What exactly is a framework agreement?
A framework agreement is an overarching agreement which sets out the terms on which future contracts under the agreement will be based. These terms will typically consist of cost, quantity and quality. Framework agreements are used when there is no defined quantity of the goods and/or services to be put out to tender, and can be likened to an ‘approved providers list’ in the Health and Social Care sector. Companies may find it easier to negotiate a place in an agreement like this, but there is never any guarantee of any level of work.
What are the benefits of a framework agreement?
Framework agreements are often used by more than one authority within an area, or authorities that share a similar requirement within the scope of the agreement. It is not unusual for local authorities which have a requirement for services to seek out a framework agreement which covers their locality. Framework agreements can provide many benefits to a local authority, such as:
• They are a pre-competed and approved route to market, and a tool to centralise public procurement spend.
• They provide shared procurement proficiency and resource.
• They provide shared risk as well as an ability to share contract management
• They reduce the administrative burden placed on the Local Authority:
- Less resource is required to use an existing framework agreement against conducting a full procurement procedure each time the authority has a requirement
- Even if a mini-tender process is used to allocated service requirements, it still means that less time and money will be spent evaluating the tenders submitted, especially if the agreement has multiple lots.
- If the contracting authority looking to utilise a framework cannot ascertain value for money in a particular framework, they have no obligation to use it, and will enter a full procurement procedure if they feel that this would offer better cost savings.
- It also provides added security: if one provider is unable to meet the demand for services then another provider on the framework should be able to meet the authority’s requirements.
Framework agreements can also provide many benefits to suppliers, such as the potential for larger volumes of work, and SMEs may benefit from working together, realising benefits normally only achievable by larger national companies.
Where do I find advertisements relating to framework agreements?
As a framework agreement consists of two or more providers, it is very likely that the total amount will be above the EU Financial Threshold for adhering to the EU Procurement Regulations, which is €200,000. Contracts which are ‘caught’ by these regulations must be advertised in the form of an OJEU notice, a standard format notice placed in the Official Journal of the European Union. You can find contract notices published daily in TED, Tenders Electronic Daily, which is a Supplement of the Journal. If you are specifically looking for Framework Agreements, this can be refined in the in the searches you make, but you should be checking this site regularly anyway if you are bidding into the public sector, or wish to gain a foothold in the sector.
How do I get onto a framework agreement?
Once you have found a contract notice for a framework agreement which you would like to pursue, you will find that the procedure will more often than not follow the same procedure as a contract for a single provider. You will have to register your interest through either a portal or via email, and the pre-qualification questionnaire will then be made available to you. Then you face they bid/no bid decision based on the more comprehensive requirements detailed within the PQQ.
How can Executive Compass® help?
If you are looking to maximise your chances of not only securing a place on a framework, but also securing the best possible position on the framework in order to work towards ensuring a healthy volume of works, please do not hesitate to contact us today, we are expert PQQ and ITT writers who have a wealth of experience in securing places on frameworks across a wide variety of sectors. If you are just looking for some advice regarding a particular framework agreement, we would be more than happy to talk to you, and we welcome the opportunity to assist you in securing more contract work for your company.