The CCS was established in 2015 as a trading fund and executive agency of the Cabinet Office. Its purpose is -
‘to deliver commercial benefits and savings for central government and the wider public sector in the procurement of common goods and services’.
CCS’s work aims to drive innovation and deliver savings and service improvements across the public sector as part of the #smarterGov campaign.
CSS frameworks – in numbers
- Over £13 billion of goods and services are being procured through CCS (to July 2018)
- £12.2 billion was spent with small and medium sized businesses (October 2017)
- £3,2 billion has been spent on digital data and technology services through frameworks (2012 to Feb 2018)
- Between 2017 and 2018 there was an increase SME spend in tech from 23 to 26% - with the aim of increasing this to 28% by 2020
- There are around 3,000 SME’s currently supplying the public sector via the CCS
- It is estimated that by 2020 the CCS Technology Products and Services frameworks will have resulted savings of an estimated £520m
A brief history of Crown Commercial Services – how did we get here from there?
In 1957 the UK government formed the ‘Technical support Unit’. The unit sat within the HM Treasury and its role was to ‘evaluate and advise on computers.’
In 1972, following a report of the Select Committee on Science and Technology and with the objective of bringing together the central functions concerned with the use of computers within government the Central Computer Agency was formed. The new agency was given responsibility for central policy and practice in the provision and use of telecommunications for administrative purposes in departments.
In 1979 the Central Computer Agency was renamed as the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) and in 1981 responsibility for it passed to the Treasury.
The Buying Agency was formed in April 1991 with the operations division under the HM Treasury, and the finance and administration division under the Cabinet office.
The Buying Agency and the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency merged in 2001 forming the Office of Government Commerce Buying Solutions (OGCbuying.solutions).
The Buying Agency and the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency merged in 2001 forming the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). OGC was part of HM Treasury. which looked after policy and standards in procurement and delivery. The OGC had a ‘trading arm’ originally called OGC Buying Solutions. In 2009 as a response to research that suggested there was confusion around this ‘sub branding’ OGC Buying Solutions changed its name to Buying Solutions. OGC continued in its role setting government policy, providing guidance and best practice on procurement.
In 2010 the OGC was moved into the Efficiency Reform Group of the Cabinet Office. In 2011 the OGC was closed and replaced by the Government Procurement Service (GPS).
The Government Procurement Service became part of the Crown Commercial Service in April 2014
The CCS today
The CCS claims to have levelled the playing field for small and medium-sized enterprises and actively promotes small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) being made aware of contract opportunities, including the use of Contracts Finder (https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder) and by ensuring the fair treatment of small firms by mandating prompt payment terms throughout a public procurement supply chain.
‘We must make full use of technology and data to modernise the design and delivery of services, and to inform more robust policies that meet people’s real needs.’
(John Manzoni – Chief Executive of the Civil Service)’