3,340 suppliers have been awarded places on the latest iteration of the agreement for digital specialists

Published 20 January 2021

Last updated 20 February 2021

3,340 suppliers have been awarded places on the latest iteration of Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) agreement for digital specialists, it has been announced.

CCS has launched the Digital Outcomes and Specialists 5 (DOS 5) framework today, as it revealed that a third of spend through previous iterations of the agreement went directly to small and medium-sized businesses. 

The DOS 5 framework is designed to help the public sector buy, design, build and deliver bespoke digital solutions and services. 94% of the 3,340 suppliers on the new agreement are SMEs.

The public sector has spent more than £2.5bn through Crown Commercial Service’s DOS agreements since 2016, with 34% of that spend – more than £800m – going directly to SMEs. 

Patrick Nolan, Technology Director at Crown Commercial Service said:

‘Our Digital Outcomes and Specialists agreement continues to facilitate our customers’ digital transformation while also creating opportunities for suppliers of all sizes. By simplifying the application process as much as possible we are reducing the barriers that SMEs can face when seeking to supply to the public sector.’

Paper, a Sheffield-based SME, are working with the Department for Education to design a service, provide programme strategy, and conduct user research to support schools buying goods and services like computer equipment and energy more efficiently and at best value.

Paper’s studios

Mark Goddard, Company Director and Service Designer at Paper said:

‘The framework is accessible for us in many ways. It reduces the time taken to work through requirements by making the structure of opportunities consistent, and its focus on users and the problem at hand suits the way we approach projects and qualify work. 

‘Organisations such as the DfE get to see us on a level playing field. Without the Digital Marketplace, being seen by the DfE or competing with larger competitors would be a lot harder.’

DOS 5 is accessed through the Digital Marketplace, created in 2014 by CCS and Government Digital Service (GDS) to make government procurement easier and more transparent.

There are four solutions available to customers: digital outcomes, digital specialists, user research studios and user research participants.

The Government is working to build back fairer by levelling the playing field for suppliers of all sizes. This supports the Government’s aspiration that 33% of central government spending will go to SMEs by 2022.