There are many different types of contract within the public sector. Most contracts are single supplier and therefore the procurement process will exclude all but one – this company will become the sole provider.
However, with framework agreements the contracting authority is seeking more than one supplier. And in some cases these suppliers also cover a range of industries.
What is a framework agreement?
A framework agreement establishes terms for which a group of individual contracts for one or many services can be fulfilled by one or many suppliers.
The most common use of a framework agreement is when there is no set schedule or scope for particular services. Unlike regular bids or tenders, once a company secures a place on an agreement, there is no guarantee of work.
This can deter many companies however, it is important to consider the scope of the agreement and number of contractors who secure a place. Due to the larger amount of suppliers framework agreements offer a higher chance of success for businesses that choose to tender.
In many cases a framework agreement is a way in which the contracting authority can create one blanket document for their suppliers. This means that there is no need to tender more than once. The benefit of this for companies is that once you have a place on the agreement you cannot lose it and have access to a large amount of potential work.
The tendering process
The tendering process for framework agreements follows the same procedure as the regular EU procurement model.
The contract notice is posted on both TED and Contracts Finder where you can express your interest. Following this will be the release of the pre-qualification questionnaire. Should a company be successful at this stage it will be invited to tender (ITT). The contracting authority will then notify successful companies of their place on the agreement.
Beating the competition
The important thing to note when competing for a place on a framework is that levels of competition will be much higher. This is simply due to the size of contract and higher number of places.
Although your company has a technically higher chance of success due to there being more than one approve supplier, competition can make success incredibly difficult.
Both the PQQ and ITT must be of the best quality. You should follow all rules of bid writing best practice and back up all your points with evidence and added value.
Those that do best on frameworks are those which constantly find new ways to add value to the required service. These companies will in turn stand the best chance of securing contracts when they get called off.
For more information on framework agreements, contact us on 0800 612 5563 or email email@example.com.
For more information on bid writing best practice you can check out the video below: