Two new procurement tools were launched on 9 January 2009 by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) to help public sector bodies taking on large, complex IT projects. The two tools consist of:

  1. A procurement Pre-Qualification Tool (PQT), aimed specifically at ICT projects; and
  2. Best practice guidance on how to establish a Joint Statement of Intent (JSI) with a prospective supplier.

The OGC has stated that the tools are intended to:

  • improve quality and reliability in the delivery of critical and complex IT programmes
  • improve value for money by delivering improved services and systems
  • reduce the time and costs of procurements
  • exploit standardisation to create a more sophisticated acquisition process

PQT

The PQT is a self-assessment tool developed with the help of the NHS, Department of Work and Pensions and the IT Industry. It is for use at the very start of the procurement process and helps the customer to assess:

  • preparation for the IT process
  • leadership commitment
  • the market
  • the procurement process itself

JSI

The JSI is intended to create a mutual and clear understanding between the customer and supplier of core objectives and business outcomes for the project. It focuses on seven core principles to facilitate collaborative work between customer and supplier:

  • appropriate governance
  • open dialogue and positive behaviours
  • using best practice
  • business outcomes
  • change management
  • objective measurement of success
  • appropriate interventions

It is hoped that use of these two new tools will lead to improved IT procurement success rates, standards and value for money as well as better public sector customers.