Supply and maintenance of payment solutions to buy goods and services, including travel. In addition, a prepaid solution for disbursements of funds to those who do not have access to other means.
Payment solutions and any associated services are available across all public sector organisations. The solution provides an online management information system to enable public sector organisations to manage their purchases effectively and in real time.
- reduced timescales – customers are not required to undertake a full OJEU procurement if procuring using this agreement. Customers will simply need to identify their requirements, present these to the market and award a contract
- the agreement is simple to use with advice available from CCS
- choice of supplier – The agreement offers a wide choice of suppliers, there are 9 suppliers in total split between 3 lots
- the agreement is fully legal, compliant and in line with EU procurement regulations, as EU procurement regulations introduced in 2006 and updated in 2015 specifically recognise framework agreements as a legitimate route to market. This reduces procurement risk for customers, and reduces bureaucracy in the procurement process
- assured supplier standards – Providers appointed onto this agreement are ‘pre-qualified’ as to their general suitability. This means when buying services from them customers are assured that they can meet the appropriate standards in the provision of payment solutions
- special requirements can be considered during a further competition
- an annual rebate is available based on your spend and paid by your chosen supplier
- switching to this programme can typically save you between £28 and £45 per card in annual card fees when compared against industry related fees
- saving of at least £5 per transaction can be achieved when compared to traditional purchasing methods, such as bank transfer payments
- some customers have reduced the number of invoices they have to deal with by as much as 45% by moving to a payment card solution
- suppliers are guaranteed to be paid within 3 working days – helping meet government’s prompt payment targets
- analysis of management information can help you understand your behaviours and support future contract negotiations with frequently used suppliers.
- you can control spending by setting monthly or single transaction limits using MCG (Merchant Category Group’s) and MCC (Merchant Category Codes)
- you can ‘lodge’ a card with your top spending suppliers so employees can make purchases efficiently without the need for a physical card
- security standards as suppliers are accredited to PCI DSS standards
All customers must take the following steps:
- review all guidance documents
- ensure that the nature of their requirement is covered by the scope of this agreement and decide whether direct award (lot 1 only) or further competition is the most appropriate route
- comply with public procurement regulations
- consider their own internal commercial and legal advice
Pre market engagement
- you should consider engaging with the suppliers on the agreement prior to awarding a contract. This pre market engagement is always welcomed by the supply base and is a useful tool for customers to determine the best procurement route for its requirement.
Direct award (Lot 1 only)
To help you decide if you can use Direct Award, you need to consider the following questions:
- can your service requirements be met under the agreement?
- if so, does one supplier clearly provide the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) in respect of your requirements?
- are all of your proposed contract terms laid down in the contract agreement and are you confident that the contract terms require no amendments or require any supplementary terms & conditions?
- are you content with the pricing model used in the procurement of the agreement and can you establish the total cost of each supplier for the requirement being sourced?
If the answer to all the above questions is yes, then you can Direct Award using the Direct Award criteria stated in the guidance documents.
If the answer is no to any of the above (for lot 1 only), then you should carry out a Further Competition to fulfil your specific requirements.
Further competition (lot 1, 2 and 3)
To prepare for a further competition, you need to consider what information you need to provide to suppliers and how this information will be communicated – the guidance documents will provide further details, however think about the following:
- have you adequately conducted pre-market engagement?
- do you need to form a project team? If so, who is the most appropriate person to lead it?
- have you formed a stakeholder group to formulate your requirements?
- have you identified specific resource to support the various stages of the project including initial data gathering, drafting of the statement of requirements and bid evaluation, working with the successful supplier to ensure a smooth implementation once the contract is awarded?
- who will approve the award once proposals have been evaluated?
- consider what information is required in order for supplier proposals to accurately reflect your future requirements
Ahead of a further competition customers should have accurate and up-to date levels of information relating to for example; their card usage and user behaviour in order for suppliers to understand their current profile and to accurately respond to the further competition itself. The suppliers will also need to understand your ‘future’ requirements in order to respond effectively.
CCS advises customers using RM3828 to follow their own internal process and seek their own legal advice to select which optional schedules are relevant to their specific requirements.
A summary of all the schedules and whether they are mandatory or optional can be found within the Guidance and Supplier Quality responses. You can get this by emailing email@example.com or calling 0344 410 2222.