What are frameworks?

What are Frameworks?

Here is some further information about public sector frameworks

What is a framework agreement?


When public sector organisations know they are likely to need particular goods or services, but are unsure about exactly what they’ll need or when, they can decide to set up a group of approved suppliers against an ‘umbrella’ agreement, that they can choose when necessary. This is called a ‘framework agreement’. It lays out the general terms relating to services offered, price and quality. Then individual contracts can be created throughout the term of the framework agreement.

What is the advantage of purchasing via a framework?


An organisation doesn’t need to go through the OJEU process every time a purchase is to be made, thus saving time and money. Also, because of the economies of scale realised by central purchasing, this may lead to further cost savings.

How did Atos get onto these frameworks?


Atos was invited to put themselves forward for the framework and then selected amongst those most able to do the work.

What do I do if there is more than one named supplier on a framework?


If there is more than one possible supplier on the framework, you can decide to hold a ‘mini-competition’ to decide who gets the contract.

How long do frameworks usually last?


Framework agreements usually last for a maximum of four years.

Can I buy goods and services from suppliers that are not named on the framework agreement?


Suppliers on the framework agreement have been rigorously checked to ensure they can fulfil the criteria for that framework. Please note there is no obligation to purchase using a particular framework agreement.

Who looks after the framework agreement system?


Within the UK Public Service it is The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) that is responsible for Frameworks in England and Wales and the Scottish Government for Scotland.

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
  • leading on procurement policy on behalf of the UK government

How do I go about purchasing using a framework agreement?


Please see the attached guide for more information: A guide to buying through framework agreements on the UK Government website

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Julie Hillman
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