The official sales figure published by G-Cloud could be significantly lower than actual revenue because some suppliers are not completing their monthly returns, CRN understands.
Each G-Cloud-accredited supplier is bound by contract to post details of their monthly activity through the framework called the Management Information System Online (MISO).
This data is crunched by the government, which releases official sales stats on a monthly basis. A charge of 0.5 per cent of sales is charged to suppliers based on this information.
Suppliers have called on the government to improve the "dreaded" system because it is too complex and time consuming.
The Cabinet Office told CRN that it is "reviewing the MISO system" in a bid to improve it.
G-Cloud supplier Skyscape's commercial director Nicky Stewart said: "Not all suppliers are reporting their spend.
"It may be they don't understand they have to make returns. If they read their contracts properly, they ought to understand that. It's not that the Crown Commercial Service aren't perfectly clear about that."
Earlier this month, the government released the latest official G-Cloud stats which show that cumulative sales since March 2012 reached £960m. The Digital Marketplace – the umbrella organisation for G-Cloud and the Digital Services framework – saw sales break the £1bn barrier.
But Stewart said this figure is likely much lower than the real figure because of the suppliers that are not posting their monthly returns.
"It is safe to assume that this headline figure of £1bn is under-reported," she said. "It comes down to resources. The Crown Commercial Service have a lot of suppliers – at least a couple of thousand – and that is an awful lot of suppliers to police. It's a tough job."
Chris Farthing, managing director of G-Cloud consultant Advice Cloud, said that while the framework in general is going well, improvements are necesary when it comes to monthly reporting.
"Anecdotally, I know of a number of suppliers that haven't submitted," he said. "It is mostly down to the fact it is such an onerous process. It's well recognised by the Government Digital Service that MISO needs to be improved. At Sprint 2016 [government digital conference], they [acknowledged] that MISO is an issue and something they are looking to resolve.
"They could have missed out on a fair bit [of money]."
At the moment, suppliers are obliged to fill in a long list of fields for every transaction they make, Farthing said. For firms selling a high number of low-value sales, reporting can be a long and difficult process, he added.
"For standard off-the-shelf procurement, they could automate the buying process," he said.
In a statement, the Cabinet Office said:
"We are currently reviewing the MISO system to make it as easy as possible for suppliers and customers to interact with each other and government to improve commercial efficiency."
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