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Buying Solutions shelves £1bn voice and data framework

Microscope contributor

Buying Solutions has shelved plans for a public sector voice and data contract worth as much as £1bn to suppliers, because it was deemed to be out of synch with the Government's recently published ICT strategy.


Earlier this year the CIO Council outlined its vision for ICT usage across the public sector and among its efforts to save £3.2bn a year in costs, the government will create a central telecommunications infrastructure to deliver voice and data services.


This basically put pay to the Specialist Communications for voice, video and data (SVVD) procurement programme that was due to run for at least two years from May and was valued at between £500m and £1bn.


The evolution of shared services in the public sector and the rise of the cloud - the government is currently working with suppliers to develop its G-cloud - represent a dramatic shift in the delivery of ICT.


A Buying Solutions spokeswoman told MicroScope: "It is important we adapt to the changing ICT environment, and that we fully align with the ICT Strategy for Government."


She added that the procurement for SVVD was "complex" and overlapped with other schemes including Public Sector Network Convergence.


"These factors, and changing customer requirements, would necessitate amending the current exercise which, we feel, would result in an inadequate procurement offering," said the spokeswoman.


Suppliers had already worked on bids for the framework agreement due to be submitted by the end of this month and Buying Solutions said: "We appreciate that some suppliers will be disappointed with the cancellation."


It is "reviewing whether a replacement procurement exercise or other solution" would better suit IT departments and will "discuss this with them individually".

 

The Government's most senior tech advisor, CIO John Suffolk has already warned resellers of the need to embrace new as-a-service business models including the cloud, and this change in SVVD is further evidence of the impact it will have.


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