Office of Fair Trading market study into the supply of ICT to the public sector

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On 15 October 2013 the Office of Fair Trading (the OFT) launched a study into the market for the supply of information and communications technology (ICT) to the public sector.  Following a “Call for Information” in July of this year the OFT concluded that there are a number of areas in this market which merit further analysis from a competition perspective.  In particular, the OFT are concerned that the level of competition in the market may be hindering efficiency and innovation and this could lead to the ultimate tax payer not getting value for money in respect of the procurement of ICT by the public sector.

We have produced a briefing below which provides further background on the findings from the Call for Information and the market study.

Briefing – OFT market study into the supply of ICT to the Public Sector

In order for the OFT to reach accurate conclusions and to suggest effective action, if necessary, it is essential that it receives sufficient information from public sector bodies such as yours. The ultimate result will hopefully be changes to the market to enable you to procure ICT more efficiently with improved value for money and overall outcomes.

If you have been contacted by the OFT or wish to discuss the process for submitting a voluntary response we would be delighted to meet with you. Alternatively if you have an issue with an existing ICT supplier agreement or you would just like to understand the market study further we would be more than happy to have a discussion with you on an informal basis.

Walker Morris is well placed to provide public sector bodies with assistance in compiling responses to the market study.  We have a multi-disciplinary team advising the full spectrum of ICT customers and suppliers across the public and private sectors together with a dedicated competition law team.  We can:

  • help you to collate the most relevant information for the market study; and
  • advise you on applicable legal considerations when making submissions such as confidentiality and the Freedom of Information Act.

Please let us know if you would like us to keep you up to date on the results of this study going forward – the OFT intends to feedback its conclusions in March 2014. Email Trudy Feaster-Gee