Why central government loves frameworks
With central government spending more than any other public sector department through frameworks, we've taken look at what they like, or even love, about using them.
There are many advantages as to why the public sector should use frameworks. For example, just the frameworks run by Crown Commercial Services alone helped save 17,000 public and third sector buyers £601m in 2017/18. But one part of the public sector has taken a particular liking to frameworks… Central government!
In this blog we take a look at what it is that they love about them!
They can be easy to use
It goes without saying that the Crown Commercial Service uses frameworks as a way of making procurement not only more compliant, but as easy as possible too. And as much as that’s the case for suppliers, it’s also very true for buyers.
Admittedly with 3,505 suppliers on G-Cloud 10 alone, buyers have a lot of potential solutions to filter through, but the Digital Marketplace’s processes are short and sweet. And, this goes for other frameworks too.
To make things even easier, suppliers are evaluated before even being allowed to use the frameworks to sell, meaning that buyers have access to only the most suitable suppliers.
They’re also quick!
Procuring through a framework is a lot quicker than through traditional methods. Where old school procurement processes could take up to anywhere over a year, using frameworks can cut this time down to around a month (max) for the whole procurement process to get finalised. That’s a big change! Buyers using frameworks like G-Cloud even have the option to direct award in some circumstances, cutting out even more of the processes that can drag a procurement on and on for buyers and suppliers alike.
The cloud first policy
The Government Digital Service (GDS) announced a cloud first policy in 2013. Meaning that when considering new services to procure, central government have to consider cloud solutions first. Although recently it has been brought under review by CCS and GDS, the policy still stands. And, with G-Cloud originally launched as an antidote for these guidelines, usage of the framework picked up quick. Using G-Cloud allows central government to find cloud solutions easily, enabling them to adhere to the policy without much headache.
SMEs use them
Central government made a commitment to spend £1 in every £3 with SMEs by 2022 as part of their Transformation Strategy. This was done in order to get rid of the oligopoly and open up the market to a bigger variety of suppliers. And, although recently spend with SMEs has slowed down a little, government departments know that one of the main ways to find SMEs is through frameworks. After all, over 90% of suppliers on G-Cloud 10 are SMEs, and 94% on DOS3!
With central government spending more and more each year through frameworks such as the Digital Marketplace, it could be said that their love of frameworks boils down to the guidelines they face. After all, frameworks make it much easier for them to meet these requirements. Where other sectors such as local government don’t yet have to adhere to all of these rules, if the policies were rolled out wider, we would most likely see the love of frameworks spread!