Important changes being made to public sector procurement ahead of year-end

Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014
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By The Softcat News Team


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The Crown Commercial Service (CCS), formerly the Government Procurement Service (GPS), has today confirmed several changes to its existing frameworks. The frameworks, CITHS (Commoditised IT Hardware & Software), ITHS (IT Hardware & Solutions), SPRINT II, and Software Application Solutions have so far enabled public sector customers to make significant savings on bulk IT purchases, but with new frameworks looming and the existing ones expiring, customers will need to move fast if they want to benefit from this route to market.

Three frameworks, ITHS, SPRINT II, and Software Application Solutions will expire on 5th July, 15th March and 16th September respectively, while customers purchasing through the CITHS framework have been granted an extension to the 31st October 2014, in order to provide the market with the requisite confidence in their planned procurement and to avoid the disruption of the critical buying cycle. Customers who have previously purchased through the ITHS and SPRINT II frameworks can continue their business through the new CITHS extension.

 

CCS recognises that the public sector year-end is an exceedingly busy period of time for both the buy and supply sides of the marketplace. Rather than disrupt this critical buying cycle and to provide the market with the requisite confidence in their planned procurement, CCS have sought and agreed an extension to the CITHS Framework till 31st October 2014. It is important to note there is no intension to extend any of the other Frameworks past the dates detailed above.

CCS has confirmed that the current SPRINT II Framework won’t be extended past its March expiry date. Customers currently using this Framework will be invited to make use of the extended CITHS Framework during the interim period - up until the new Framework vehicles are let in the latter half of 2014.

Jamie Burke, Softcat’s public sector Sales Director said; “After a period of uncertainty this is great news for our public sector customers, with the public sector year end fast approaching, the Crown Commercial Service has made the right decision for the market and our customers.”

Andy Bruen, Softcat’s public sector Framework Manager, is encouraging participants on the frameworks to make the most of the proposed CSS changes. “The CITHS extension provides a cost-effective purchasing route for bulk public sector IT orders, and we’d advise all our public sector customers to take advantage of this. This news will come as a relief to the many customers currently contemplating their more complex procurement projects. With this statement, CCS will have fully returned customer confidence with a legitimate and recognised procurement route for their end of year spend.”

From June to September (exact dates to be confirmed) the CSS will be awarding LOTs on the new frameworks CCS TIPS (Transactional IT Procurement Solution), CCS ITPASS (IT Products, Associated Services and Solutions), and CCS Software Solutions.

If you would like to take advantage of the CITHS extension for your end of year requirements, or to find out more about the implications of CSS’s other framework changes, please get in touch with your Softcat account manager – we’ll be happy to organise a conference call or webex with one of our Framework experts.

Additional Customer Information?

The Crown Commercial Service have provided OJEU Contract information available in the public domain via ‘Prior Information Notices’ (PINs), developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence and Pro5. This sets out their intention to establish contracting routes to meet the commodity IT hardware and software requirements of the public sector. It is intended these proposed procurements aim to consolidate existing frameworks and create a clear procurement landscape for commodity IT requirements. We’ve provided hyperlinks to each of the PINs below

  • Transactional IT Procurement Solution: a commercial solution to address the high volume of transactions for the provision of basic, low value, standard commodity hardware and software
  • IT Products, Associated Services and Solutions: a complementary solution to address more complex or higher value requirements, enabling Government to compete aggregated volume purchases across the industry?
  • Software Solutions: a solution specifically designed to meet common software requirements through specialist providers

 

Expiring frameworks:

1GPS CITHS: COMMODITISED IT HARDWARE & SOFTWARE
2GPS ITHS: IT HARDWARE & SOLUTIONS
3EXTENSION GPS CITHS
4SPRINT II Framework

Inbound replacement frameworks:

1CCS TIPS – TRANSACTIONAL IT PROCUREMENT SOLUTION
2CCS ITPASS – IT PRODUCTS, ASSOCIATED SERVICES & SOLUTIONS
3PROJECTED AWARD DATES – BEST ADVICE IS THAT THESE DATES MAY BE SUBJECT TO MINOR CHANGE?
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