The ins and outs of government purchasing

Government Business looks at some of the latest agreements on the CCS frameworks, including: Digital Services; Personal Protective Equipment; Local Authority Software Applications; Enterprise Application Support Services; Technology Services; Non-Medical Non-Clinical; and Vehicle Hire.

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) brings together policy, advice and direct buying; providing commercial services to the public sector and saving money for the taxpayer. The CCS brings policy, advice and direct buying together in a single organisation to: make savings for customers in both central government and the wider public sector; achieve maximum value from every commercial relationship; and improve the quality of service delivery for common goods and services across government.

Working with over 1,400 organisations in the public sector, CCS’s services are provided by more than 2,600 suppliers. The CCS is responsible for: managing the procurement of common goods and services, so public sector organisations with similar needs achieve value by buying as a single customer; improving supplier and contract management across government; increasing savings for the taxpayer by centralising buying requirements for common goods and services and bringing together smaller projects; and leading on procurement policy on behalf of the UK government.

The CCS is in place to make sure that small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) have access to government contract opportunities, making it easier for them to do business with the government, and making sure that 25 per cent of government’s spend, either directly or in supply chains, goes to SMEs by 2015.
Additionally, CCS makes sure that departments publish details of future projects and contracts on the Contracts Finder website every six months, giving businesses the confidence and time to invest in relevant skills, labour and capabilities to win these contracts. It works to obtain simpler, more flexible EU procurement rules in Brussels to support economic growth by making the procurement process faster, less costly and more effective for both business and procurers; this will affect more than £45 billion of central government spend (more than £230 billion for the UK public sector) every year.

This will help commissioners of public services to become more effective through the Commissioning Academy and use commercial intelligence more effectively to improve the value gained from contracts across government.

Terms and conditions
As a guide for suppliers and buyers there is a standard set of terms and conditions for framework agreements and call-off contracts for goods and services bought under the agreement. The template for call-off contracts forms the basis of the terms and conditions in individual further competitions and can be supplemented or refined with additional terms to suit the requirement.

All CCS suppliers must submit monthly management information (MI) returns. This is done online through the MISO system. You will need to include the unique reference number (URN) for each customer listed on the return. Failure to submit MI returns correctly or within the agreed timescales may incur admin fees.

The CCS is updating its internal Customer Relationship Management system and as a result the weekly downloadable list of URNs will be changing. The existing sheet of four tabs will reduce to three, listing all live URNs with customer details, a second detailing merges and a third detailing name changes. Legacy tabs will be added for the time being showing older changes that are not present on the new system. The sub-sector is now known as organisation type and is being updated to better and more accurately describe the organisation within its sector.

CCS has signed a preferential public sector pricing agreement with Huddle for secure cloud collaboration tools. The agreement for cloud collaboration tools will help teams securely share files, manage projects and collaborate on content, projects and programmes of work.

With UK data centres to protect the sovereignty of organisations’ data, and the ability for users to maintain a full and transparent audit trail of all activities, Huddle provides a secure platform for managing information that is rated as ‘official’ under the Government Security Classification Policy.

The technology is already used in many central and local government organisations, as well as other public sector bodies, including the NHS and a variety of arm’s length bodies and charitable organisations. Huddle’s public sector-specific pricing is available to all public sector bodies that purchase through G-Cloud on the Digital Marketplace.

Sarah Hurrell, commercial director, said: “The preferential pricing scheme we have introduced with Huddle will improve the way technology is bought across government and the public sector, and will contribute to increased savings to the public purse.”

Local authority software applications
This agreement has been developed in conjunction with local authorities, the Local Government Association (LGA) and Pro5 to establish a route to market for the acquisition of software and related services to enable local authorities within the UK to deliver services to their citizens, such as revenue and benefits collection and payments and delivery of statutory functions such as social care, planning, environmental and building control, and provision of social housing.

Under the agreement suppliers are able to provide software and related services to include design, development, installation and commissioning of systems; ongoing support and maintenance; and some related business process services.

There are 11 lots to the Local Authority Software Applications agreement. Lot 1 covers the provision of software and associated services for the purpose of collection and distribution of revenue and benefit payments and National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR). Lot 2 covers the provision of software and associated services for the purpose of payment processing and cash receipting.

Lot 3 includes the provision of software and associated services for environmental, planning, building control, trading standards and licencing, while Lot 4 instructs the provision of software and associated services for libraries. Lot 5 covers the provision of software and associated services for housing and property management.

Lot 6 comprises the provision of software and associated services for social care, Lot 7 deals with the provision of software and associated services for the purposes of monitoring and improving public health, while Lot 8 covers the provision of software and associated services for civil enforcement.

Lot 9 handles the provision of systems and services to create and improve openness, interoperability and data sharing between systems, citizens and staff and improve the experiences of system users and reduce costs of transactions/interactions. Lot 10 covers the provision of software and associated services for the purpose of democratic and citizen engagement, and Lot 11 includes the provision of software and associated services for other business systems including waste management, museums, sports and recreation, registrar, burials and crematoria and GIS.

