Thursday 23 May 2013

CloudStore and OJEU

The question was asked yesterday Is CloudStore entirely legal? and an impressively prompt response was received which deserves equal prominence:
Anonymous said...


The G-Cloud framework *is* procured through the OJEU process (every 6 months, hence we are on G-Cloud III now - see the official notice here: Once a framework has been established, public sector organisations can procure from that framework without the need for OJEU (because the suppliers on that framework have already been through the process). Page 7 of the document you quote has the relevant guidance (note that a mini-competition can be run by the buyer against the framework).

This is exactly the same as any one of the 104 framework agreements that the Government currently has in place (see: Also note that this isn't just the UK - in 2010, 21,500 framework agreements were awarded across the EU (see:

22 May 2013 15:38
The Page 7 citation leads to:
Framework Agreements - These can be used for repeat but irregular purchases for example stationery supplies, legal services, building repairs. Generally they are of no more than four years’ duration.  There are four main types, single-supplier, multi-supplier, single user, multi-user.  Suppliers are selected following an initial OJEU notice, in the case of multi-suppliers (no less than three) subsequent mini-competitions are used to select winning contracts.  The same selection and award criteria used when setting up the framework agreement must be used when procuring services from this agreement.  Provided the agreement is compliant with these requirements, pre-existing framework agreements may be used to select suppliers to the project.  Contracting Authorities utilising a framework agreement need to ensure that they are eligible to make use of it and that the framework agreement has been properly established
There may be all sorts of problems with Whitehall's cloud computing strategy but so flagrantly infringing OJEU that even DMossEsq can spot it doesn't seem to be one of them.


Updated 23 May 2013 12:04 p.m.
That is the case, at least, as long as you first agree that arranging to host the entire public administration of the country in the cloud is like making "irregular purchases for example stationery supplies, legal services, building repairs".

Take an example. See Skyscape bags biggest deal on G-Cloud EVER. Skyscape will be hosting the heir to the Criminal Records Bureau. How much like ordering the paper clips is that?

Updated 24 May 2013 19:45 p.m.
Even if the definition of "irregular services" is being stretched a bit, clearly OJEC think it's legal. So they won't object.

Who would?

Answer, maybe some of the long-established cloud services suppliers with impressive track records whose bids lost against Skyscape, a company that won contracts from GDS, the MOD and HMRC almost before it existed, please see Skyscape – would you invest £4 million? Thousands haven't., and who have now won a big contract from the Home Office. How did Skyscape manage to be accredited, let alone win?

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