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Government to simplify public sector buy and supply contacts

The government is working to simplify procurement contracts as a reaction to complaints about the process of buying goods and services across the public sector.

Proposals involve simplifying the contract terms and focusing on a user-led system built through testing with the CCS and contract users.

There will also be a move towards simplification for small and medium businesses who will be able to hone in on the specifics of a particular set of goods or services in order to get better deals in a more streamlined system.

The work is being completed jointly by the CCS, Government Digital Service (GDS), the Government Legal Department (GLD) and law firm DLA Piper. The new contracts will still offer all the commercial and legal protection that the government previously ensures itself, but should be much shorter, and easier to use and understand.

The new system has been in development since July, with alpha testing stages expected to be the next step.

One of the main challenges is the diverse range of businesses and people that use these contracts, from major companies to smaller firms and organisations who may have never been through the process before.

Explaining the new plans, the GDS said: “We want to make it easier and cheaper to sell to government. We particularly want to encourage more small and medium-sized enterprises to supply to the public sector.

“We know they’ve traditionally struggled with the complexity of government contracts. Giving businesses a better, more coherent experience is part of the vision for the Government Transformation Strategy.”

Phase 1 of the renewal of the Facilities Management Services framework is due to open for supplier applications in December 2017.

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