South Korean delegates visit dxw

Our public sector procurement isn’t perfect, but it’s still a benchmark for others

We recently had a visit from a delegation of the South Korean government. In between their visits to the Government Digital Service (GDS), AWS and the Amazon fulfillment centre.

The delegation wanted to meet an organisation that’s had success through the government’s G-Cloud framework. They wanted to talk to us about our experience to help them plan their own version.

The current procurement situation in South Korea

South Korea has world class technology and connectivity.

Interestingly, many of the larger tech organisations are not allowed to bid for public contracts to stimulate the SME market. But despite this, their procurement practices seem pretty risk averse and still appear to favour larger organisations. That’s why they’re interested in frameworks like G-Cloud and the Digital Outcomes and Specialists (DOS) framework, to help buyers access digital products and expertise, quicker.

Their risk aversion may well stem from high profile incidents at the very top of their government, which is entirely reasonable. While the majority of UK buyers are also risk averse and don’t use the digital marketplace as often as they should, we’re moving in the right direction.

We have the digital marketplace which gives SMEs a fair chance of winning work. We also have the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) who promote a buyers’ community to improve capability, and checks and balances to hold both suppliers and buyers to account.

Our public sector procurement of digital and technology isn’t perfect, but it’s still a benchmark for others. dxw, our partner company Tradecraft, and many other similar agencies working in the civic/government technology space, owe much to these open procurement frameworks.

London, Leeds, and Seoul?

A few people from dxw met with the delegation. We discussed our history, the part G-Cloud has played in our growth, and what we would change.

The feedback from our guests was great and we spent nearly 90 minutes answering their questions. They said the session was invaluable and that we were the most organised and welcoming businesses they’d encountered. Career achievement – unlocked!

What next? Well, we’re not opening an office in Seoul any time soon(!) but it was an honour to have been asked to help the delegation. It’s nice to know that dxw is recognised for our subject matter expertise, whether in the field of delivery, design or policy, and that people want to hear from us. Hopefully, this will be something we can do more of as we grow the company into 2020 and beyond.