The News on Network Services 2
On Friday Ella attended the Network Services 2 supplier engagement event. Here's a summary of all she found out including the new Lot structure, how long the framework will last and the revised Call-Off length!
Although we found out that the OJEU for Network Services 2 (RM 3808) is now going to be published in November at the earliest – a month delay from the current expectation – CCS’ Supplier Update event on Friday did provide lots of new information that shows progress is being made.
There will be quite a few differences between Network Services 2 and its predecessor Network Services framework. For one, it’ll now be using the Public Sector Contract as it’s basis – though CCS do have over 300 lines of Supplier feedback on this to respond to, a task that’ll take 3-4 weeks from now.
One part of the framework design that Suppliers have been waiting patiently for confirmation of, is the Lot structure. Only a few changes have been made here.
- Lot 10 has been re-named from “Integrated Communications” to “Unified Communications.”
- 3 new Lots have been added, Lot 11, 12 and 13 (below).
- The maximum Supplier cap has been increased from 26 to 35, though this varies by Lot.
|Lot Number||Lot Name||Number of Suppliers|
|1||Data Access Services, WAN||35|
|2||Local Connectivity Services, LAN||35|
|3||Traditional Telephony Services||25|
|4||Inbound Telephony Services||25|
|5||IP Telephony Services||35|
|6||Mobile Voice & Data Services||15|
|7||Paging and Alerting Services||10|
|12||Security and Surveillance Services||25|
|13||Contact Centre Services||25|
Note that the scope descriptions have not yet been released.
So what else is different?
- Where Network Services was contracted to run for 2 years with two potential 1-year extensions, NS2 will run for a minimum of 3 years, with only one 12-month extension.
- Call-Offs can have terms of up to 10 years under NS2, whereas up until now it has been maximum 5-7 years depending on the type of award procedure used (3+2 years for Direct Award, 5+2 years for Further Competition). Now, the length of contract allowed will depend on the Lot instead, so it’s important for Buyers and Suppliers to both be aware of this variable.
- Using Network Services, Buyers could only buy Supplementary services alongside Core services, from the same Supplier. With less rules this time around, Buyers can procure what we’re now calling “ancillary services” on their own, which is handy when they only require some maintenance. (There will be certain controls put in place here, to avoid abuse.)
- Exit management provisions are included, using the same approach as HSCN.
- Limits of liability has increased from £500k to £1m.
- For transparency purposes, reporting will now be included – keep your eyes peeled for that lovely sales data!
CCS still have a few things to iron out before they can publish the OJEU.
- The financial credit score to qualify for the Lots.
- The percentage weighting of quality and price assessment (and indeed what the qualitative assessment will look like)
- Security accreditation requirements
- Service Levels within the T&Cs – all we know is they’re being simplified!
So all in all, Network Services 2 looks to be shaping up nicely!