What do Hadleigh based Free Rein, Accenture, Cap Gemini, IBM, and HP have in common?
All five companies have been successful in being awarded a place on the UK Government’s Digital Services Framework for 2014, and will now be competing on a level playing field to share in £40M worth of contracts to design and build public services that are digital by default, focused on user needs, and offer improved quality and value for money.
Winning business is not guaranteed and Free Rein will still need to compete to win individual contracts, however, with only 183 companies on the framework - 84% of whom are SMEs exactly like Free Rein, it is clear that that UK Government is keen to tap into the skills, talents and abilities available from all types of businesses and not just the larger IT companies that have traditionally secured the majority of government business.
When it comes to IT projects it is clear that bigger is not always best and you don’t have to try very hard to find examples of large government IT projects which suffer from price overruns, delayed delivery, and poor functionality. So it is good to see that the UK Government in now looking to include many more smaller companies such a Free Rein in its IT projects in the future.
Free Rein is however no stranger to winning contracts with the UK Government. In 2011 Free Rein were commissioned to develop the Business Events Finder's service for HM Revenue & Customs as part of the reorganisation of the Business Link Services, and in 2012 Free Rein were asked by Government Digital Services to extend their responsibilities to include all aspects of the day-to-day operational support for this service.
In 2013 Free Rein were only recently just pipped at the post for a major Intranet project at the Ministry of Justice and commenting on this recent near miss Tony Addison said’ It is clear that the UK Government has woken up to the benefits of working with smaller companies such as Free Rein, where flexibility, responsiveness, and innovation are part of our DNA. We missed out on this occasion but with arrangements such as the Digital Service Framework now up and running it won’t be too long before Free Rein will be grabbing our share of the £40M in 2014’.