Last November, the first iteration of the Digital Services framework (DSf) went live. It was a huge milestone for Government Digital Service and Crown Commercial Service in creating a framework that allows public sector to commission suppliers who work in an agile way, to help design and build digital services across government.
The framework has 175 suppliers, 83% of whom are SMEs and it there have already been 32 further competitions, of which 9 have been awarded, with a total value of of £2.3M (30% to SMEs).
Improving for the future
The last few months we’ve been learning a lot from both the framework application and buying processes as well as what the evolving user needs are from the framework. It’s clear that the framework has improvements to be made so that it is clearer, simpler and faster for the public sector to get what it needs.
Making good buyers great
Creating a large pool of quality suppliers with the right capabilities is part of the solution. We want to make sure there is a level playing field to select from that encourages both larger and smaller businesses to be involved and have a fair chance at winning work.
We also need to help buyers really understand what they are delivering and what they need to do differently to achieve this. It’s not just about educating them on new technologies, working methods and a process that is driven by their user needs (as outlined in the Service Manual) but about helping them to be able to go out and easily find suppliers as and when they need. This could either be for complete delivery teams or individual roles to join existing teams.
Moving towards DSf 2
We are now in the final stage of signing off the requirements for the next iteration of the framework based on the feedback we’ve received. Once this is all in place, we will be able to publish the OJEU notice and open submissions for DSf 2.