It is the first framework to be announced since the review of technology frameworks at the end of 2012, where the Cabinet Office said it would be creating fewer going forward. However, Computerworld UK reported earlier this year that it was aware of the Digital Services Framework, where it was thought that it could be worth up to £100 million.
"To deliver the efficient and responsive public services that users demand, we must ensure that government has access to the most innovative and cost-effective digital solutions," said Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude.
"Often, these services will be provided by smaller firms that in the past have been locked out of public sector business by complex and expensive pre-qualification requirements. The Digital Services Framework is an example of government procurement that is faster, simpler and easier to do business with."
He added: "We want to have a highly competitive market, access to innovation, and to drive growth by working with businesses of all sizes. That's how we will deliver world-leading digital public services and build a stronger economy."
The government also said that the framework contrasts with, but complements, the already live G-Cloud frameworks - where this new one will cover bespoke digital solution development, rather than commoditised IT services.
Like the G-Cloud, the Digital Services framework agreement will be refreshed every six to 12 months to ensure access to the latest innovations and a widening range of suppliers (SMEs).
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