HM Revenue and Customs is attempting to write a money-saving framework agreement that may be used by other government departments.
Working with the Office of Government Commerce, it plans to create a purchasing framework that would cover the supply of hardware, off-the shelf software, software development, IT consultancy, training, and telephony including 3G and Blackberry services.
In a prior information notice to IT suppliers, the two parties said they were not inviting bids but instead wanted suggestions on “how the challenges ... would be met”.
The framework would replace and improve upon the existing HMRC procurement framework, Sprint.
Formed in 2005, Sprint, which stands for the Strategic Procurement of Information Technology and Telecommunications, involved the supply of 83,000 desktops, as well as maintenance and repair of computers and telecommunications equipment. The estimated value was £600 million.
“The public sector is under a consistent pressure to reduce costs and innovate,” said a joint statement from OGC Buying Solutions and HMRC.
"Significant barriers are faced in the presence of the right knowledge and understanding in the right place at the right time to enable opportunities to be identified and exploited."
There was also technology that had to be heavily managed to keep costs down, they said.
"Our aim is to produce a framework…that offers the use of the knowledge, skills and expertise available from suppliers in putting solutions together in a cost-conscious environment to drive both the use of goods and services and the delivery of value for money."