The government has been praised for the new approach it is taking to the Digital Services (DS) framework as it publishes a Prior Information Notice (PIN) for the latest iteration.
The first two versions – DS1 and DS2 – came under heavy fire from suppliers, who joined forces to speak out against the way the frameworks tender for individuals instead of teams, in a bid to encourage change.
The government has acknowledged the feedback and said in June that it will "completely redesign" the DS framework.
In the recently published PIN for the new version, the government said: "The Government Digital Service and Crown Commercial Service are reviewing and redesigning the third iteration of the Digital Services framework. Digital Services 3 will provide a route to market for designing and delivering digital-by-default services through provision of suppliers' specialisms in order to fulfil project outcomes."
The DS3 framework – which CRN understands will be called Digital Teams and Specialists once live – will be worth between £40m and £80m.
Harry Metcalfe, managing director of DS framework supplier DXW – who was vocal in criticising previous iterations – said he is pleased with the way things are looking for DS3.
"It is all very encouraging," he told CRN.
"They've done a lot of supplier and buyer engagement and user research. I've done some and I know plenty who have done it too. They've also been very public about getting people involved with it. The devil is in the detail, but I am cautiously optimistic.
"They way they have gone about it is so much better [than with DS1 and DS2] and they deserve nothing but praise."
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