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GDS promises to resume publishing quarterly Digital Marketplace spend data

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is due to resume publishing spend data for the Digital Marketplace after an eight month hiatus.

The pause in quarterly publications had prompted fears that the service’s commitment to open data had wavered.

But Warren Smith, the marketplace’s director, has reaffirmed the government’s vow to make IT procurement more transparent.

“Recently we stopped publishing the spend data for the Digital Marketplace. We did this so we could move the data to its new home on GOV.UK,” he wrote.

“This gave us the opportunity to look at how we use data and through looking at it, determine what’s important to our users,” Smith added.

The data revealed by the Digital Marketplace represents a strong indicator of the success of the civil service’s efforts to diversify its range of IT suppliers.

“As of July 2017, total spend through the Digital Marketplace has exceeded £2.6 billion. Of this spend, 45% was through micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),” Smith wrote.

He added that GDS is working hard to make procurement and contract data more open with a range of initiatives, such as implementing the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS).

“The OCDS enables the UK government to make data open,” Smith said. “It makes it transparent and machine-readable throughout the process of planning, procuring, awarding and delivering public sector contracts.”