A new contract template for public sector procurement – including for IT – that will be “much shorter, and easier to use and understand” is being worked on by the Government Digital Service as part of its on-going Government Transformation Strategy.
The news came in a blog posted on the GDS website at the end of last week, which adds that the envisaged contract “still offers all the commercial and legal protection that government needs”.
The motivation: GDS says both buyers and suppliers sometimes find government contracts “long, complicated and hard to use”.
To get there, it started work in July with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), the Government Legal Department (GLD) and law firm DLA Piper to simplify contracts commonly used to buy goods and services across the public sector – with the eventual deliverable being framed as the biggest improvement in government contracting in “decades”.
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The work is concentrated so far on “the people within CCS who create and look after contracts”, they add.
A key working principle, say the blog’s authors, Cath Rooney and Francesca Pomlett, is that “user-centred design” will now be at the heart of government contract reform, testing and iterating “at every stage”.
The first fruits of the work is expected at the start of December,