Our contracting strategy

We aspire to achieve value for money and quality outcomes from all procurements, by:

  • consolidating service requirements and spend over contract periods of three to five years (at our discretion), to achieve economy of scale
  • defining our requirements by using standardised documents and formats, to ensure an efficientprocess
  • structuring our contracts so they can be administered effectivelyby all involved parties

We achieve this through applying our contract procedures rules, which address process, strategy and policy.

Types of contract

We will deliver our requirements through a variety of compliantly procured, cost-effective contracts – these are arrangements that can be used across the WHOLE of CCC and in some cases, our partner councils (where identified) and will be in the format of:

  • call-off contracts – eg for stationery
  • measured-term contracts – eg for maintenance
  • framework agreements – eg for consultants
  • dynamic purchasing systems (DPS) – eg for specialist training

Call-off contracts

Call-off contracts cover requirements such as stationery, printing or ICT equipment requirements. These may be procured directly by us or from a framework. When we award these contracts we aim to use them for most of our requirements, subject to performance and availability.

Measured term contracts

We use measured-term contracts for specific requirements without exact quantities or details of needs, but with a commitment to use the selected company, organisation or individual.

Corporate frameworks

Corporate frameworks are arrangements where we, through a competitively advertised, EU-compliant procurement process, select and appoint a supplier or suppliers based on quality and price. Once awarded this is a closed and fixed list.

Under the framework agreement is a call-off facility whereby each time the framework is used a call-off contract is awarded. This could be for a specific, one-off requirement or could be a term contract depending on the nature of the framework.  All contracting information will be supplied as part of the tender pack.

We use these frameworks for all relevant requirements but do not guarantee that the framework is exclusive, that any work will be awarded or commit a specific value to be awarded through the framework. 

When we require a service covered by a corporate framework agreement we may select a supplier from the framework to deliver our requirements. This may be done using:

  • a mini competition, where all suppliers on the framework are invited to provide a price based on a specification and pricing document
  • suppliers’ tendered prices
  • a rotating schedule

The method of selection will be advised when the procurement is advertised.

Framework agreements can be awarded for a maximum of four years, but awards under the framework can run past the end of the framework where specified in the tender pack.

External frameworks

We may use frameworks let by other authorities and public purchasing bodies such as Crown Commercial Services or ESPO. When we do this, the rules of that framework will be applied and the award listed on our contract register.

Dynamic purchasing systems

A dynamic purchasing system (DPS) is a modern version of an ‘approved list’. It is advertised much like a framework and suppliers are selected based on their ability to provide the contract specification, response times (where relevant), compliance with the questionnaire requirements, references and other appropriate requirements.

It is a fluid list that is updated regularly and can run for an overall period. Because there is no specific quality or price evaluation, this will happen at the point of use.

Where a DPS is used, specific details will be provided as part of the tender pack.

Some requirements may be covered by individual procurements instead of by a corporate arrangement. For example:

  • one-off capital contracts – eg construction projects
  • large projects where greater economy of scale is achievable by going to market

where there have been performance issues with an existing contract

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