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By | Paul Kunert 5th June 2013 07:39

Lonely G-Cloud wanders in search of crowd o'er UK.gov vales and hills

See that £22m? Would have been £130m+ without us

Government Digital Services is evaluating the level of resources set aside for the G-Cloud after taking control of the framework.

To date G-Cloud has been running thin on the ground with just five bods in the team tasked with leading the supposed revolution in public sector tech procurement.

A Cabinet Office spokesman informs Vulture Central that the G-Cloud framework and CloudStore online supplier catalogue have reached a "level of maturity" sufficient to make the transition.

"G-Cloud has just moved across, so GDS are reviewing the capability and level of resources needed," he told The Channel.

"This will be a combination of current GDS staff and members of the G-Cloud programme team. They will be supported by existing expertise in GDS, from across the commercial, transformation and strategy team," he added.

G-Cloud was unveiled last spring, costing the taxpayer £4.93m to set up but designed to save £340m over its three year lifespan by raising competition among suppliers large and small, and running shorter contracts.

The Major Projects Authority (MPA) last week raised a warning flag over the success of G-Cloud, casting doubt on the potential savings.

The MPA report cited a myriad of challenges facing the framework, including meagre team resources and a stubborn reluctance among public sector tech buyers to embrace change.

The point was first raised by former G-Cloud director Chris Chant when he criticised central government over the lack of support given to members of the team he ran.

"To my knowledge G-Cloud is woefully underfunded and resourced and its members still flogging away evenings and weekends to maintain the excellent service buyers and suppliers have enjoyed. If it is wasn't for this the services would have floundered," he said.

Denise McDonough, who succeeded Chant as G-Cloud guru, confirmed today in a valedictory blogpost that £22m has been spent through CloudStore to date. Assuming that those projects would have cost £130m-plus without G-Cloud, the project would be on track to achieve the expected savings.

"We've been busy transitioning activities across to GDS, to ensure that we don't lose any momentum," she said.

Momentum is apparently building but it is still not clear, given the level of spend, how government will harness G-Cloud to save hundreds of millions of pounds.

The G-Cloud team previously sat under the control of Government Procurement Services, the body responsible for massive public sector frameworks, not of which ran smoothly.

Skyscape has won the largest G-Cloud order to date, £3m over two years, and CEO Phil Dawson said the project needed to pick up pace with "evangelists" inside government to spur wider adoption. ®

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