The LGA estimates that local authorities spend up to £2.5bn each year in ICT markets, with £1bn (40 per cent) of this spent on sourcing and supporting all software applications. Analysis of relevant supplier incomes showed that they generate revenues of approximately £500m from the UK local government market for the applications intended to be covered by this procurement.

CCS led the procurement activity in partnership with Pro5, the London ICT Programme and the LGA. The procurement is designed to deliver parts of the LGA National Category Management Strategy for ICT in local government. Stakeholder engagement identified some key issues to address within this market which are: disjointed buying resulting in large disparity in price; poor service/outcomes delivered by suppliers; a lack on innovation; and a slow pace of change within the supply market.

Reaping the benefits
The agreement is for the purchase of common line of business application solutions for local authorities e.g. social care case management systems or library systems; and supporting services such as implementation, enhancement, integration and application support services. Main features and benefits include: Lot structure to identify specialist SME suppliers; increasing transparency of price through provision of catalogues, including support and maintenance; catalogues of available Application Programme Interfaces and Software Development Kits; co-ordinated SRM activity with local authority partners; tie-in to both central and wider public sector strategy, particularly the LGA ICT Commercial Strategy; removal of automatic price increases linked to indexation; and the use of Open Book terms, particularly important for support and maintenance costs.

This agreement can be accessed in a number of different ways, based on different factors including your requirements, size, drivers and targets, market knowledge, and preference. There is no requirement to register in order to use the agreement, however, if you want to use any of our tools such as the Government eMarketplace or eSourcing tool you will need to register for access.

To use the agreement you should undertake the following steps: review the guidance documentation and specification; determine your requirement (this can be for software or a number of support services associated with the software market, or any combination of the above); and determine the best option for your procurement, direct award or further competition, and action this in line with the parameters outlined below.
When running a further competition, you should award on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender and must provide suppliers with the methodology behind the evaluation, including the evaluation criteria and weightings that are applied to each criterion. Under this agreement direct award and further competition may be used to place orders with the suppliers.

As the agreement has only recently been launched no savings have been claimed yet. However, in the future the following methodologies will apply for catalogue purchases. Savings are measured on a direct comparison with prices charged by that supplier in the previous calendar year and for contracts awarded by further competition, the suppliers’ provide management information which enables CCS to make comparisons between bids and establish any savings that have been achieved.

The agreement and call-offs include benchmarking provisions, open book pricing and have removed automatic price increases in line with indexes. There are also terms to allow customers to be fully open with each other about the prices they are receiving under the agreement.

Digital Services 2
This is the second iteration of the Digital Services agreement, with Digital Services 1 having expired on 8 August 2015. Digital Services is a dynamic style framework with the specific aim of helping the public sector buy, design, build and deliver digital services using an agile approach, by procuring the appropriate people and resources to deliver agile software development. The framework is based on the approach detailed in the Government Digital Service design manual and complies with the Digital by Default Standard. CCS has designed specific contract terms and conditions that reflect the flexible, iterative way of an agile approach.
For all central government (including arm’s length bodies and non-departmental public bodies) customers, CCS operates a managed procurement service, working with departments to buy as a single customer – the Crown.

The unit of measure and focus is the project team, purchased either as individual roles or purchased as a team made up of a number and type of roles to design, build and deliver digital services. Digital Services is based on a core set of digital capabilities. The catalogue on the Digital Marketplace lists these alongside 18 digital roles at either junior, intermediate or senior level.

Digital Services has been built to create a diverse pool of specialist agile service providers to enable government and the public sector move traditional services to a user centric design service, which is lower cost and flexible to enable continuous development and improvement. It specifically enables and supports the government digital by default strategy and Cloud adoption.

The Digital Services 2 commercial agreement has been designed, in collaboration with the Government Digital Service using an agile approach, starting with user needs and business outcomes, with lots of customer and supplier engagement, feedback and further iteration. Government terms and conditions have been specifically designed for the agile way of working, ensuring that project developed intellectual property rights (IPR) are owned by the customer and can be shared and re‑used with any other public sector customers.

For the first iteration of Digital Services, savings of £6.4 million were made against a spend of £14 million. As digital services are generally a new service with no previous spend to compare against, the benefit methodology is to take an average of all bids under the tender and compare to the winning bid.

The Digital Services 2 agreement supports the delivery of the Government Digital Strategy by: giving public sector customers easy access to suppliers with the right capabilities, who comply with the Digital by Default Standard and align with the Government Service Design Manual; providing a large, diverse pool of capable suppliers from small and medium size businesses to the agile practices of the traditional tier-one/system integration suppliers; ensuring supplier capacity to enable the delivery of digital projects at multiple UK locations; and providing a flexible and speedy route to meet customers’ digital project commissioning requirements.
The agreement is dynamic in style, regularly refreshed, following agile methodology in short delivery Sprint, learning from and incorporating lessons learned in the next iteration of the framework.

