Government kicks off roadshow to encourage new technology suppliers
First event in Birmingham today part of overall drive to open up government IT marketplace
The government has launched a roadshow tour of major cities in the UK aimed at engaging smaller IT and technology suppliers as part of its ongoing efforts to create a level playing field for firms bidding for government contracts.
The roadshow, titled "Doing Business with HM Government", will see government representatives host events in Birmingham and Manchester on 30 January, Leeds and Edinburgh on 31 January and London on 26 February.
The events, which will be hosted by government chief technology officer Liam Maxwell and Stephen Allott, crown representative for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), reflect a desire in government to create a more open and diverse marketplace of IT suppliers, in order to increase efficiency and innovation and drive down costs.
According to the Cabinet Office, this aim is in line with departmental digital strategies, which explain how departments will redesign or create new online services with the help of the Government Digital Service. It is expected that, by moving certain services online, the government can make them more user-friendly and cheaper to operate, saving £1.2bn by 2015.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said, "We are making it easier for companies of all sizes to win government business. We want to see agile, innovative suppliers working with government on shorter, bespoke contracts to create the digital systems that support 21st century public services.
"There are software and services companies out there that fit the new agile model for public sector IT but have never done business with us or could do more.
"We want the best suppliers for government and to stimulate the growth potential in the UK IT sector. Much has been already been done over the past two years to remove obstacles to business, but we know there's more to do and we want to hear from suppliers about barriers that remain so we can get on to do something about them."