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Procuring the smarter state

techUK believes the Government should take a strategic and innovative approach to market engagement

Report says one minister in every department should be given the responsibility for tech
Report says one minister in every department should be given the responsibility for tech

techUK, which represents the UK technology industry, has launched a guide this morning at the National Government ICT conference to help boost innovation and growth in the public sector.


The new report Procuring the Smarter State: key steps to promote innovation sets out how procurement can act as a tool for government to deliver its ambitious vision for the future of public services and use public sector procurement to help foster innovation in the supplier community.


Drawing on the findings from techUK’s Civil Servants Survey 2017 and GovTech SME Survey 2017 report, it identifies the key challenges and opportunities for government as it seeks to build the smarter state.


“The message of this report is simple - for the Government to deliver its transformation and growth commitments, it must make a step change in procurement in central government and the wider public sector,” said Rob Driver, head of public sector at techUK.


“I look forward to working in partnership with Government to develop the next generation of public services, and to stimulate growth in the UK GovTech market.”


Key recommendations in the report include:


Use procurement as a tool to deliver the vision of government transformation

The use of the Digital Marketplace should be expanded by increasing the spend going through frameworks, and the number of non-Whitehall parts of the public sector using the system - with a focus on local authorities and Government agencies.


Take advantage of the opportunities offered by the UK GovTech market

One minister in every department should be given responsibility for tech and should champion driving consistent implementation of the Digital Strategy, as well as aligning with the Government Transformation Strategy. A key area of focus for these ministers should be the commitments relating to procurement and SMEs and promoting the use of Contracts Finder to advertise opportunities.


“The UK benefits from one of the most vibrant and thriving tech ecosystems globally and the experience and innovation of the UK’s tech industry is a valuable resource for the public sector,” added Niall Quinn, procurement director for technology at the Crown Commercial Service.


“The last decade has seen an increased understanding within government of the importance of driving digital transformation to deliver efficient, effective public services which meet the needs of citizens. As such this is an important report that should be considered as a platform for the whole of the public sector to engage with current and prospective ICT suppliers.”


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