For general Consortium Procurement news articles

allpay ltd. VAT update – legal advice

Following our previous update regarding the current ruling by HMRC to reclassify the services offered by allpay under our Electronic Payment Services framework, we have sought legal advice as this is an extremely concerning situation for our members.

The initial advice received is that the “end user” is required to pay the VAT on eligible goods and services. We are aware that this will bring increasing pressure on members in already difficult times financially and will continue to work with allpay to understand the issues, progress on the on-going legal proceeding with HMRC and the impact this will have on our members.

Please contact allpay on vatenquiries@allpay.net for further details or solutions@consortiumprocurement.org.uk.

Gas Safety Week: Fighting for a Gas Safe nation

We are proud to be supporting Gas Safety Week 2017, taking place 18th – 24th September.

Gas Safety Week is an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances. It is co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.

Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. It is a highly poisonous gas. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.

Landlords are legally responsible for the safety of their tenants. Landlords should make sure maintenance and annual safety checks on gas appliances are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Our framework for Heating Systems assists our members in complying with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations and in delivering safe accommodation to their customers, employees and the general public.

If you’re a landlord, you are legally obliged to make sure:

  • Pipe-work, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition.
  • All appliances and flues provided for tenants use have an annual safety check. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at www.staygassafe.co.uk.
  • Maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by an engineer registered with Gas Safe Register.
  • All gas equipment (including any appliance left by a previous tenant) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting.
  • A Gas Safety Record is provided to the tenant within 28 days of completing the check or to any new tenant before they move in.
  • You keep a copy of the Gas Safety Record for two years.

Before any gas work is carried out always check the engineers ID card and make sure the engineer is qualified for the work you need doing. Encourage your tenants to do the same.

For more information and to find and check an engineer go to www.gassaferegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.

For further information on the Heating Systems framework, check out it’s dedicated section or email us at solutions@consortiumprocurement.org.uk

5 reasons why you should call off from our Adaptations & Fixed Lifting Equipment product catalogue

Here are the top 5 reasons why our Adaptations & Fixed Lifting Equipment product catalogue could be right for you:

  • Variety of products to choose from
    It offers a variety of choice featuring over a thousand products for kitchen, bathroom and external adaptation installations.
  • Tender routes options
    It allows for both direct award and further competition call offs. This means that should you wish to directly contract with one of the suppliers on the new framework you will simply need to establish an overarching contract with the supplier and then you are free to order products directly with them (copying in Consortium Procurement for audit purposes). Alternatively,  should you wish to test the market against your own bespoke requirements, Consortium Procurement can facilitate a further competition with the framework suppliers to ensure best value for your organisation
  • Quality supply partners
    The appointed supply partners (Impey Showers Ltd, N&C Building Products, Nottingham Rehab Limited trading as NRS Healthcare) have been rigurously tested which guarantees you peace of mind and professional relationships.
  • Time efficiency
    We can ensure a quick turnaround to set up a contract with a supplier under the Adaptations & Fixed Lifting Equipment product catalogue due to the simplistic yet thorough way it’s been developed in.
  • Compliance
    All our framework agreements and product catalogues have been developed in accordance with the EU and UK legislation and regulations and are OJEU compliant.

Should you wish to understand more about this product catalogue, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0191 566 1173 or email us at solutions@consortiumprocurement.org.uk

allpay ltd. Direct Debit duplicate payments issue update

We have been made aware that  allpay ltd. who are a single supplier on our framework for Electronic Payments Services, recently experienced a system issue which resulted in double payments being taken from tenant accounts overnight (7th/8th September). The incident is isolated to payments taken on the 8th September only.

We can reassure members utilising the EPS framework, that the problem has been resolved and customer refunds have been instigated. All customers should have received a refund of the duplicated payment by the end of Tuesday 12th September. allpay ltd. confirmed that all duplicate Direct Debit payment refunds have left their account and have been credited in tenants’ accounts.

As a result of these system issues, allpay ltd. were only able to notify members of one Direct Debit payment in the relevant Payment Information File (PIF). Unfortunately, allpay ltd. cannot guarantee that this payment is related to either the failed payment or the successful payment. Therefore, allpay ltd. would recommend that members refrain from chasing these arrears until they provide full reconciliation data.

allpay ltd. announced affected customers will receive a written apology from themselves for the inconvenience the system issue caused and details on their refund.

Please contact enquiries@allpay.net if you require further details.

