McAfee, an Intel Security Company, has developed a guide to public sector procurement. The guide will help those selling IT technology and services to the public sector, including the IT channel, understand the processes, legislation and different procurement frameworks.
“The government remains the most significant buyer of IT in the UK. Large organisations have departments dedicated to navigating these procedures, but smaller business, of the type the government is trying to court, have a harder time understanding what is required. We hope this will help all parties work better together,” says Graeme Stewart, director of public sector strategy and relations, McAfee.
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The document explains the changing procurement landscape, looking at broad trends, EU regulations, and the different procurement routes.
It also explains the government’s plans to begin moving toward cloud based platforms both for the procurement process itself and delivery of services. This will help break up contracts in an effort to create competition, encourage collaboration, distribute government spending, and empower SMEs to bid.
The document explains the EU legislation which outlines how contracting authorities should operate, helping bidders understand the process. This covers in particular the cost threshold, above which tenders must come under EU procurement procedures, and the different tendering processes: Open, Restricted, Negotiated and Competitive Dialogue.
Different procedures may be more appropriate in different circumstances. A simple software requirement that could be offered by many suppliers may be suited to the open procedure. A more nuanced service may require the competitive dialogue procedure to refine and develop an exact solution.
Finally the guide explains the process of setting up framework agreements. These lay out the terms of an ongoing government supply relationship, though they do not commit either party.
Frameworks are many and varied and can be developed specifically for projects or repeat existing ones. However the two most important are:
– The PSN, designed for those selling services and connectivity across government departments aimed at enabling the better delivery of digital public services.
– The G-Cloud, a platform for delivering commoditised software services to government.
Graeme Stewart concludes: “There are a variety of options available to those looking to sell IT to the public sector. It is important to understand the different vehicles and which is most appropriate in a given situation to ensure the process moves as quickly as possible. Given many contracts are long term, it is equally important to understand the trends in IT procurement and how they can be expected to evolve.”
“We hope this will help business and the IT channel, including McAfee’s own channel, to better sell to the government and for the government to streamline processes and get better value from its suppliers.”
McAfee, a division of Intel Security and a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), empowers businesses, the public sector, and home users to safely experience the benefits of the Internet. The company delivers proactive and proven security solutions and services for systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world. With its Security Connected strategy, innovative approach to hardware-enhanced security, and unique Global Threat Intelligence network, McAfee is relentlessly focused on keeping its customers safe. http://www.mcafee.com.