A managed procurement service
The Buyers’ Guide provides detailed information about how the agreement is set up and how to buy using the further competition process. In order to identify which suppliers you need to invite to tender, you can use the online Digital Marketplace catalogue which enables you to easily filter in all or any of the framework criteria including digital capability, digital role (junior, intermediate and senior levels), location and technology or language. This means you can create a shortlist of suppliers to invite further competition from the longlist on the catalogue.

To find the Digital Services 2 templates and supplier lists: log in to the eSourcing system; hover over the RFX(s) tab at the top and click on ‘Manage RFX(s)’; click on the ‘Templates’ tab; scroll through to page 17 and you will find the template halfway down the page, look for ‘RM1043 Digital Services 2 Template’; do not click on the template name, instead scroll right and select the check box aligned with the template and then click on the tab ‘Create from Template’; and then you can create your RFP by completing the fields and clicking on ‘Save’.

The agreement is designed as a single lot with multiple search or filter criteria to help you identify capable suppliers including digital capability, role (junior, intermediate and senior levels), location and technology or language. CCS provides access to IT consultancy services through the following agreements: Digital Services; GCloud; ConsultancyONE; and Contingent LabourONE.

Technology Services
This agreement has been developed in collaboration with the Government Digital Service. It is an enabler for public sector organisations to take significant steps towards the ‘Digital by Default’ agenda. Its primary purpose is to provide technology services to central government, local authorities and NHS trusts.

The agreement provides access to specialist suppliers who can provide the services under individual lots, as well as suppliers who can provide multiple services across a number of lots facilitated by means of a collaboration agreement. You can place call‑off contracts via a further competition by providing suppliers with the details of your requirement and each supplier will submit a priced solution against those requirements.

This agreement is the next iteration of its predecessor RM717 – IT Managed Services.
The agreement has been redesigned to comply with Government Digital Service requirements to disaggregate large and complex contracts. A lot structure has been adopted to accommodate this. This agreement has been designed to deliver local and regional IT services such as desktop; enterprise application managed services; computer rooms and local networks services by actively encouraging SMEs to participate.

The procurement to establish this agreement was aligned with the government ICT Strategy of March 2011 and supports the core objectives of: reducing waste and project failure, stimulating economic growth and using ICT to enable and deliver change. The agreement is fully managed by CCS. It will apply supplier relationship management principles to effectively manage the suppliers and continually monitor the cost of service packages and further competitions to ensure best value is maintained.

Separate lots
Small businesses have been encouraged to participate by disaggregating the services and offering them in separate lots. The agreement is divided into 11 lots.

1 – Help / service desk: The single point of contact between a service provider and users within an organisation. A typical service desk manages incidents and service requests, and also handles communication with the users.

2 – Desktop support: The technical services offered by a support organisation to a user(s) experiencing problems with their computers. Support may be either hardware or software running on the affected computing device. Support may include but is not limited to installations, moves, adds, changes and disposition, and local remote services.

3 – Network management: A set of hardware and/or software tools that allow an IT organisation to supervise the individual components of a network within a larger network management framework. Network management system components assist with, but are not limited to, network device discovery; network device monitoring; network performance analysis and intelligent notifications.

4 – Network and content security: Tasks or processes related to network security which can include, but are not limited to, device management; monitoring and remediation; email security including anti-spam, anti-malware and IP filtering; network intrusion detection and prevention; asset classification and change management; data leak protection, and the creation of access control policies.

5 – Infrastructure and platform, maintenance and support: Manage all library infrastructure hardware and software operations, including server and storage systems. Support production applications, whether open source, developed in-house, or third party.
Break-fix — Focused on servers and storage. Platform support and maintenance is the management of hardware and software architecture in order to allow applications to operate. Platforms can include one or several of the following hardware and/or software components: — hardware architecture; operating systems; programming languages and frameworks; runtime libraries; application servers; databases; other middle-ware products.

6 – Audit services and asset management: Systematic and independent examination of data, statements, records, operations and performances (financial or otherwise) of IT software and hardware. Audit services are formal inspections and verifications to check whether a standard or set of guidelines is being followed, that records are accurate, or that efficiency and effectiveness targets are being met.

7 – IT infrastructure transition services and delivery: To assist customers when they need to move, re-build or re-deploy IT services from one organisation to another. Service Transition also makes sure that changes to services and service management processes between existing and new service provider are carried out in a coordinated way.

8 – Service integration / service integrator: To manage enterprise IT services delivered by multiple suppliers across different delivery models in one integrated enterprise service management process. IT service integration should address the following key challenges many customers struggle with: complexity, managing their internal and external suppliers within multi sourcing environments; cost and effort, ensuring lower costs and improved performance are not losing ground to increased effort in effective supplier management; transparency, ensuring there is end-to-end and cross-supplier service transparency with clear and consistent or unclear service reports; roles and responsibilities are clear and risks are managed to ensure no compromising contractual terms and conditions, regulatory non-compliance, or interrupted service provision; and compliance with contractual agreements, regulatory requirements, industry standards and business objectives.

9 – Disaster recovery / business continuity: Disaster recovery policies and procedures that are related to preparing for recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure which are vital to an organisation’s business continuity, after a natural or human-induced disaster.
This service will include, but is not limited to, resilience testing, recovery testing and planning and contingency planning and support.

