Govt IT procurement: Open Standards: good, restricting size/value of IT contracts: better

Francis Maude’s recent speech on the increasing involvement of SMEs in Government IT procurement has been widely quoted in terms of the commitment to Open Standards, in an attempt to stop the costly process of reinventing the wheel in successive procurements.

What has gained less air time is the repeated commitment to reduce both the duration and value of IT contracts in order to bring to an end the de facto exclusion of SMEs. He said:

“We’re breaking down the length and size of contracts. I have set out that for any IT programmes not being displaced by digital solutions, no project, framework or contract can be over £100 million.”

Taken alongside what he (perhaps a little optimistically) described as the abolition of the PQQ this is a real step in the right direction.

The full text of last Thursday’s speech is here:

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