New standard Government IT contracts published

United Kingdom

In 2004 the Government announced that it planned to move away from PFI as a method of financing government IT projects. After months of consultation with the IT industry, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) finally published two new sets of standard contract terms for use in the tendering process for public sector IT contracts.

One contract, the Model Technology Supply Agreement (MTSA), covers the supply of IT goods. The other contract, the Model IT Services Agreement (MISA), relates to procurement of IT services. The agreements contain extensive guidance notes and a number of optional clauses which may be deleted depending on the nature of the particular project.

Both new agreements need to be read in conjunction with the OGC’s “commercial principles” contained in its “decision map” guidance, which is available on the OGC website. The guidance makes salutary reading for anyone negotiating, or otherwise dealing, with government bodies (which will be using the same guidance).

The OGC hopes that use of the new contracts will simplify the tendering process and result in time and money savings for both IT suppliers and public sector bodies.

This article first appeared in our Technology Annual Review, March 2006. To view this publication, please click here to open a new window.