10 – Back up and data services: A remote, on-line or managed backup service providing users with a system for the backup, storage, and recovery of computer files. Online backup organisations will provide this type of service to end users.

11 – Asset disposal: A computer recycling service that offers, but is not limited to, data destruction to UK Government CESG standards with certificated proof of erasure for every hard drive or data bearing asset; a managed IT disposal service that can be fully integrated with roll-out programmes and other service partners; full audit trail with itemised reporting; IT disposal services are WEEE compliant.

Discover the benefits
The benefits include reduced timescales and costs for the procurement of services – you do not need to run a full OJEU procurement, this has already been undertaken by the CCS. You simply need to identify your requirements, present these to the market and award a contract. The agreement is also easy to use, with expert commercial advice available from CCS.

Alternative solutions to longer term contracts and helps to ensure services and solutions are scalable for future service models, responding to business demand, enabling you to take advantage of the benefits of new and changing technologies. Additionally, a multi-vendor supply base environment taking advantage of the benefits available in the wider market and supporting the UK growth agenda through opening market opportunities to specialist small businesses.

Other benefits include: legality – the agreement is fully compliant with EU procurement regulations, EU procurement rules introduced in 2006 specifically recognise framework agreements as a legitimate route to market.

This reduces procurement risk for you and reduces bureaucracy in the procurement process; assured supplier standards – providers appointed are ‘prequalified’ as to their general suitability. This means when buying services you are assured that they can meet their specified requirements; pre-defined terms and conditions – terms and conditions of contract have been established and all agreement suppliers have signed and accepted this agreement and terms and conditions of call-off. You are able to propose your own special terms provided there is no material amendment to the agreement terms; and collaboration – suppliers are able to collaborate to provide a cross organisational services by way of the collaboration agreement.

In the first instance please read the customer buyer’s guide for full details on how you can access the agreement. A further competition is the default method for awarding call-off contracts. You must provide the suppliers with a minimum set of information that can be used to help propose solutions and price against requirements effectively. If you require support in developing your market proposition, this can be procured through the use of our managed services or a private sector supplier.

Further competitions may be run using the CCS eSourcing tool or your own choice of eSourcing method/tool/portal. However, please note that the RFQ and/or Free Text Requisition functions provided on the government eMarketplace platform are not suitable or approved for use under this agreement.

Personal protective equipment
This agreement provides a comprehensive range of personal protective equipment (PPE) including clothing, accessories and equipment across two Lots. Firstly, a ‘One Stop Shop’ including: general PPE suitable for use in different environments which includes head, ear, eye, face, respiratory and hand protection; protective footwear suitable for use in different environments; protective clothing suitable for use in different environments; and accessories which include but are not limited to working at heights, working in enclosed spaces and first aid, suitable for use in different environments.

Secondly, specialist protective clothing suitable for use in different environments such as the nuclear industry, forestry and emergency services, including anti-stab vests, motor cycle clothing, fire protection and life jackets. There are thousands of products and suppliers in the marketplace for personal protective equipment and there is a great deal of expenditure over EU threshold. Customers advised that they would welcome a framework with multiple competed suppliers to provide them with a lean route to market which provides them with procurement compliance.

A Prior Information Notice (PIN) was issued which advertised the upcoming opportunity and invited suppliers to complete a questionnaire, which would help form our strategy. At the start of the project a stakeholder group was established to thoroughly research requirements, which would later form an integral part of the specification development. The stakeholder group consisted of people from across the public sector to ensure market and category requirements were covered.

As a result of the early stakeholder and supplier engagement this enabled us to: develop the lotting strategy for the framework agreement; create a set of procurement documents which reflected the specifics of the insurance market; and create a number of standard templates which can be used by customers accessing the framework.
Benefits include: lean procurement route to market; compliance with EU procurement legislation; standardised terms and conditions; template contracts and call-off documentation; accurate management information; process savings – allowing customers to concentrate on core activities; discounted list prices; and opportunities to carry out further competition to deliver further savings.

To ensure savings suppliers bid a discount to quoted list prices as part of their tender for the framework agreement, and customers can achieve more savings from carrying out a further competition.

Vehicle hire services
This agreement is designed to enable access to vehicle hire services across six lots. Lot 1, UK vehicle hire, covers: standard passenger cars in a range of makes, models and engine size ranges. Offering a choice of diesel or petrol, auto or manual transmission, and electric or ultra low emission vehicles; light commercial vehicles, up to and including, vehicles with a maximum payload of 3.5 tonnes; and hire service of on-road 4-wheel drive vehicles, with electric or manual drive capability.

Lot 2 covers UK 4x4 wheel vehicle hire with electric or manual 4x4 wheel drive capability. These vehicles have full off‑road capability, and can have a tow bar with the ability to tow up to 3.5 tonnes.

Lot 3 covers UK minibus hire, consisting of self drive nine to 17 seater minibuses, while Lot 4 looks at heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and heavy commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes hire. All the correct operator licences and permits are in place to meet the appropriate legislation in the UK and Europe.

