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By | Paul Kunert 29th June 2012 15:37

Gov IT buying body: Mega hardware gig to save £6.5m in 2013

Margins driven to the bone, claims GPS

The forthcoming mega IT Hardware & Services public sector framework is expected to yield savings of £6.5m this year, according to Government Procurement Services (GPS).

As exclusively revealed by The Channel weeks ago, 17 firms made the cut to bag a place on the provisional list of suppliers across the 12 lots – which include desktops, laptops, tablets, servers and printers.

The awards were finally made late last week, albeit after a few delays, and IT buyers will be allowed to start advertising their hardware requirements on the GPS portal next week.

The framework runs for two years rather than the three it initially pegged, with the option to extend it for a maximum of four years. GPS estimates saving of £6.5m during this fiscal year, it said today.

David Shields, managing director of GPS, said it had worked closely with the Pro5 buying consortium in building the framework to give "standardisation, aggregation and price transparency" to the officials doling out taxpayer money.

It is widely believed by sources among the suppliers that without the involvement of Pro5, GPS would not have been able to justify assembling the mega-agreement, which replaces ESPO Contract 113.

GPS said it will operate "open book costing" and said the use of eAuctions in the tender process drove down costs by more than 20 per cent from opening levels.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude claimed "procurement reforms are driving down the costs of government purchasing [and] opening up the market to suppliers of all sizes".

In truth, most of the suppliers on ITH&S are already on the existing £6bn Commoditised IT Hardware & Software agreement. ®

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