The Government Digital Service (GDS) has this week launched the fourth round of procurement for the G-Cloud, claiming it has made it simpler for suppliers to sign up to the framework.

An OJEU contract notice for G-Cloud 4 has now been published and those interested in participating in the procurement process have until the 23rd September to submit tenders.

The G-Cloud team, which was recently integrated with GDS and has received a boost in resources, continues to spearhead Whitehall's recent cloud first policy. The G-Cloud supports this by offering the public sector a wide variety of commodity cloud-based products, which are easily viewed and purchased via an online catalogue, Cloudstore.

A huge part of the government's plans for the G-Cloud involve including more SMEs in doing business with the public sector, something which is reflected in the vast number of smaller businesses signed up to the previous frameworks.

In an effort to continue signing up more agile suppliers, GDS has attempted to make it even simpler to join G-Cloud 4. It has said that the latest framework and procurement process will include clearer instructions on how to apply and on how to carry forward services for suppliers already on G-Cloud ii or G-Cloud iii.

For example, if suppliers use the GDS Service Submission Portal, there will now be mandatory uploads for documentation so that there is no possibility of suppliers failing compliance for non-submission of documents.

Suppliers only on the G-Cloud ii framework will have to apply to G-Cloud 4 to ensure continuity for their services, as the second framework will expire on 27th October this year. After this date, if suppliers have not applied for G-Cloud 4, they will no longer be a supplier.

Those on G-Cloud iii, which runs until May 2014, can carry forward all or some of their services on G-Cloud 4.

The government also recently launched its Digital Services Framework, which will work alongside the G-Cloud and allow Whitehall to purchase tools and services from suppliers to build heavily customised, innovative digital products. This has been introduced to support the government's digital by default agenda, which aims to save £1.7 billion a year after 2015.