G-Cloud enables a buyer to place a “Call off contract” for a selected service on the G-Cloud Digital Marketplace. It can have an initial term of up to 24 months and then can be extended by a further 2 x 12 months. Therefore, a G-Cloud call off can be a maximum duration of 48 months before running another G-Cloud or alternation procurement process.
Below we outline the process that must be followed. This is an adapted and simplified interpretation of the CCS buyers’ guide which we have put together assuming School MIS type services are the requirement. However, you should make sure they check the latest CSS buyer’s guide: G-Cloud buyers’ guide – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) before embarking on a G- Cloud procurement.
The CCS guide was last updated in 12 November 2019 and we have also corrected one point which was out of date because of a change that came in with G-Cloud 12.
Before you start your search for cloud services on the Digital Marketplace you should:
Follow the step-by-step guide to buying to download a copy of:
You can add this information to your audit trail.
You should keep your own record of your communications with suppliers, including any early market engagement, clarification questions, emails and face to face conversations you have.
When you have written your requirements, use the Digital Marketplace to search for cloud services, save details of your search and download a copy of your search results.
After you have assessed the services you found, use the Digital Marketplace to declare the outcome of your search.
Use the Digital Marketplace to search for cloud services that meet your needs.
Choose a category
Next search for services using keywords and filters. Save your search so you can export your results later. The search is not case sensitive.
i.e. type: MIS management information system
Sign into your Digital Marketplace account to see a list of your saved searches.
What to do if you have too many results
You must assess all services in your search results. If you have too many services to assess, add filters to refine your results. The filters you add should be based on your requirements.
Save your search again to record any changes you make. When you update a search, it will only keep the most recent category, keywords and filters you used.
Export your search results to keep a record of the services you’ve found.
You cannot edit your search again after exporting your results, so you should only complete this step when you’re ready to start assessing services.
Download suppliers’ service descriptions and contact details to help you track and record your decision-making. Add this to your audit trail.
You can download exported results as a spreadsheet or comma-separated values (CSV). Both file types include:
Follow the guidance for assessing services (see below). Choose the service that best meets your budget and requirements.
Do not hold a competition to decide the winner. This is not permitted under G- Cloud. You can only contact suppliers to ask clarification questions, not to negotiate.
The buyer and supplier must both sign a copy of the contract before the service can be used.
Download the contract
Check the framework name and number (for example, G-Cloud 10) on the service description page before you download your templates and legal documents.
The maximum length of a G-Cloud contract is 24 months + 2 x 12 months extensions. After this you will need to start a new search on the Digital Marketplace.
Terms and conditions
If there is any contradiction between the contract terms and conditions and the framework terms and conditions, the framework terms will take precedence. In a contract, the terms and conditions and prices are all agreed when the framework agreement is signed.
Publish the contract on Contracts Finder
You must publish details of all completed contracts on Contracts Finder if the value is over £25,000
Tell us the outcome
Whether or not you award a contract, the Digital Marketplace will prompt you to tell them the outcome. They collect this information and share it with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) to help improve the Digital Marketplace for buyers and suppliers.
Every time you award a contract you must submit a Customer Benefits Record. CCS will contact you if they find any issues with the supplier.
The information you submit to the Customer Benefits Record will not be published.
Before you assess the services you have found on the Digital Marketplace, you should read:
When you search for services on the Digital Marketplace, you must assess all the services in your search results. Your assessment of these services should always be as fair and as transparent as possible.
You must not:
Your assessment should be based on the information in suppliers’ detailed service descriptions. Spend some time going through the descriptions of the services you’ve found to find the service that best meets your budget and requirements.
Each service description includes a:
Pricing is normally volume-based (e.g., student numbers by type of school), so you should always look at the supplier’s pricing document to work out the actual price of what you are going to buy.
You can contact suppliers to ask them to explain their service description, terms and conditions, pricing or service definition documents.
You must not negotiate with suppliers about the details of their service. If it isn’t in their service description, you can’t ask a question about it.
Always keep a record of any conversations you have with suppliers.
When choosing the winning service, you should consider:
Your final choice should be based on best fit, rather than ruling out suppliers that do not meet either your current contract or an ideal set of terms.
When you have chosen a service, you can award a contract to the supplier.
Contract awards on G-Cloud normally last for up to 24 months, but they can be extended by one year and then a further year.