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Why we’re changing the way we process framework agreements

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital Marketplace, Digital Outcomes and Specialists, G-Cloud, Suppliers

Suppliers who applied to supply their services through G-Cloud 8 (G8) will find out the result of their application by the end of the day today. Successful suppliers will find a copy of the framework agreement in their Digital Marketplace account for them to sign and return before the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) countersign it.

On Friday, we blogged about the changes we’ve made to the way suppliers sign their G-Cloud 8 framework agreement. This post will explain our thinking behind the changes.

Users need a faster process

All our decisions to change things come after identifying a user need. In user research, we’ve seen that suppliers don’t know that they can start selling their services as soon as they’ve signed and returned their framework agreement and they don’t have to wait for it to be countersigned. We want to reduce the uncertainty here by returning countersigned agreements more quickly.

With each iteration of a framework, we’ve had an increasing number of suppliers who’ve made successful applications to supply their services through G-Cloud and Digital Outcomes and Specialists on the Digital Marketplace. Improving the diversity of suppliers that government can work with is really positive, but as the number of suppliers on the frameworks has grown, they’ve had to wait longer to receive their countersigned framework agreement as there’s significantly more admin for CCS.

CCS are users too

The people in the CCS Sourcing team are government’s ‘framework award’ experts. They are the ones who receive a supplier’s signed framework agreement and countersign it if everything is ok.

We’re developing ways to help CCS Sourcing process their framework agreement countersignatures digitally. We expect each simple countersignature to take seconds rather than minutes so successful G8 suppliers are likely to receive their countersigned agreements in weeks rather than months. For future frameworks awarded on the Digital Marketplace, we expect this process to take days.

Iterating, scaling up and becoming a platform

We plan to make these changes for future iterations of Digital Outcomes and Specialists and any other frameworks that come on to the Digital Marketplace in the future. Our aim is to build things in a way that they can be iterated and reused easily. Our senior developer, Kev, recently blogged about this in a post about the Digital Marketplace’s progress towards becoming a platform.

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