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The Government Digital Service (GDS) has launched the sixth round of procurement for the G-Cloud framework.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has launched the sixth round of procurement for the G-Cloud framework.

GDS kicked off the process with a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) today which states that companies have until 17 December to submit bids to be listed on G-Cloud 6.

In a blog post on GOV.UK, the team said that it will issue ‘intention to award’ letters to successful and unsuccessful bidders on 20 January 2015 with the framework due to go live on 2 February. GDS has asked all of the 1,517 existing suppliers to re-submit for the new framework.

G-Cloud launched in February 2012 to encourage adoption of cloud computing in the public sector, with £314 million spent through the framework so far, 53 percent of which went to SMEs.

‘Digital Marketplace’ goes live

GDS also announced today that it has launched the ‘Digital Marketplace’, which it hopes will eventually provide an online tech catalogue for the public sector.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude (pictured) tested the marketplace. He said it will “make it clearer, simpler and faster for the whole of the public sector to buy digital products and services when it needs to” and represents “a vast improvement for both supplier and customer”.

Government digital director Mike Bracken described the Digital Marketplace as a platform for the public sector to flexibly commission the various components it needs to deliver digital services.

The Digital Marketplace will initially just replace the G-Cloud catalogue 'CloudStore'. However GDS is also planning to move Digital Services framework (DSf) listings to the new website once the second procurement round for DSf concludes next year.

GDS recently said it is planning to make changes to DSf before launching a tender for the next round of procurement later this month.

Sales through the one-year old framework have been disappointing, reaching £11 million by August 2014, less than a third of the government’s target to have spent £40 million through DSf by then.

GOV.UK contract extension announced

News emerged today that cloud services firm Carrenza has become the first company to gain pan government accreditation under the new ‘OFFICIAL’ security standard.

The firm worked with GCHQ’s information security wing CESG to gain the certification, which replaced the old six-tier business impact level (IL) system in April.

Carrenza also announced a two-year extension to its contract as one of the main suppliers hosting the single government domain GOV.UK, the first deal it won through G-Cloud.

TechMarketView director Georgina O’Toole described the extension as “a good sign that it has delivered on its existing contract”.

She said: “For Carrenza, the last 12 months have been about biding its time. Having won its first significant central government contract in October 2013, it was waiting until it achieved its security accreditation before making its next moves.”

O’Toole added: “Carrenza will now hope that its GOV.UK contract extension and its new security accreditation will increase its visibility and boost the confidence of other public sector organisations considering working with them.”