Lot 5 focuses upon UK car share, which includes: car share solutions and expert support to help you design car share solutions; and access to pay as you go, short term hires, shared vehicle assets.

Lot 6 covers international vehicle hire. Vehicles hire includes standard passenger cars in a range of makes and models, and engine size range, offering a choice of diesel or petrol, auto or manual transmission. This covers light commercial vehicles, up to and including vehicles with a maximum payload of 3.5 tonnes, 4-wheel drive vehicles, with electric or manual 4-wheel drive on road capability, Minibuses, off road 4 x 4 vehicles and Luton box vans with tail lift. The latter can be used for off road use for military exercises.

This agreement is available to all central government and wider public sector organisations and is set to achieve potential savings in the region of £19.1 million, with an increase in the scope of vehicles provided compared to the previous agreements.

The improved service is through a series of mandatory requirements such as data security, refreshed key performance indicators (KPIs), including the introduction of service credits, and pro-active supplier management.

Of the 12 suppliers available, two are small to medium sized businesses and eight are new suppliers to our agreements. There is price protection for the life of the agreement, which introduces a new innovative lot for car share which offers you cost savings with the introduction of shared fleet resources and pay as you go models.

Direct award without further competition can be done if you can determine that: your vehicle hire requirements can be met by the suppliers’ catalogues and description of the services as set out in Framework Schedule 2 (Vehicle Hire Services and Key Performance Indicators); and all of the terms of the proposed call-off contract are laid down in this framework agreement and the template call-off terms do not require amendment or any supplementary terms and conditions (other than the inclusion of optional provisions already provided for in the template call-off terms).

If all of the terms of the proposed call-off contract are not laid down in the framework agreement and you need the supplier to develop proposals or a solution to meet your requirements or you need to amend or refine the template call-off terms to reflect your requirements to the extent permitted by the regulations and guidance, you should run a further competition.

Enterprise application support services
This agreement provides access to direct support and maintenance for Enterprise Application Software. All suppliers can support customisation and provide support independently of normal product lifecycles (for example provide continued support to legacy systems). Services include but are not limited to: break-fix support; advice on available patches; development, testing and implementation of bug fixes/workarounds/patches/updates; monitoring operation to assure application and information availability and integrity; maintaining and sharing a knowledge-base of known issues and solutions; assistance with upgrading, replacing, or otherwise changing the Enterprise Application Software.

There are 20 suppliers in total ranging from multi-national to SME organisations, providing services through four lots: Lot 1 – Oracle E Business Suite Enterprise Application Support; Lot 2 – SAP Enterprise Application Support Services; Lot 3 – Other Specified Enterprise Application Support Services; and Lot 4 – Other Non-Specified Enterprise Application Support Services.

This agreement was developed to: align to government ICT strategy; encourage competition by offering alternatives to proprietary vendor support renewals; provide a viable and compliant procurement route for Enterprise Application Support Services; raise public sector awareness of alternative support options; and avoid unnecessary upgrades or replacement cycles.

Engagement with customers
Current standard practice is to purchase maintenance and support from the software owner as part of the annual license renewal. This agreement provides the option to separate the ongoing maintenance and support from license renewals to enable competition and price savings of up to 50 per cent. Engagement with customers and suppliers took place in 2013 to establish the requirements and the proposed way forward.

The framework benefits from: achieving savings against current support renewals; securing best value through competition amongst a range of providers; being a compliant procurement route for Enterprise Application Support Services; providing an option to separate support renewals from original license purchase; and the opportunity to avoid costly upgrades.

Further competition is required except where only one supplier features on the relevant lot or only one supplier within the relevant lot provides the relevant Enterprise Application Support Services. When running a further competition, you should award on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender and must provide suppliers with the methodology behind the evaluation, including the evaluation criteria and weightings that are applied to each criterion.

As the agreement has only recently been launched no savings have been claimed yet. However, in the future the following methodology will apply: Last price paid – New Contract Price = Saving. Customers will be asked to provide the last price paid for services to accurately calculate savings. Suppliers will also have to be transparent in their pricing, via transparency clauses in the Call-off contracts.

Non medical non clinical
The Non-Medical Non-Clinical (NMNC) agreement provides access to temporary staff, interims and contractors in any white collar or blue collar role from the most junior to the most senior, including board level roles across eight lots.

Lot 1 – Neutral Vendor Supply. A neutral vendor does not supply temporary workers directly from their own resource pool. They use an approved supply chain to complete the call-off agreement. For the customer receiving the service, the provision is seamless as you contract only with the neutral vendor and not with the supply chain directly.

Lot 2 - Master Vendor Supply. A master vendor takes overall responsibility for providing customers with their temporary worker needs. They will provide temporary workers directly from their own resource pool and may make up any shortfall by managing supplementary supply from an approved sub-contractor supply chain in line with Framework Agreement Schedule 7: Sub-Contractor(s). You contract only with the master vendor, and they are responsible for their supply chain.

