Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has extended the G-Cloud 9 framework until May 2019, confirming the fears of suppliers who expressed their concerns recently.
Rumours started to spread last week that G-Cloud 10 could be delayed, with G-Cloud 9 being extended past its May 2018 expiry date.
Multiple sources told CRN that they suspected the news to be announced this week, anticipating a 12-month extension to G-Cloud 9.
In a message sent to suppliers today, CCS confirmed that G-Cloud 9 will be extended for a period of "up to 12 months", with the expiry date now set for "on or before" 21 May 2019.
The note said: "The decision to extend G-Cloud has not been taken lightly. It will allow time for CCS and GDS to deliver a revolutionary transformation to the platform to meet user needs - for suppliers and buyers both central government and wider public sector.
"Previously, we have undertaken continuous and regular refreshes for each of the individual agreements. However, this hasn't always given us adequate time for the Digital Marketplace to be developed beyond simply the refresh of these agreements, to meet user needs.
"More time is now needed to transform the platform and make it scalable and more flexible, enabling more framework services and improved customer and supplier functionality based on what user needs have identified."
The news was confirmed on the government's Digital Future Twitter page, which tweeted: "We've extended G-Cloud 9 to give time to enable wider functionality improvements."
The extension notification can also be found here. CRN has contacted CCS for further comment.
One supplier told us that CCS may have extended G-Cloud to focus more closely on the incoming Crown Marketplace, which CCS says will "transform the way in which the public sector procures its common goods and services".
Along with G-Cloud, the Digital Outcomes and Specialist 2 framework, and Cyber Securities Services 2 framework have also been extended until 2019.
Chris Farthing, managing director of Advice Cloud, said he hopes that CCS will provide some flexibility to G-Cloud 9 now that it has been extended for an unprecedented length of time.
"While this is incredibly disappointing news for potential new entrants to the public sector market, we now need to focus on making the most of the current services on G-Cloud 9," he said.
"I'm hoping that CCS and GDS (Government Digital Service) will be even more flexible on changes to existing services to allow for the potential of new updates and variations.
"We have to also remember that over 70 per cent of suppliers have yet to make a sale on G-Cloud 9. The extension can be an opportunity for those companies. Leading up to the next round, which should hopefully be next November, our aim is to help those suppliers win business."
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