Should you have any issues following the 12th please let us know via solutions@consortiumprocurement.org.uk

CIH 2017 – A look back at a successful conference

 

It’s that time of the year again when we take a look back at one of the most exciting events in our annual calendar – the CIH Housing Conference and Exhibition. Last week we saw around 10,000 delegates through the doors of Manchester Central where Consortium Procurement hosted the Village for a seventh consecutive year.

This year’s event marked the launch of the refreshed Consortium Procurement brand and new website. We presented our new look to delegates on our stand and we showcased our new website. The Consortium Procurement team received very positive feedback from our member organisations, supply partners and other stakeholders visiting the stand.

Tracy Harrison, Deputy Chief Executive at the Northern Housing Consortium (the organisation Consortium Procurement belongs to) said:

Tracy Harrison, Deputy Chief Executive “Northern Housing Consortium’s procurement offering has really gone from strength to strength; so much so that we now have members across England, Scotland and Wales.

When we first launched the Consortium Procurement brand ten years ago, it was in recognition of the appeal of our services went far beyond the North, and that any housing providers looking for an effective, compliant and value for money route to procurement could benefit from our frameworks. We now see that appeal extending beyond housing, and are increasingly working with other areas of the public sector including health, education, and even the Highways Agency!

Our new website and refreshed branding will support us to work not only across new geographies, but also across a range of different sectors.”

Rob Young, Torus

Joseph Gardiner, Head of Commercial at Consortium Procurement said:

“Once again, our Village at the CIH Conference and Exhibition was well attended and gave us the chance to network, learn and meet key figures throughout the industry. The launch of our refreshed Consortium Procurement brand and new website got a fantastic response. It allowed us to engage positively and establish what we strive to achieve at Consortium Procurement. Our strength is our commitment to give best in class advice while saving members time and money through our frameworks. We are not confined to the housing market, we are already operating in other sectors and have firm plans in place to grow and support even more organisations on a UK wide level. Our new website and refreshed brand is key to achieving these ambitions.”

Once more we showcased our enhanced portfolio of frameworks and services at the largest housing and local authority gathering in Europe. There was a great mix of members and supply partners gravitating around the Village which provided fantastic opportunities for them to network and facilitate new partnerships.

Elaine Abrol, Marsh

Our Head of Procurement Louise Chase hosted the Northern Procurement Reference Panel meeting on the first exhibition day. The meeting provided a great opportunity for procurement professionals from our membership to meet, share best practice, discuss current and emerging procurement issues, and explore opportunities for collaboration. Louise said:

Louise Chase“We had a fantastic attendance at our Northern Procurement Reference Panel at CIH, the conversation was both topical and engaging, covering items like data analysis and risk and resilience in procurement. Both of which could not be more important in the current political climate.

There are some positives though, we reflected throughout the conference on the excellent work the procurement teams which Consortium Procurement have supported our members with in 2016/17. It’s highly rewarding for us to be able to say that we have saved our members a grand total of £10,442,742 through open, fair and transparent procurement exercises.

The procurement team created 631 contracts and 45 new members joined us in 2016,”

On the afternoon of the first exhibition day, we hosted our drinks reception – our traditional way of ending a successful first day. Our Chief Executive Jo Boaden welcomed guests, thanking sponsors, all exhibitors, visitors and delegates for supporting the Village and for their partnership with us. The reception provided a fantastic opportunity for attendees to meet, network, and discuss current and emerging topics in housing and procurement and to raise a toast together.

We offered delegates insights and advice on coping with the many challenges faced by the sector. We discussed our comprehensive portfolio of frameworks and provided information on how our fully compliant framework agreements and bespoke procurement service can support public sector organisations with their procurement priorities.

Angeline Rochford Briggs, YHN

Tracy Harrison added: “Consortium Procurement’s Village within CIH Manchester is always a key event in our calendar, as it allows is to engage with existing and potential members, and to showcase some the supply partners that we work with across our portfolio of frameworks. These are challenging times for housing providers, so it’s great to be able to present solutions that can genuinely add value and help drive efficiencies. This year, CIH also provided the ideal opportunity for us to unveil our new website and refreshed branding, and we’ve been delighted by the feedback that we’ve received.”

Charlotte Carpenter, Karbon Homes

Once again, we experienced three extremely productive and vibrant days at the CIH Conference and Exhibition. We took home a lot of fresh knowledge, ideas for potential projects and new contacts. Finally, we said goodbye to what has been a fantastic exhibition for us and look forward to what comes next.

A collection of our favourite CIH Tweets

New Tenants’ Contents Insurance Landlord Portal Now Live

We are delighted to announce that alongside our new framework for Tenants Contents Insurance (TCI), a brand new online portal is now available to all members who access the framework.

