News

OGC publishes enhanced model contract for public sector ICT procurement

Released on 13/08/2009

The Office of Government Commerce (OGC), in conjunction with its delivery partner Partnerships UK, has published an enhanced version (V2.3) of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Model Services Agreement and Guidance for major or complex ICT enabled business change projects. The free-to-use solution includes significant updates in the key areas of financial distress and security management.

The model contract aims to help achieve better outcomes for projects with complex ICT procurements, while at the same time saving time and money. Users of previous versions have reported a positive delivery benefit, including a reduction in negotiation time.

The updated publications follow extensive engagement with the technology trade body Intellect and other key stakeholders across industry and the public sector.  This latest version marks significant progress in helping to ensure that contractual terms and conditions more effectively support joint delivery of programmes and projects, resulting in benefits for government, industry, and service users.

Speaking about the new guidance, David Shields, OGC Programme Director said:

"The success of projects or programmes requiring ICT support depend upon those services being contracted in the most appropriate and efficient way, and the ICT model contract that we have developed with industry bodies and other stakeholders can provide a great deal of assurance. Reflecting feedback, lessons learned and the changing operating environments, it demonstrates our ability to meet the demanding challenges of a fast changing industry and the ever important requirement to deliver value for money solutions."

Sureyya Cansoy, Associate Director and Head of Public Sector Programmes, Intellect said:

"This new version of the model contract has made valuable steps forward, and we look forward to continuing our work with OGC and Partnerships UK to further improve the agreement to ensure that it fully meets the needs of all parties."

The guidance is part of a series of OGC measures supporting the public sector in its ICT buying decisions, which recognise the challenging nature of the ICT market, with its constantly changing products, intense competition between vendors and steadily falling prices. OGC works with public sector organisations on a collaborative and active approach towards the ICT market, ensuring the public sector benefits from the latest technologies and highly competitive pricing.

To access the new ICT Model Services Agreement and Guidance (V2.3) visit www.partnershipsuk.org.uk/ictguidance/index.asp or for more information about the work of the ICT team at the OGC visit www.ogc.gov.uk

Notes to editor

About the new ICT Model Services Agreement and Guidance (V2.3)
Version 1 of the Model Contract for major ICT enabled service contracts was first launched in 2004 following the decision in 2003 to presume against the PFI model for new ICT enabled procurements.

Since the publication of the contract and its associated guidance, it has been used widely across UK public sector and the industry

A new improved version of the OGC ICT Model Services Agreement and Guidance (V2.3) for major or complex ICT enabled business change projects is now available on the Partnership UK's website following extensive engagement with Intellect and other key stakeholders across industry and the Public Sector. 

This new version of the contract features significant updates to two of the Schedules. 

  • Schedule 7.4 (Financial Distress) which has been revised to reflect the recommendations of the multi-stakeholder Advisory Panel which was set up by OGC last year to review the fitness for purpose of the financial distress provisions.  The key changes include
    - An increase in the contract value threshold for applying the full provisions from £50M to £150M
    - The introduction of a short form of the Schedule which contains only the provisions from Risk Level 1 of the full Schedule and which is expected to be used on all projects
    - Credit ratings given primacy over other "triggers"
    - A new obligation on key subcontractors to report and plan to mitigate the effects of Financial Distress events.
  • Schedule 2.5 (now named the Security Management Plan) which has been revised to take account of user feedback received since the provisions were mandated by Cabinet Office in 2008. 

A number of other revisions have been made to help improve the contract structure and balance and to provide guidance and links to relevant government initiatives including the Digital Continuity programme, the Carbon Reduction Commitment, the Cabinet Office's Open Source Software Government Action Plan and the OGC/NAO Good Practice Contract Management Framework.

About the OGC

The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) is an independent office of HM Treasury, established to help government deliver best value from its spending. The OGC works with central government departments and other public sector organisations to ensure the achievement of six key goals:

  • Delivery of value for money from third party spend;  
  • Delivery of projects to time, quality and cost, realising benefits; 
  • Getting the best from the government's £30bn estate; 
  • Improving the sustainability of the government estate and operations, including reducing carbon emissions by 12.5% by 2010-11, through stronger performance management and guidance; 
  • Helping achieve delivery of further government policy goals, including innovation, equality, and support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs); 
  • And driving forward the improvement of central government capability in procurement, project and programme management, and estates management through the development of people skills, processes and tools.

OGC provides policy standards and guidance on best practice in procurement, projects and estate management, and monitors and challenges departments' performance against these standards, grounded in an evidence base of information and assurance. It promotes and fosters collaborative procurement across the public sector to deliver better value for money and better public services; and it provides innovative ways to develop government's commercial and procurement capability, including leadership of the Government Procurement Service.

Media Contact:
Michael Dunning
T: 020 7271 1318
F: 020 7271 1345
E:
press@ogc.gsi.gov.uk

Contact details:
OGC Service Desk
Tel: 0845 000 4999
E-mail: ServiceDesk@ogc.gsi.gov.uk