Procurement: Crown Commercial Service to launch new public sector Facilities Management and Workplace Services framework
25 August 2021
The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has announced a new procurement framework to replace the current Facilities Management Marketplace. This new framework will provide access for central government and all other UK public sector bodies, including local authorities, health, Police, Fire and Rescue, education and the devolved administrations, to a wide range of FM and workplace services such as maintenance, catering, cleaning, reception/helpdesk, security, waste management and CAFM.
In June the Cabinet Office published its new National Procurement Policy Statement, requiring all contracting authorities to have regard to national strategic priorities for public procurement alongside local priorities. At national level these priority outcomes for public benefit include: creating new businesses, new jobs and new skills; tackling climate change and reducing waste, and improving supplier diversity, innovation and resilience - all themes within the social value model.
As the UK’s biggest public procurement organisation, the CCS is key in bringing about better outcomes from the procurement of FM and workplace services. Whilst some view progress in this area as too slow (in part this is due to the multi-year nature of contracts in scope), the CCS is already implementing the strategic priorities into the procurement frameworks.
Meanwhile, the Government is developing a new regulatory regime for public procurement as laid out in its consultation Transforming Public Procurement. In our response to the consultation IWFM broadly welcomed the Government’s proposals to speed up and simplify procurement processes, placing value for money at their heart, and creating opportunities for small businesses, charities and social enterprises to innovate.
However, we called for the core principles of evaluating social value and ensuring prompt payment to be embedded within the new regulatory framework, rather than sit within the National Procurement Policy Statement and be subject to the Government priorities of the day. We also raised concerns about the suitability of frameworks for the buying of FM and workplace services as these often demonstrate a complexity that framework processes do not allow for and, consequently, outcomes are often not met.
Publication of the Facilities Management and Workplace Services framework contract notice is set for October 2021 with awards in April 2022. We will provide further updates accordingly, looking at how the Government’s strategic priorities and procurement proposals are reflected in the framework and the potential for improved outcomes for suppliers, customers and society.
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