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49/13 3 July 2013
The OFT has today launched a call for information into the supply of information and communication technology (ICT) goods and services to the public sector and is calling for suppliers and purchasers to get in touch about their experiences.
ICT plays a crucial role in the delivery of all public services, including schools, hospitals and the police. It is also an important part of the UK economy, with the top 20 software and IT services providers earning about £10.4bn a year in revenue from the public sector.
The OFT is keen to ensure that competition in this sector works well. Healthy competition in any market drives down costs, drives up efficiency and promotes innovation, while a lack of competition can hinder productivity and, in turn, economic growth.
The OFT is particularly seeking information about:
There have been many reviews of the procurement of ICT by the public sector yet few studies have examined whether aspects of the supply side of the market inhibit competition. The OFT's review aims to address this imbalance.
Clive Maxwell, OFT Chief Executive , said:
'This work demonstrates a continued focus by the OFT on markets related to public services. Information and communication technology is a crucial part of any modern economy and is key to improving productivity in public services as well as businesses. Given the vital role that this technology plays in the delivery of public services and the cost to the taxpayer, the OFT believes it is important to explore whether there are any restrictions on competition.
'We want to hear both from industry suppliers and public sector users about how competition in this market works, any problems that they have experienced, and how it could be made to work better.'
More information about the specific issues being considered by the OFT can be found at on the Call for information page. Anyone who wishes to contact the OFT can email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the address below by 18 August 2013.
ICT Call for Information
Office of Fair Trading
2-6 Salisbury Square
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