The Cabinet Office has finally handed out places on the ‘Technology Products’ framework after two separate legal challenges delayed the awarding of contracts by almost two months.
In a statement on its website, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) said: “We are pleased to announce that the Technology Products agreement (RM1054) has awarded. We will share further information on the expected go live date in due course.”
‘Intention to award’ letters for the new four-year framework worth up to £6 billion were sent to 33 companies at the start of September.
However the 10-day standstill period was extended until 3 October after an initial legal challenge, believed to have been lodged by IT reseller Misco.
CCS resolved the dispute by agreeing to add five suppliers to one of the four lots on the framework, which cover hardware, packaged software, secure technology products and disposals, and user devices.
However the standstill period was extended again after another legal challenge was lodged, which ComputerworldUK understands was filed by reseller CCS Media.
Until the agreement goes live, Crown Commercial Service has advised that public sector bodies with urgent requirements for technology products can use two alternative frameworks – ‘Commodity IT Hardware and Software’ and ‘IT Hardware and Solutions’.
Both agreements were due to expire on 31 October but were extended until the end of January due to fears that the delay to the launch of ‘Technology Products’ would leave the public sector without a route to buy certain IT products.
ComputerworldUK asked the Cabinet Office to explain the basis of the second legal challenge and what was agreed to resolve it, but did not receive a response.