The government has extended a four-year old IT framework until the end of January as its replacement has been delayed by two legal challenges.
The ‘commoditised IT hardware and software’ (CITHS) framework was originally due to expire on 31 October, before a replacement had launched, potentially leaving the public sector without a formal procurement route to buy certain IT products.
However CITHS has been extended, as suppliers await an outcome for a replacement agreement worth up to £6 billion dubbed ‘Technology Products’.
The emergency decision to extend CITHS, which launched in March 2010, was agreed “to provide continuity of service for the public sector”, a Cabinet Office spokesperson said.
‘Intention to award’ letters for the new framework, ‘Technology Products’, were sent to 33 companies at the start of September, but the 10-day standstill period was extended until 3 October after an initial legal challenge, believed to have been lodged by IT reseller Misco.
The dispute was resolved after the Crown Commercial Service agreed to add five suppliers to one of the four lots.
However the standstill period was extended again, with a finish date yet to be announced, after another legal challenge was lodged. ComputerworldUK understands the ongoing challenge was filed by CCS Media.
The spokesperson said: “We have received a legal challenge in respect of the Technology Products agreement during the standstill period. We are reviewing our position and will update suppliers in due course.”
ComputerworldUK contacted CCS Media but did not receive a response.