Lots 3 to 8 (Lot 3 - Admin and Clerical Supply; Lot 4 - Corporate Functions Supply; Lot 5 - IT Professionals Supply; Lot 6 - Legal Supply; Lot 7 - Clinical Coding Supply; and Lot 8 – Ancillary Staff Supply). These lots are for the direct award or further competition of temporary workers from agencies awarded a place on the relevant lot according to their ability and competitiveness in supplying temporary workers within the job categories appropriate to each lot.

The agreement was developed to: manage and mitigate the legal and commercial risks associated with engaging temporary staff; utilise and reflect the Agenda for Change pay rates; introduce a single point of contact for all requisitions, queries and interim personnel issues; deliver significant invoice management efficiencies through the introduction of consolidated invoicing; provide regular and detailed management information; reduce the administrative burden related to the engagement of interim personnel; improve the time taken to engage interim personnel; and improve the quality, availability and performance of interim personnel.

There is the benefit of a choice of pay rate. An agreement based on the NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) pay rates and pay bands including provision for compliance with Agency Worker Regulations following 12 weeks of service. Additionally, there is a clear charge rate with a straightforward rate card showing charge rates for both PAYE and limited company temporary workers based on the AfC pay rates. The purpose is to illustrate changes to the average actual rates paid by NHS trusts in 2014/15 to the rates actually paid and the benefits therein.

Through the use of the agreement for all NHS requirements, the following non-cashable benefits will also be generated: helps support the NHS with their procurement strategy to ensure that the right resources, with the right capabilities and skills are in the right place, at the right time and at the right cost to meet required departmental objectives; due to the consolidation of health spend on temporary staffing, suppliers will continue to work closely with HR and procurement managers to ensure that staffing options and resource strategies of departments are implemented and aligned with their wider business strategy and goals of the NHS; and allows NHS departments to have access to suppliers of certain skill sets that are in short supply at competitive rates.

Other benefits include: bargaining power of customers will increase as cost pressures rise and demand falls; compliance with NHS Employers standards for safer recruitment continue to be met, including but not limited to, criminal record checks, right to work in the UK checks, occupational health checks, employment history and reference checks, professional registration and qualification checks and identity checks; an established and effective system for supplier management information collection; and controls of health spend by allowing customers access to supplier rates.

Providing simple tools
You can award call-off of services directly where the terms (meaning the information on award of call-off contained in the framework agreement and the call-off terms and conditions) are sufficiently precise and complete to identify the most economically advantageous offer. This will be the case where the commercial and technical specifications and all the other contract documents define the services, the supply of services and the application of the prices with sufficient precision and completeness.

To award by direct call-off you should identify all suitable suppliers, by reference to the lot descriptions and regions supplied with services. CCS provides a simple tool which asks you to input: whether you want to hire temporary work-seekers (employment business) or to employ fixed-term candidates (employment agency); which lot you are interested in (a list is provided for you to choose from); which pay bands you are interested in; and which regions you are in.

The tool will identify the name and branch information of the suitable suppliers. You should then rank the supplier with the most economically advantageous offer. Go in turn to each of the next highest ranking suppliers until the requirement is met, if the supplier awarded the call-off is unable on occasion to supply suitable temporary workers. You could award for a defined period of time, providing the period falls within the duration of the framework agreement.

You should award call-off of services by conducting a further competition where the collection of terms laid down in the framework agreement is not sufficiently precise or complete to cover the service requirements. This will be the case where the commercial and technical specifications and all the other contract documents do not define the services, the supply of services and the application of the prices with sufficient precision and completeness to meet your requirements of the particular supply contract.

The basic terms cannot be renegotiated nor can the specification be substantively changed. Basic terms can be refined or supplemented where the particular service requirements were not and could not be foreseen when the framework agreement was established.

To award call-off by further competition you should identify which suppliers are capable of meeting your requirements. Unless it is clear how to objectively determine which suppliers are capable of meeting the requirements of the particular supply contract, then you should invite all suppliers to participate in the further competition. Conversely, you can issue a written or electronic tender documentation to all capable suppliers, with a reasonable time limit for return of tenders. You can modify award criteria, providing they derive from the original award criteria and the capable suppliers are notified of this. Award criteria that are completely new cannot be introduced in a further competition.

Furthermore, evaluate the returned tenders against the award criteria, using an evaluation plan and the weighting (totalling 100 per cent) that best reflects your circumstances and requirements, within the range limits, or award to the supplier with the most economically advantageous offer, represented by the highest score. If the supplier awarded the call-off of service is unable on occasion to supply suitable work-seekers then you should go in turn to each of the next highest scoring suppliers until the requirement is met.

Decide whether and how to group job descriptions for the purposes of making awards of call-off. You could award for a defined period of time (e.g. a year), providing the period falls fully within the duration of the framework agreement.

Grounds maintenance equipment
A framework for the supply and distribution of motorised and handheld grounds maintenance equipment such as: domestic and professional grass mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters and chainsaws, spreaders and sprayers, compact tractors, woodchippers and shredders. This framework includes the provision for associated equipment maintenance, servicing and repairs and disposal of equipment.

The framework agreement is available to all public sector bodies, including central government and the wider public sector, social housing organisations and voluntary and community sector bodies.

