The Digital Services Framework (DSF) is being extended as the government’s succession scheme has been delayed.
The DSF, which was established in 2013 as part of the ‘digital-by-default’ policy, is part of the Digital Marketplace and was designed to encourage small and medium suppliers to work within the public sector.
The current DSF system was due to be replaced at the end of the month by DSF2; however, the government has announced that the project is behind schedule.
“We’ve had over 280 suppliers bid, with over 85 per cent [being] small or medium businesses, which is a great response from the market,” the Cabinet Office said.
“The evaluation is taking a little longer than planned as we want to ensure that we select high-quality suppliers.”
Under the revised timescale, notices of confirmation for successful buyer applications will be issued on the 19th May and the services will be available from 1st June.
One supplier’s managing director explained he was unsurprised by the announcement: “if you have an onerous, long-winded [application] process, it is not a surprise that evaluating it is onerous and long winded as well.”
“I don’t have confidence that this process will result in the selection of the highest-quality suppliers even if it is done really well,” he added.
“I think they have come up with a process which is an awful lot of work,” he concluded.
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