The government’s G-Cloud framework is set to cost approximately £4.93 million, but save the public sector a total of £340 million, according to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.

Maude provided a written response to Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, who queried what the full cost of implementation for the G-Cloud framework and online application store.

“The estimated cost for the G-Cloud programme (including the CloudStore) is £4.93 million. The savings it is expected the programme will deliver are estimated at £340 million,” said Maude.

A catalogue of public cloud services for use by the public sector, entitled CloudStore, was launched in February of this year. It essentially compiles a list of suppliers that have signed up to a framework agreement, the G-Cloud, and includes software, platform and infrastructure-as-a-service providers.

Of the 257 suppliers enlisted to the framework, some 50 percent are SMEs, which supports the government’s agenda of moving away from working with a few select technology vendors who tie government departments to expensive, lengthy contracts.

Second iterations of both the CloudStore and the G-Cloud framework are expected to be released shortly, following a number of delays.

However, in a recent web seminar, newly appointed director of the G-Cloud, Denise McDonagh, who also serves as director of ICT at the Home Office, said that that the second iteration of the framework would include some new public cloud supplier heavyweights.

She said: “I am fully expecting Amazon and Salesforce to be on the G-Cloud too.”

Francis Maude was also asked by Dugher about the government’s progress in consolidating and rationalising public sector datacentres. However, Maude avoided providing specifics and said that the details of this would be provided in the government’s annual update of its ICT Strategy.

The annual update to the ICT strategy, however, was due to be published at the beginning of April, but has been pushed back by two months because “further integrity checks on metrics and savings data returned from central government departments” are being carried out.