NHS PROCUREMENT 60-SECOND BRIEFING

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Green Paper: The future of Frameworks and DPS

This is the first of a series of bite-sized briefings on key aspects of the Government’s Green Paper, Transforming Public Procurement.

 

Introduction

The Government’s Green Paper, Transforming Public Procurement, proposes radical reform of the current legal framework for public procurement. In the first in a series of 60-second briefings, we take a look at the future of frameworks and DPSs under the proposals.

Why change the way frameworks operate?

The Government wants to cut red tape for both buyers and bidders. At the same time, they want to allow more innovative approached to procurement. Existing approaches to frameworks undermine these goals.

A new type of framework and new rules on term and refresh

Under PCR2015, frameworks are limited in duration to four years without clear justification. The Government is faced with a dilemma – how to keep administration low for buyers but ensure healthy competition is not stifled by freezing the market, which is the effect of frameworks. The Green Paper proposes that there are two types of framework – open and closed. The rules for an ‘closed’ framework will remain largely the same and will have a four-year term. An ‘open’ framework would allow a duration of up to eight years, but that framework must be refreshed (allow new suppliers to join and/or update their information and bids) at regular intervals. Interestingly, an ‘open’ framework must be refreshed at 3 years but refresh after that is not mandatory. This gives rise to a five-year period in which suppliers can be frozen out of the market.

A new DPS+

Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) are supposed to be a more flexible form of framework and allow suppliers and details to be added/updated at any time. The current rules on DPS only allowed them to be used for commonly available good and services (effectively off the shelf purchases). Any procurements from a DPS+ must use the new competitive, flexible procedure outlined in the Green Paper. This will give buyers much more freedom about how they will procure goods and services, but bidders will need to be prepared for the way such requirements are procured to shift from the current, pretty standardised approach.

Fees can be charged for use of both frameworks or DPS+

Buyers or hubs are not allowed to charge access fees on a DPS. The new proposals envisage the charging of fees on both frameworks and DPS+. However, any fees must be a) proportionate, b) only used for the public good and c) must be transparently described on the central register (see below).

A central register of all frameworks and DPS

The Government will introduce a new central register showing all frameworks and DPS that each Contracting Authority is entitled to use.

We work with our clients to help them deliver more for less from their contracts. We procure and manage thousands of contracts on behalf of our clients, helping them drive down costs, manage change and ensure suppliers perform in accordance with the contract. If you’d like to discuss how we can help you improve the procurement and whole-life management of your contracts, call Jonathan Elsmore-Wickens on 07979 495986.

 


About Lifecycle

We work with our clients to help them deliver more for less from their contracts. We procure and manage thousands of contracts on behalf of our clients, helping them drive down costs, manage change and ensure suppliers perform in accordance with the contract. If you’d like to discuss how we can help your Trust or ICS improve the procurement and whole-life management of your contracts, call Jonathan Elsmore-Wickens on 07979 495986.