Government touts 'bigger and better' G-Cloud iii

By Sooraj Shah
14 Jan 2013 View Comments
Cloud computing suppliers announced by government

The government has launched the third procurement round for the G-Cloud service, which will see the total value of potential spend on the framework increase from £100m to £200m.

The G-Cloud uses cloud computing to help change the way the public sector procures and operates ICT, and the latest announcement is for the third iteration of the framework to be released in just under a year.

Further reading

G-Cloud ii, which has been live since May 2012, saw the CloudStore expand to offer over 3,000 services from 458 suppliers, double the quantity in G-Cloud i.

At the end of 2012, it was confirmed that G-Cloud iii had been given the green light, and it has now been revealed that an Online Journal of European Union tender notice is to be published at some point this week.

In a Civil Service blog post, the government said that it has introduced new features to support G-Cloud iii after receiving feedback from suppliers and buyers following the first two rounds of the procurement.

As well as increasing the total value of potential spend on the G-Cloud framework, it is to maintain the framework and call-off lengths (12 and 24 months), and lot structure (four lots) from G-Cloud ii "for consistency".

In addition, the government is seeking to strengthen representation on the framework in the following areas: identity services, service integration and management, software support, and business process automation.

There are also revised terms and conditions in the latest framework.

"Following our public discussion on the revised terms and conditions in October 2012, we are planning to make these a standardised set going forward, including improved wording in the data protection clauses to ensure that they more fully take into account the complexities of cloud computing," the blog post reads.

A new online ITT submission form has also been added, pre-populated for existing G-Cloud ii suppliers with their service information.

"We hope this will make it easier for those suppliers who want to roll their services over with little or no change, and easier for new suppliers to submit their bids," the blog post says.

The deadline for submission of tenders is 21 February, with framework agreements expected to commence by the end of March.

Last month, the CEO of Linux-based software solutions firm LinuxIT, Peter Dawes-Huish, slammed the G-Cloud system, and likened it to a military mission "with an entry route and no exit route" that is "not just dangerous, but suicide".

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