The new procurement vehicle is now open for buyers and suppliers of cutting-edge technology services

Published 16 March 2020

Last updated 16 March 2020

Public bodies can now access the latest intelligent automation services – enabling them to benefit from a range of innovative technology solutions including business process optimisation, desktop automation, analytics, and much more.  

Crown Commercial Service’s Automation Marketplace DPS opens today, meaning suppliers of all sizes can apply to offer their innovative solutions to public sector customers and customers can begin to buy services.

The agreement includes a stipulation that suppliers offering solutions that involve the use of Artificial Intelligence must declare that they understand and will adhere to a set of ethical guidelines on the use of AI in the public sector. 

The new guidelines are under development. For the time being, suppliers of AI services must follow the Government’s current Data Ethics Framework.

Niall Quinn, CCS Technology Director says:

Automation is becoming increasingly important to Government and by asking suppliers to abide by the AI ethical principles it will assist public bodies and those delivering public-facing services to easily identify AI products and services that meet their ethical requirements.

The agreement has been created in partnership with the Cabinet Office to replace its current Robotic Process Automation contract, which expires in August 2020. It has been designed as a Dynamic Purchasing System, meaning suppliers can join at any point during its lifetime.

The Automation Marketplace will enable public sector customers to use the latest technology to transform business processes with automated solutions that include some AI and machine learning services.

Artificial Intelligence

In February, The Committee on Standards in Public Life published its report on Artificial Intelligence and Public Standards.

The report says that artificial intelligence will transform the way public sector organisations make decisions and deliver public services. 

It calls on Crown Commercial Service to introduce practical tools as part of its new AI framework that help public bodies, and those delivering services to the public, find AI products and services that meet their ethical requirements. 

CCS is currently developing a specific commercial agreement for artificial intelligence, which is being designed to take into account the Committee’s recommendations on ethics. 

Find out more

To find out more about the Automation Marketplace, visit the DPS website.