Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Setting Framework for Success

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Setting Framework for Success

Article excerpt

Byline: By Doug Pitt

Modern local government is concerned with all aspects of the procurement process from identification of the requirement to delivery and performance and complex relationships management.

Framework agreements are becoming an increasingly important tool to procure a wide variety of operational and professional services to support in-house service provision, smooth out workload peaks and access specialist services on a needs led basis.

A framework agreement seems to mean different things to different people - some think of it as a type of "term contract" while others see it as a "partnership agreement".

According to the European Commission a framework agreement is an agreement between one or more contracting authorities and one or more economic operators, the purpose of which is to establish the terms governing contracts to be awarded during a given period, in particular with regard to price and, where appropriate, the quantity envisaged.

There are many reasons for a client to consider a framework agreement including:

* When the anticipated workload cannot be matched by in-house resources.

* To rationalise the service supply chain by establishing a client approved "select" list.

* To establish clear and auditable management and procurement guidelines.

Framework agreements are relatively simple to specify, award and manage, providing the client with an immediate draw down of a wide range of specified skills at agreed rates.

A good agreement provides:

* Access to a wide range of skills and services that can broaden and reinforce the in-house skills to meet fluctuations in workload, changes in priorities, etc.

* The ability to appoint several service-providers under one agreement, to bring different skills and experience to projects.

* The ability to award discreet contracts to the service-provider(s)

* Support to the 4C best value principles. They address the areas of challenge and competition. …

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