
GPMS will be ditched on 2 April and replaced with a new Government Security Classifications (GSC) system that is meant to be easier and more cost effective, with three levels of classification for information assets – Official, Secret and Top Secret.
The partner letter, available on Skyscape's website, also claimed that a portion of the market does not understand how to use G-Cloud's CloudStore, meaning that some people are not following the practices outlined in the buying guide.
The group would also like a template collaboration agreement to be issued for G-Cloud 5.
It also wants to look more deeply into the terms and conditions around working with G-Cloud to achieve what it calls "safe contracting". It also indicated that the government's Cloud First policy has both opportunities and challenges to be addressed.
"Additional requirements are sometimes added to the call-off contract which bear little relation to the content of the service descriptions shown on CloudStore. Again, our concern would be this creates a potential procurement risk," read the letter.
Marek Baldy, business development director at e-recruitment firm Konetic, said he believed the suggested improvements could encourage more G-Cloud activity, creating a "more vibrant and competitive" marketplace.
Skyscape, Azeus, Bird and Bird, Datatank, Huddle, Informed Solutions, Konetic, Lockheed Martin UK, MDS Technologies, Osborne Clarke, Roc Technologies, SFW, The Agile Consultancy and Vysionics ITS all signed the letter, according to Skyscape.
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