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Government framework axe 'kick in teeth' for big suppliers

This week the government said it would be creating fewer frameworks going forward

The government's decision to axe a number of procurement frameworks is a "kick in the teeth for large suppliers", says an industry analyst.

This week the government said it would be creating fewer frameworks going forward, and that it will be cancelling three major framework agreements in a bid to attract a wider range of suppliers, including SMEs.

The Application Development, Delivery & Support Service (ADDSS), Hosting Services, and Service Integration & Management Services (SIAM) procurement frameworks have been axed.

Cabinet Office parliamentary secretary Chloe Smith said: "ICT frameworks will only be agreed where they are shown to deliver against the government's Commercial ICT Strategy and can attract businesses of all sizes".

Georgina O'Toole, an analyst at TechMarketView, said: "We were concerned about the proliferation of framework agreements across government. It seemed strange, for example, for a Hosting Service framework to be procured when already there were numerous hosting companies listed on the Government Cloudstore (G-Cloud framework)."

She added: "Our fear was that government organisations would become increasingly confused about which procurement route to take. We had also heard concerns from SMEs that some of the frameworks being procured were SME 'unfriendly'."

O'Toole said the government has suggested that the frameworks that have been cancelled didn't have enough SMEs involved and that they weren't seeing innovation coming from the suppliers that were bidding.

She said: "This is clearly another kick in the teeth for the leading IT services suppliers who are being told that there is no place where SMEs shouldn't be playing. There is also the insinuation that the large players are failing to be innovative enough."

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