How can our frameworks be accessed?

The Consortium will guide and support all members through the process of accessing frameworks, and to develop their own ‘call-off’ contracts. We will also ensure the completion of contract documentation and provide continued support during contract initiation and mobilisation.

Members can place orders through Consortium frameworks through one of the following routes:

Further competitions

The purpose of further competition is to allow members to re-open competition between the relevant supply partners, within a particular framework or lot. It is used where there is a need to specify requirements more precisely than originally provided for under the terms of the framework agreement. These specific requirements can include the opportunity for a member to commit value, volume or exclusivity, where such opportunities are not provided for in the framework agreement itself.

The new terms must not, however, substantially change those laid down in the framework agreement.

It is recognised that member requirements can vary considerably; therefore the use of further competition is an excellent tool to allow members to set out their own unique requirements. By doing so members can provide more detailed information regarding strategic objectives, delivery schedules, and enhanced criteria, e.g. additional evidence of Equality and Diversity.

This level of detail will enable suppliers to then tender for that specific set of requirements and provide a solution better suited to our member(s).

Get in touch

Give us a call on 0191 566 1000 to understand more about our procurement processes.

Direct Call-off

The purpose of a direct call-off is to allow access to goods and services within a framework agreement, without continuing or re-opening the element of competition. Suppliers within a framework will have already undergone a tender process to be appointed, and have been assessed to ensure competence and capacity of delivery. Direct call-off should only be used within certain conditions, and where there is no benefit in re-opening the competition process.

These conditions may include:

  • Members determine (and Consortium Procurement agree) there is only one supplier capable of meeting the member’s particular requirement(s), and if there is clear and justified reason to do so;
  • On the basis of the information available, it can be determined which supply partner offers the most economically advantageous solution;
  • Geographical and/or supply limitations of current provision;
  • Risk to health or life, and urgent requirements to ensure business continuity;

Under Treasury rules to ensure value for money in the use and protection of public funds, the associated cost of running a further competition outweighs the value of the tender, e.g. under £15k, and;

All of the terms of the proposed direct award contract are set out in the framework agreement, and that the call-off agreement does not require amendment or any significant and supplementary terms and conditions.

If such criteria are fully met, a member may place a direct order and Consortium Procurement will guide and support them through this process. Where a more complex specification of requirement is used and it is not easy to establish if that need can be met from more than one supplier, then the further competition route will be used. If members are unsure on whether the direct order or further competition ordering procedure is most appropriate, Consortium Procurement will offer all advice and assistance.

As members access frameworks and establish individual call-off contracts, ongoing contract/supplier relationship management is carried out jointly. Members will control the day-to-day operational relationship with the supply partner, and the Consortium will provide resource to resolve performance and contractual issues.