'Substantially revised' model contract terms for UK government IT procurement issued

Out-Law News | 07 Mar 2014 | 5:53 pm | 1 min. read

The UK government has published new standard contract terms that central government departments and public bodies can use when procuring IT or business processing services from third parties.

The new model contract terms (115-page / 881KB PDF) are "substantially revised" from ones previously issued, the Cabinet Office has said. It said the terms should be adopted for use immediately where the contracts with suppliers will be worth more than £10 million.

"All in-scope organisations should adopt the new model services contract and use it as the basis of the draft contract for all procurements for IT and [business process outsourcing (BPO)] services where the likely contract value (over the whole of the intended contract term) is £10m or more," the Cabinet Office said in a new procurement policy note.

"The model services contract is designed as a template for the type of services procurements which will typically require some form of formal dialogue with potential suppliers, for example clarifying the scope of existing arrangements or desired service outcomes, or ensuring that there is a commercially attractive balance of risk and reward," it added. "Use of the model will aid delivery assurance and reduce administration, legal costs and negotiation time."

The Cabinet Office said, though, that government buyers should "seek appropriate legal advice in the context of their specific procurements". The Crown Commercial Service said that the model terms may have to be tailored to meet the individual needs of specific projects.

The new model contract terms include provisions relating to supplier performance levels and those suppliers' need to identify improvements they can deliver to services. They also address issues such as suppliers' obligations around data protection, among other things.