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GDS seeks to transform tech procurement across government

The Government Digital Service is seeking to transform the procurement of technology across the civil service.

The procurement reform playbook is designed to boost transparency and remove friction for government departments buying tech.

“We want to realise the vision for a digital government, a Brilliant Civil Service, and to create a vibrant, diverse economy of digital and technology suppliers,” GDS’s digital marketplace director Warren Smith wrote in a blog.

“In order for this to happen, we need a step change in public procurement and contracting,” he added.

GDS is drafting the playbook with its counterparts in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Chile.

It will examine how the procurement process can be opened up and made more agile. The team is also looking at how the civil service can tap into a broader range of suppliers.

GDS is running an event in partnership with the Crown Commercial Service at the Digital Catapult on 11 September to bring together civil servants and technology suppliers.

The service is not alone in its ambition to transform the procurement of technology across government.

London’s borough councils are in the process of scoping out a London Office for Technology and Innovation to support their procurement.

Camden’s Theo Blackwell told NS Tech last month that the councils are facing a “collaboration deficit”.

“There’s a concern that we’re not open enough to solutions from the tech sector, that we’re over-dependent on big IT and that we’re not expressing our needs in the way that the tech sector can respond to,” he said.