Cabinet Office plans second digital services framework

The Cabinet Office is seeking suppliers for the second round of the digital services framework (DSf 2).

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The Cabinet Office is seeking suppliers for the second round of the digital services framework (DSf 2).

DSf launched in November 2013 to help public sector bodies deliver digital services. It allows organisations to buy in digital expertise through a single dynamic G-Cloud style procurement framework. 

The roles on offer include developers, front end designers, system administrators, database specialists, agile delivery managers, web operations and software engineering.

The government is using the framework for the new state pension system, Universal Credit and a new Department of Health microsite. However the first iteration has suffered from a shortfall in sales and a lack of SME contract wins. Just £13.6 million of a £40 million sales target has been achieved over the first year, according to the latest publicly released figures.

SMEs have won less than half of the work awarded through DSf despite accounting for 84 percent of the 183 suppliers on the existing framework.

Just 10 of the 23 contracts awarded to 18 suppliers so far have done to SMEs, with a further seven awaiting final agreement, the statistics show.

The procurement was due to start seven months earlier in May but was delayed to allow the Government Digital Service (GDS) and Crown Commercial Service (CCS) review how to improve DSf.

It is unclear from the tender in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) what changes, if any, the government has made.

In August the first iteration was extended until March 2015 to give GDS and CCS time to set up this replacement agreement.

The framework will run for nine months with the same target - £40 million - expected to be spent through it, according to the OJEU notice.

Suppliers interested in bidding for DSf 2 have until 22 January to submit tenders or participation requests.

Image credit: iStock/decisiveimages

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