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CCS delays Management Consultancies Framework award

David Bicknell Published 23 July 2017

Crown procurement organisation confirms “short delay” to conclude activity for Phase 1 of framework; update expected at end of July


Suppliers who were expecting to hear the award results of Phase 1 of the Management Consultancies Framework last week will have to wait until the end of this month and possibly into August.

It emerged late last week that the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) had told bidders that it would not be announcing the results last Friday, though no reason was given. Procurement specialists have been told that there will be an update on July 31. However there has been no commitment signalled to actually release details of awards on that day.

One organisation familiar with the Management Consultancies Framework has suggested that the delay may have been caused by too many suppliers qualifying under the CCS marking scheme. There has, however, been no confirmation of this.

A CCS spokesperson told Government Computing , “We have notified bidders of a short delay while we conclude the procurement activity for this important procurement framework for management consultancy services. We expect to make a further announcement shortly.”

The contest for the framework has been fraught with delays. CCS extended the deadline for tender submissions for lots 1-3 of the framework by a week to from February 14 to February 21.

The extension followed CCS’ decision to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to tender for the framework. CCS agreed to changes in requirements for “previous supply”, then had calls from SMEs asking for more time to bid as a result of the late changes.

In a major shift of approach, CCS told companies bidding for the framework that in terms of details of previous supply, which is necessary for would-be providers to show that they can demonstrate capacity under the framework, the requirement would be 2200 days over three years.  The previous requirement was to demonstrate the same amount of work over one year, a target that would be very difficult for many smaller SMEs to achieve, leading to a possible perception that the framework had a bias towards larger management consultancy providers.

At the time a CCS spokesperson said, "We have listened to feedback from potential providers and have revised the criteria accordingly."

One procurement specialist who had first highlighted the issue said, “This is a climbdown. The 2200 days are now to be evidenced across the whole three years from 2014, not just a single 12 months period, effectively cutting the requirement by two thirds.”


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