Promote the procurement of small, creative suppliers
Small agencies and freelancers are more innovative, cost-effective and flexible than large IT outsourcers. And yet government procurement frameworks discriminate against them. The new Director should look at how creative small firms can be brought into government more easily.
I think agency-type organisations that can broker collaborations and draw on a wide body of work are both desirable and possible using web 2.0 methods. glenratcliffe's comment may be true - the system may be open and fair - but the vast majority of small suppliers wouldn't even know what most of the words mean, let alone how to start trying to get that sort of work.
If you're hiring people because they can do a great piece of artwork or coordinate a sharp, punchy campaign to engage a very specific group, then their ability to navigate procurement systems shouldn't be your first consideration.
An awful lot of SOHO or SMEs are in rural areas, hopefully the director for digital engagement will encourage the Carter team to bring a decent broadband connection to them so they to can compete for govt contracts. Currently many are on mobile or expensive satellite solutions which don't deliver a fraction of the bandwidth and reliability of their urban counterparts.
Small and nimble niche agencies and freelancers can bring much better value and immediate impact. Service is usually better too! Government needs to cut through the bureaucracy asap to affect change.
Andrew Wise commented
The problem I see is not so much bias as the hurdles one has to jump through to get government work - if you take the time to tick all the boxes - both literally & metaphorically then government work is available. What puts small businesses of is all the paperwork associated with complying to various unimportant diktats
Small Agencies and freelancers and more innovative solutions that you mentioned are very much available currently to government !
I am currently working for an OGC approved framework supplier to central/ local Governemt, DH and the third sector. We are, I suppose a "Smaller Agency" with capabilites to supply expertise for digital inclusion /Social media/2.0 focused projects.
The government procurement framework agreements were and still are put to the open market OJEC OJEU etc, not sure how they discriminate? I would however agree that government often (may be to often) outsource the new big scary projects. I hope the Government really own this innovation and keep it close and make this both accesible and attractive to the real social media innovators.
i keep bumping into people interested in setting up some sort of 'employment agency' for singleton developers/coders/web2 peeps. the agency designed to handle the contracting and procurement and fund itself through commission. is this of interest to aforementioned peep types?