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The complete guide to public sector procurement

It’s no secret that public sector procurement is a complex market to navigate, and there’s a lot at stake. According to the The UK Treasury, public sector procurement spending increased by 17% to £327 billion in 2020/21, and these higher levels look set to stay.

Wondering how public sector procurement works?

Here, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about public sector procurement, delve into the details of procurement frameworks, and provide tips on finding the right framework for your project. It’s your complete guide to all the factors surrounding public sector procurement, in one convenient place.

Chapter 1: What is public sector procurement, and how do I know if it’s relevant to me?

Public sector procurement refers to when a public sector body purchases any goods, works, or services. A public sector contract can also be known as a tender, with the procurement process being referred to as tendering – but it all amounts to the same purchasing experience.

One of the core principles of public sector procurement is that it is subject to a legal framework, which is designed to encourage free and open competition and value for money. As outlined in government guidance on public procurement policy, the process must meet the principles of:

Equality of treatment

Transparency

Mutual recognition

Proportionality

Public sector procurement is relevant to you if you’re part of a public sector organisation and have a project that needs delivering. However, finding suitable, trusted contractors can be challenging and
time-consuming.

That’s why opting for a framework agreement with a trusted provider will ensure the suppliers that deliver your works, services, and goods have proven experience in the public sector – and will keep your project running smoothy from beginning to end.

Chapter 2: Public vs private sector procurement: the key differences

While procuring goods and services is broadly the same across the public and private sectors, the main differences between public and private sector procurement lie in how public procurement is funded and regulated.

1

Funding

  • While private companies can easily transfer money between departments or accounts, the budgets for public sector departments are much more rigid
  • Funding can also be cut for public sector organisations, and this can put a halt on the procurement process
2

Regulations

  • There are regulations involved in procurement across the public and private sectors, but the regulations for public procurement are wider-scoping and often stricter
  • These regulations come into play when a contract exceeds a certain value, known as a threshold
  • Contracts with a value less than £213,477 (inc VAT) for Supplies & Services and £5,336,937 (inc VAT) for Works are considered below the Find a Tender Service threshold and anything over that is seen as a high-value contract
3

Motivations

  • For public companies, the main focus is on ensuring public money is being spent wisely and transparently
  • Social value is also a huge factor in public procurement following the Social Value Act (2012). Now, organisations must consider the economic, environmental, and societal benefits of their approaches to procurement before the process begins

Chapter 3: What are public sector procurement frameworks, and how do they work?

We’ve already explored what public sector procurement is and how it differs from private procurement, so now we’re going to take a look at public sector framework agreements – and understand exactly how they work.

What is a procurement framework?

A procurement framework, also known as a Framework Agreement, is an umbrella agreement put in place between a provider or range of providers that enables buyers to place orders for services, without facing the lengthy tendering process for each individual task.

These agreements set out the terms – including price, quality and quantity – under which contracts can
be awarded from pre-approved suppliers, and typically last for four years, although they can be longer.

Framework agreements are provided by organisations like Pagabo, who carefully select suppliers based on their skill and track record in the public sector. At Pagabo, we have a number of frameworks to choose from, covering everything from construction to consultancy and much more.

Chapter 4: What are the benefits of using a procurement framework?

Framework Agreements are widely used across the public sector – but why? Here are some of the key benefits of choosing a public sector procurement framework:

Reduce overall procurement costs

Enjoy better long-term value from suppliers

Ensure your project stays compliant

Experience transparent costings

Receive support throughout your entire project

Reduce procurement timeframes

Improve social value and benefit local communities

Reduce the need for internal resources

Plus, when you choose an framework agreement provider like Pagabo, your procurement framework
will be guided by a team with over 125 years combined of experience, who know exactly what it takes to make procurement quicker, easier, and more effective.

Want to know how to select the ideal procurement framework for your project? Let’s get started.

Chapter 5: Getting started with the right procurement framework from Pagabo

Now that you have all the background on public sector procurement and Framework Agreements, it’s time to discover how to find the framework most suited to your project. Selecting the most suitable framework could mean the difference between a project’s success or disappointment, so it’s not a decision that should be rushed into.

At Pagabo, we offer 11 national frameworks and a DPS for small works. Each one has been carefully put together with the shared needs of the public sector in mind, and all our suppliers have passed rigorous testing to deliver your project to the highest standards.

Finding your ideal Framework Agreement

Simply visit our Framework page to find the framework that’s most suited to your project type and value. All our frameworks are free to access, simple to understand, and easy to use – with expert procurement support from start to finish.

For additional information, or to discuss your requirements with an expert member of our team,
call 01482 975883 today, or email your enquiry to info@pagabo.co.uk.

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