This unique knowledge sharing online portal provides all the advice landlords need to grow their scheme and avoid common risk. The portal was developed to complement the updated Tenants Contents Insurance framework and can be used by members to share best practice, download materials and receive regular updates.

The portal includes materials such as marketing initiatives, products, ideas and innovations and provides landlords with an array of tools and advice, with everything they need to grow their scheme at their fingertips.

The portal features a ‘News’ section where visitors are able to find up-to-date information on the latest insurance, housing and procurement insights as well as relevant news articles and links. Answers to commonly asked questions and queries will be provided and explained within the ‘FAQs’ section in a bid to support our members in the day-to-day utilising of the framework. Visitors will also be able to view recent case studies provided by members who have had positive experience of utilising the scheme and to get insight into what members value the most about the TCI service.

Rachel Wheeler, Senior Procurement and Contracts Officer at Consortium Procurement said: “We believe that the portal will act as a platform for landlords to network virtually, to share their experiences of using the framework and best practice as well as to share and receive relevant updates. The portal will add on to what is an extremely successful and popular framework within our membership and we hope that the improved SIMPLE Tenants’ Contents Insurance framework will appeal to members even more.”

Please click on the link to access the new landlord portal: https://www.rsalandlordforum.co.uk/home/index/

If you’d like to receive more information on both the new portal and the new SIMPLE Tenants Contents Insurance framework, please get in touch on 0191 566 1000 or email us at solutions@consortiumprocurement.org.uk 

TECS user forum at the CIH Conference and Exhibition 2017

One of the benefits of being our member is the opportunity to network with other members, discuss solutions to common problems, and share good practice. We are pleased to be able to provide one more networking opportunity for our members.

We will be hosting a Technology Enabled Care Services User Forum especially for those members who have contracts with Tunstall Healthcare UK under the TECS framework, on the first day of the CIH Conference and Exhibition, Tuesday, 27th June. The forums will take place within the main conference building (Manchester Central), so it is a great opportunity for attendees to visit the exhibition too.

The TECS User Forum will allow members who use our framework for Technology Enabled Care Services (previously Assisted Living framework) to come along and join the conversation – as well as to hear from suppliers about the latest developments in telecare and telehealth.

If you’d like to find out what other frameworks we offer as part of our portfolio, please visit us at our stand C40 and have a chat with us.

For further details, please contact Nicola Benson, Procurement Support Officer on nicola.benson@consortiumprocurement.org.uk

The statistics are in! Here’s a look back at what we have achieved in 2016/17

Our continuous striving for improvement has resulted in some really positive statistics which show that the procurement solutions that we offer won’t just give you peace of mind by keeping you legally safe and compliant. The amount of time and money we save you through undertaking the procurement processes for you increase with every year showing the real benefit members get out of their mutual work with us.

  • We have saved you nearly £11m through effective, highly efficient and open procurement last year.
    We created 631 contracts, linking you with the most qualitative supply partners.
  • We ran 133 further competitions for you, providing you with all the support and guidance you needed.
  • 18 member organisations saved more than £100,000 and 51 saved more than £50,000 in 2016/17 by utilising our framework agreements.
  • The largest amount saved by a single member is £330, 928, 50!
  • 45 new members joined us in 2016/17. Welcome on board and thank you for choosing us!

What a fantastic year of savings we have had! The procurement team shall keep up the good work in the year ahead, always focusing on our mission to reduce risk, save time and money and to keep you legally compliant.

It’s here! Welcome to Consortium Procurement’s new website

The new Consortium Procurement website is now live. It has been designed around feedback received from member organisations, to better support them with their procurement priorities.

We worked hard to make our new online identity as useful and user-friendly as possible by developing a contemporary design which is easy-to-use and navigate through. The website offers a clean uncluttered design, intuitive functionality and enriched, robust content focused on our mission, namely to keep members compliant with relevant legislation, to save them time and resource through open, fair and transparent procurement and to take the legal risk off their shoulders.

Our ultimate goal while developing the site was to make it a one-stop-shop for information about the Consortium Procurement offer, relevant industry insights and new framework development and delivery updates.
Alongside the launch of the new site, we have launched our re-freshed branding. We believe that our new look will raise our profile; help us communicate better the breadth of our offer to existing and potential customers and to reinforce our mission.

If you would like to provide your constructive feedback about our new online identity, please email our Marketing Officer at jenny.hristova@consortiumprocurement.org.uk We will use it to make your future browsing experience as smooth as possible and of course please do share the news about our new site!

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