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EURIM Security Procurement Subgroup

Back to Public Procurement Page

This group was previously focussed on public sector procurement. Given that the private sector spends very much more (estimates of 5 to 10 times as much for organisations of equivalent turnover/spend) and given the stated ministerial objectives of learning from the private sector, the group is now (Q3 2011) looking to revise its terms of reference. 

1 Introduction
1.1 Why is security procurement important?

Central and Local government are under great pressure to reduce costs by sharing or outsourcing services. “Security” is often used as an excuse for not doing so, even when there are clear opportunities to improve accuracy and security and reduce cost by migrating duplicated services to shared networks and databases run by those who follow better practice.

The profitability of much of the private sector depends on confidence in the security of online transactions and personal details but the business case for action to actively remove vulnerabilities and improve confidence, as opposed to ticking compliance boxes, is rarely well made.

1.2 What is the problem?

The recent study by the Audit Commission and the National Audit Office into collaborative procurement indicates that significant savings could be made from rationalising the fragmented and duplicated activities of nearly fifty public buying organisations in the UK. OGC has since issued a guide to buying through Framework Agreements.

Intellect has identified over a hundred such agreements relating to ICT productsEURIM Members & Registered Observers Only. Almost all were produced since the issue of the OGC guidance on framework agreements.

Most entail overhead charges to the organisers of between .6% and 6.0%, (more if there are chains of subcontracting). Few cover more than three or four suppliers. A handful account for most of the business placed and these, like most current security guidance, fail to recognise or re-use security checks and accreditations done by others.  The consequences include duplication of effort and reduced security compared to that of those private sector organisations which have to protect themselves and their customers from regular attack.

1.3 Why is the procurement problem important?

There are a large number of public sector procurements active at any given time. Many are cancelled, but often not before those suppliers who took them seriously have spent many thousands or millions (in the case of some central government projects) in wasted bid costs. This overhead is said to be one of the reasons why prices are between 10% and 30% (depending on whose guesstimates are used) higher in the UK than the rest of the EU.

Meanwhile there are chronic shortages of those accredited to provide security advice and security is often not 'designed in' from the start. In consequence, procurements large as well as small, can be either delayed awaiting such advice or go ahead with security implemented as a late 'bolt-on', not realising economies that could have otherwise been made.

1.4 How can this subgroup help?

  • By identifying and publicising those already available frameworks which can be used to bring forward investment which will deliver rapid savings and benefits at the same time as reducing costs and improving delivered security.

  • By helping set priorities and objectives for the overall review of public sector procurement processes that will follow the current moratorium.

2 Subgroup Objectives

This subgroup is tasked to identify which existing frameworks represent current good practice so that they can be used and replicated, pending the production of new guidance.


To bring together leading suppliers and customers to identify the frameworks currently in use, to check them against good practice and to publicise those which can be re-used with confidence that they meet current mandatory requirements (e.g. state aid rules).

Work Programme for 2010-11

Quarter 3 2010
Identity frameworks/tenders/processes worthy of serious consideration.
And review those which could/should be publicised as case studies.

Quarter 4 2010
October/November: organise activities to publicise case studies and plan follow up to ensure that good practice is embedded in policy from the top down, not just treated as implementation add-ons.

Quarter 1 and 2 2011
Report on recommendations and future plans
The consolidating security market brings procurement efficiency and effectiveness opportunities

Quarter 3 and 4 2011
Consider how best to expedite industry-led action given that other priorities mean that little or no experienced resource is available to support the updating of Central Government guidance with regard to security procurement.

Currently planned and future public sector procurements are therefore likely to go ahead using guidance that is known to be seriously deficient and/or advisors whose skills have not been updated in line with current practice.   

Target participants 

Those willing to share their experience of procurement under different frameworks, whether as bidders or buyers and of what happened afterwards.

Those willing to share private sector experience from industries which spend heavily on the security of their own systems (people processes as well as technology) at all levels (e.g. financial services, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and aerospace).

Those with “authority” as policy makers, performance auditors and regulators so that they can work together with customers and suppliers to help encourage (or mandate) better practice in future.

Benefits to participants

Mutual education of buyers and suppliers, both public and private sector, to help bring forward new projects which will help meet the cost and risk reduction targets of both public and private sectors.

A fair and open, but also rapid and efficient, public sector procurement regime which helps deliver more for less, including more benefit to the citizen and more profit to the shareholder at lower cost to taxpayers.


Forthcoming Meetings

Date Description


Recent Meetings

Date Description Papers
03 May 11 Subgroup Meeting Summary ReportEURIM Members & Registered Observers Only
10 Jan 11 Subgroup Meeting  
03 Nov 10 Subgroup Meeting Summary ReportEURIM Members & Registered Observers Only
06 Sep 10 First Subgroup Meeting  


Subgroup Outputs

Date Description
Jun 11 The consolidating security market brings procurement efficiency and effectiveness opportunities


Other Relevant Documents and Links

Relevant Reports and Guidance

Current CESG Information Assurance Policy and Guidance

Audit Commission and the National Audit Office Review into collaborative procurement
OGC Guide to buying through Framework Agreements


Public Buying Organisations
National and Regional Buying OrganisationsEURIM Members & Registered Observers Only
Framework AgreementsEURIM Members & Registered Observers Only
List of UK Public Sector Framework Agreements in relation to the ICT SectorEURIM Members & Registered Observers Only
Framework DatabaseEURIM Members & Registered Observers Only


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- UK/EU Competitiveness


- Public Service Delivery


- Information Governance


- Information Society Workforce Skills


- Cyber Security & E-Crime


- Communications


- Digital Single Market

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