The benefits for customers include: assured supplier standards – suppliers are pre-qualified as to their general suitability giving customers confidence in the quality of service/products they can provide; reduced timescales – with no need to publish requirements by OJEU or pre-qualify suppliers; legality – fully legal and in line with EU regulations, reducing risk to customers; easy to use – customers need only to identify their requirements, present these to the market and award a contract; pre-defined terms and conditions – all providers have signed and accepted this agreement and terms and conditions of call off; and aggregation of spend – customers will receive the benefits of an aggregated volume of spend and the benefits associated with an increased leverage in the market.

Stores & fleet workshops
This agreement is for the provision of fully or partially managed materials stores, fully or partially managed fleet and workshop operations and fully or partially managed fleet and workshop operations including the procurement of fleet. The framework agreement is available to all public sector bodies, including central government and the wider public sector, social housing organisations and voluntary and community sector bodies.

Benefits include: assured supplier standards – suppliers are pre-qualified as to their general suitability giving customers a confidence in the quality of service/products they can provide; reduced timescales – with no need to publish requirements by OJEU or pre-qualify suppliers; and legality – fully legal and in line with EU regulations, reducing risk to customers.

Other benefits are: the agreement if easy to use – customers need only to identify their requirements, present these to the market and award a contract; there are pre-defined terms and conditions – all providers have signed and accepted this agreement and terms and conditions of call off; aggregation of spend – customers will receive the benefits of an aggregated volume of spend and the benefits associated with an increased leverage in the market; and there is supplier choice - this framework offers excellent choice with seven providers available on each lot of the framework.

Staff benefits
This framework offers customers a quick, simple and competitive route to the purchasing the provision of staff benefits. Aimed at corporate level, this framework offers employers access to providers of staff benefits schemes. The framework also includes a range of staff benefits designed to attract, motivate and retain employees.

All of the suppliers on this framework have been selected for their ability to provide customers with a comprehensive range of services that combine quality and value. The staff benefits available under the framework include: Cycle to Work Salary Sacrifice Scheme; Childcare Vouchers Salary Sacrifice Scheme; Holiday Purchasing Salary Sacrifice Scheme; Qualifications and Work Place Training Salary Sacrifice Scheme; Mobile and IT Purchasing Salary Sacrifice Scheme; Workplace Parking Salary Sacrifice Scheme; Travel To work Salary Sacrifice Scheme; healthcare and well-being benefits; lifestyle voluntary benefits (retail and leisure discounts); and a fully managed benefits service.

The framework is available for use nationally by any public sector body in the UK including: schools and academies; local authority establishments; police and emergency services; NHS & HSC Bodies; central government departments and their agencies; registered charities; and registered social landlords. This framework is compliant with UK/EU procurement legislation – we’ve done the work, so there’s no need for you to run a full EU procurement process. Suppliers listed on the framework were assessed during the procurement process for their financial stability, track record, experience and technical and professional ability.

What you see is what you pay – there are no additional charges. There are pre-agreed terms and conditions to underpin all orders so no need to worry. There is also great value, operating a salary sacrifice scheme allows employers to make savings on National Insurance contributions and each supplier offers cost effective options. Additionally, there is minimal administration - each scheme is designed to be fast and easy to implement, reducing the administrative burden on employers.

Lastly, and most importantly, it motivates staff, providing salary sacrifice schemes which can help staff to make their wages go further each month.

Laundry and linen services
This multi-supplier agreement provides central government and wider public sector customers with access to laundry and linen services. It covers the collection, wash, finish and return of a wide range of items, including bedding, towels, clothing, theatre wear, uniforms (including hi-vis and other specialist items), gowns, shower curtains, mops, table linen and bags (including plastic, polyester, and water soluble), and other items such as bath mats, slings, gloves, cloths, bed pads.

The agreement follows on from the successful operation of the previous Laundry and Linen agreement (RM849), which expired on 24 May 2015. It provides continued provision of a wide range of laundry and linen services and opportunity for savings to the health sector, wider public sector and central government.

The agreement was developed following consultation with the health community and supply market, with the assistance of a stakeholder group drawn from a range of NHS trusts and police forces.

When using the agreement mandatory services are the processing (wash and finish) and transportation (collection and return) of linen items owned by (or hired from) the supplier.

Optional additional services include: weekend and Bank Holiday services; express turnaround service; on-site top-up service; management of on-site bulk linen storeroom(s); specific packing requirements; presentation on hangers; management of uniforms; scrub suit/theatre garment locker service; curtain hanging and removal; total linen management service; sewing room; repair and alteration; logo affixing service; dry cleaning; on-site theatre top-up service; and colour flash affixing service.

The benefits of the agreement are: consistent terms and conditions of contract; standardised key performance indicators; robust and flexible solution; range of regional and national suppliers; compliant with CFPP0104 (Choice Framework for Local Policy and Procedures); opportunity to achieve further savings through further competition; template contracts and call-off documentation for ease of use; and wider range of services available.

