Government Procurement Services (GPS) has defended the matrix of monolithic public sector IT purchasing frameworks, claiming purse-holders will figure out where to spend taxpayers' cash.
It emerged this week that the forthcoming £4bn IT Hardware & Services framework, due to go live on 1 June, will run in parallel with two other large pan-government supply agreements.
The Commoditised IT Hardware & Software (CITHS) and the Sprint ii deals are not due to expire until next April, and well-placed sources in the channel warned this would perplex Blighty's procurement heads.
But while GPS confirmed the frameworks will run concurrently, a spokeswoman told Channel Register "we do not expect it to cause confusion amongst public sector IT buyers".
She said each procurement framework has a "distinct positioning" to cater for the differing needs of the market.
CITHS includes software and hardware whereas ITH&S has no software component. Sprint ii is a single supplier agreement with reseller SCC, set up as a "quick procurement solution" for "low value, low complexity IT products", said GPS.
Channel insiders warned, though, there is overlap on the hardware side between the three deals and between government departments and public sector bodies. The future of CITHS and Sprint ii has yet to be determined, GPS confirmed, and each will "reviewed" next spring. ®