What is a Public Sector Framework Agreement?

what is a public sector framework agreement


Getting your head around public sector procurement terms and what exactly a framework agreement in procurement is can be difficult. At Tracker, we like to simplify things.

To help you win more public sector contracts, we are answering some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding public sector procurement frameworks and how the tendering process for public sector frameworks works.

Let’s go back to basics with our first question: “What is a public sector framework agreement?”

Public Sector Framework Agreements

Understanding the answer to ‘What is a framework contract in public procurement?’ is easier when looked at within the context of the public sector procurement process.

What is a Framework Agreement in Public Procurement?

Frameworks are agreements between one or more public sector buyers and one or more suppliers. A public sector framework agreement gives buyers the flexibility to order services and products from several private sector suppliers multiple times, without going through the full procurement process more than once.

Public sector frameworks are available across various sectors, so whether you’re interested in public sector construction frameworks or cybersecurity frameworks, getting involved with framework agreements is an option for most businesses.

How Procurement Framework Agreements Work

When setting up procurement frameworks, the buying organisation or contracting authorities will run a full procurement exercise to select suitable suppliers and set terms and prices for a period (usually up to four years).

Potential suppliers will bid to win a place on these frameworks in the same way in which they would bid to win a contract from other public sector organisations.

The chosen suppliers are awarded a place on the framework agreement if they meet the requirements. Once places have been awarded, no new suppliers can join the framework.

When a buyer is ready to procure goods or services, it will run a ‘call-off’ or ‘mini competition’ — which is a much simplified procurement only open to the framework suppliers — to select one or more suppliers from those with places on the framework from whom to buy the goods or services.

For multi-supplier framework agreements, the buyer may also choose to select a supplier with a direct award without re-opening competition to the other providers.

The Benefits of Framework Agreements

Contracting authorities benefit from public sector procurement frameworks as the terms and conditions have already been established and the procurement process does not have to be repeated for a call-off contract or mini competition.

Public sector framework providers award call-off contracts within a closed pool of pre-approved suppliers. These suppliers then ensure that they comply with the requirements stipulated in the framework agreement procurement documents – as they agreed when awarded a place on the framework.

Sign up for Tracker today to access the latest public sector framework agreements.

Procurement Framework Agreement FAQs

We’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions about public procurement frameworks below.

Have a look at our guides and resources for more information on topics such as:

Why do Buyers Use Public Sector Frameworks?

It’s simple — framework agreements save time! This is especially true for relatively simple, frequently repeated purchases, such as stationery.

Framework agreements also allow public sector bodies, like government organisations and local authorities, to choose suppliers that offer long-term value. This reduces overall procurement costs and saves internal resources because it removes the need to run multiple procurement exercises for the same products or services. Buyers also have certainty as prices for the agreed goods and services are set for the duration of the framework.

Buyers can also save money by purchasing collaboratively and benefiting from economies of scale.

How Long is a Public Sector Framework Closed?

Public sector framework agreements close to new suppliers once the framework has been established — i.e. once suppliers have been awarded places on the framework. A framework can run for as long as 5–10 years.

Will I Win More Work On a Public Framework Agreement?

Some suppliers that are on a framework agreement may never win work arising from that framework.

However, while it may not guarantee success, being on a public sector procurement framework will show others within your industry that your business is taken seriously by public bodies, like the UK government, and could help your business to win work elsewhere.

How Can I Find Public Sector Procurement Framework Opportunities?

Suppliers can only join public sector framework agreements when a new framework is being established. It is therefore important that you are aware of the contract notice that advertises that a new framework is being set up and subsequent deadline dates as soon as it is released.

In some cases, the same opportunity may not arise again for another 10 years, so it is important that you have a tender alerts profile which is optimised and up to date, such as Tracker’s Tender Alerts tool or contracts finder (Opportunity Search).

Rather than spending hours scouring the public sector frameworks list on portals such as Crown Commercial Service, you can tailor our services to deliver the latest public procurement framework opportunities directly to your inbox.

Sign up for a free 3-day Tracker trial to see how our tendering tools can help your business find high value UK public sector procurement frameworks.

How Can Tracker Help You Win More Business?

If you’re ready to streamline the tendering process and start winning valuable government framework contracts, Tracker is the best place to start.

If you are already a Tracker customer, we can help you optimise your supplier profile so you will receive public sector framework alerts as soon as they become available. Our Customer Growth Team have the experience and knowledge to help you to pick the right keywords for your business. We also have many procurement solutions that benefit public sector organisations, allowing them to engage earlier, become competitive, and sell efficiently.

Sign up for Tracker to access our up-to-date list of public sector frameworks and be the first to know about the latest public sector contract notices as soon as they are published via daily email alerts. Request a free personalised live demo to see how it works.

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