The standard prices used in the call-off procedure are the maximum chargeable by the supplier but may be reduced through the further competition process. Maximum prices cannot be exceeded throughout the life of the agreement, but can be decreased in accordance with the call-off procedure.

Building materials and associated services
There are thousands of products and suppliers in the marketplace for buildings materials and there is a great deal of expenditure over EU threshold. Customers advised that they would welcome a framework with multiple competed suppliers to provide them with a lean route to market which provides them with procurement compliance.

This agreement provides a comprehensive range of buildings materials and associated services across eight lots: Buildings Materials and Associated Services ‘One Stop Shop’; Plumbing and Heating; Electrical; Timber and Joinery; Workshop, Industrial and Electrical Tools; Paints and Solvents; Flooring; and Small Tool and Plant Hire Services.

Lot 1: Building Materials & Associated Services ‘One Stop Shop’. Supply and delivery of materials across a range of goods categories within scope of building materials. Including but not limited to heavy and light side building materials, plumbing and heating, electrical, timber and joinery, workshop, industrial and electric tools and paint and solvents, flooring and tiling, and personal protective equipment. This lot intended to be a ‘one stop shop’ covering the scope of goods categories included in Lots 2,3,4,5,6,7. Additional services within the scope of this lot include imprest van stock and dedicated counter services.

Lot 2: Plumbing and Heating. Supply and delivery of plumbing and heating products for use in residential and commercial settings. Including but not limited to heating, ventilation and boilers, kitchens and bathrooms fixtures and fittings, copper fittings and brassware, plastic plumbing, drainage and waste, commercial plumbing and sustainable energy solutions, plumbing sundries and accessories.

Lot 3: Electrical. Supply and delivery of electrical products for use in residential and commercial settings. Including but not limited to lighting, distribution equipment and cable management, data networking, test and detection, cables, wiring and accessories, electrical control, fire detection and security and sustainable energy solutions, heating and cooling, mobile, mobile lighting.

Lot 4: Timber and Joinery. Supply and delivery of timber and joinery products. Including but not limited to timber, sheet materials, doors and windows, decorative mouldings and fencing materials.

Lot 5: Workshop, Industrial and Electrical Tools. Supply and delivery of workshop, industrial and electrical tools. Including but not limited to hand tools, power tools, electrical tools, machine tools, workshop equipment and accessories and fixings and fasteners.

Lot 6: Paint and Solvents. Supply and delivery of paints and solvents for use in commercial and residential settings. Including but not limited to interior paint, exterior paints, specialist paints, woodcare, undercoats and primers, decorating tools and painting sundries.

Lot 7: Flooring and Tiling. Supply and delivery of flooring and tiling for use in commercial and residential settings. Including but not limited to wood flooring, laminate flooring, vinyl, vinyl tiles, carpet tiles, carpet, ceramic floor tiles, resin flooring, entrance matting system, adhesives and sealants and flooring sundries.

Lot 8: Small Tool and Plant Hire. Supply and delivery of small tool and plant hire. Including but not limited to access equipment, hand and power tools, fixing tools, precision tools, consumables, cleaning and floor maintenance, concreting equipment, heating and cooling equipment, lifting and handling, plumbing and drainage, machine tools, surveying and location, safety and ventilation, tools and garden machinery, painting and spraying, compressors, generators and transformers, portable units.

Benefits include: a lean procurement route to market; compliance with EU procurement legislation; standardised terms and conditions; template contracts and call off documentation; accurate management information; process savings - allowing customers to concentrate on core activities; discounted list prices; and the opportunity to carry out further competition to deliver further savings.

Small business benefits
In the last financial year, small businesses benefited from £12.1 billion of government spending. In 2014 to 2015, 27.1 per cent of central government buying was with small businesses, either directly (10.9 per cent) or through the supply chain (16.2 per cent).

This exceeds the target set in the last Parliament of spending 25 per cent of the central government procurement budget with small businesses by 2015. The government is also in a good position to reach its new target for a third of central government buying to be with small businesses by 2020. Achieving this target will mean an extra £3 billion per year (in 2013 to 2014 terms) going to small firms directly or through the supply chain.

Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Matt Hancock said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy and on Small Business Saturday, I want to see as many of them as possible competing for and winning public sector contracts.

“I want to turbocharge our ambitions for small business and have £1 in every £3 of government spend going to small businesses by 2020. I look forward to seeing even more of our big suppliers sign up to the prompt payment code, and help the small businesses in their supply chain.”

John Manzoni, chief executive of the Civil Service, said: “I’ve seen for myself how innovative small business can be and government should be benefiting from what they can offer. That’s why today of all days, it’s great to see that we’re making good on our promise to open up public sector procurement to businesses of all sizes, and by creating this more diverse marketplace, we’re helping to stimulate local economies and delivering greater innovation and value for money for the taxpayer.”

Further Information
www.gov.uk

Event Diary

London Calling! Register online for The HVAC & Refrigeration Show 2018

Taking place at London’s ExCeL, ecobuild is the number one event for forward thinkers in the built environment, comprising the ecobuild conference and futurebuild districts.

Hotelympia 2018 will equip visitors with products, trends and innovations to develop their businesses.