Good Governance - effective use of IT

Supplementary written evidence submitted by Intellect (IT 57)

Following the evidence Intellect gave to the Public Administration Select Committee on Tuesday 15 March, we would like to expand on four points.

1. We referenced a number of best practice procurement tools that were developed jointly by government and industry, but have not been adopted widely across government.  More detailed information is enclosed (see appendix). In particular we would like to highlight:

o Pre-Qualification Tool – ensuring a government customer is ready to go to market

o Joint Statement of Intent – aligning aims and objectives between customers and suppliers

o Standard contract terms for ICT-enabled change projects (new, ‘lighter’ version also under development)

These have been developed to improve the chance of delivering successful business outcomes and reduce the time and cost of the procurement process to both government and suppliers.

2. We were very concerned about the suggestion that the technology industry may operate a cartel with no supporting evidence or information being offered to the committee. Such a suggestion is not only inaccurate and misleading, but also potentially damaging to an industry that is a vital part of the UK economy. We hope that you will share our concern.

We do agree that government’s current go-to-market approach presents significant barriers to new entrants to the market, especially in terms of the change-averse culture in government and the preference given to suppliers with UK government experience. The government needs to reduce these barriers and ensure the system encourages as many companies as possible to invest in new solutions that can reform public service delivery.

A public sector market that attracts a range of suppliers, large and small, will have added benefits in that it will lead to increased investment and the creation of more high value jobs in the UK.  We highlighted a number of means of achieving such an environment in our original submission to the PASC, but would be happy to provide further specifics if desired.

3. The supplier ecosystem is extremely complex, with companies forming various partnerships and consortia and with SMEs even using large suppliers as subcontractors in some instances.  We have a number of initiatives in place to facilitate better working arrangements throughout the supply chain, specifically to provide opportunities for SMEs.

One example is our Innovation Den, where SMEs pitch their innovative business propositions to representatives from central and local government and large suppliers to government. This has been highly successful to date and has allowed all participants to better understand and explore the art of the possible.

4. We thought it would be useful to provide some clarity about Concept Viability (see appendix).  This is a service offered by Intellect to the public sector that enables customers to consult with a broad range of experts from the technology industry on future procurements. It provides the industry an opportunity to comment on a potential procurement before a tender is written, within the confines of a technology-neutral environment. This helps the customer to effectively assess the potential risks associated with specific public sector technology projects before committing to a particular approach. The service has been used for over 80 public sector projects and is recommended by the National Audit Office. 

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to follow up on these or any other points made in our written submission or oral evidence.

March 2011