A framework, often referred to as a framework agreement is a selection of pre-qualified suppliers where the buyer selects suppliers and sets out terms and prices for a period in advance.
The length of the framework can vary depending on the buying authority and what is being procured. After the framework has been awarded no new suppliers can join the framework.
Benefits of frameworks
- Using a framework can reduce the overall costs of a procurement
- In some cases, frequently let frameworks help avoid supplier lock-in and lengthy contracts
- Many frameworks also allow for direct award, speeding up contract award
- The public sector also benefits from some frameworks fixing suppliers pricing at the point of tender, helping ensure best value is achieved
- Frameworks also usually provide its buyers with easy to use guides and templates, perfect for more cautious buyers!
Why does the public sector love frameworks?
Well for all the reasons above…but a few others when it comes to technology. Procuring tech can be a mine field of suppliers all vying for buyers attention and professing their solution to be the most effective and up-to-date.
For buyers whose technology knowledge may be minimal, suppliers will have answered questions and met technical specifications in order to be awarded a place on the framework, this ensures that all the technology available to buyers is of a certain standard.