New ‘hidden’ OGC guidance on use of Framework Contracts

One of the strange by-products since OGC (the Office of Government Commerce, keepers of the UK public procurement flame), moved from Treasury is what has happened in terms of their web-site and information being published.

The home page for OGC looks like it has been pretty much frozen since the move in June to the Efficiency and Reform Group ERG in Cabinet Office (CO). And the CO website only features major news, such as the appointment of John Collington, rather than the range of procurement, project management and related information, guidance and similar that used to be published regularly on the OGC site.

But... if you go beneath the surface, you will find that some new material is finding its way onto the OGC site, without a lot of promotion as far as I can see.   And some of it is good and important stuff that deserves wider note.  For instance, we featured the policy notices on transparency and publishing contract information a while ago.  And this week, I discovered on the website a new 'guide to buying through framework argeements'.  It looks at first sight like very good and useful material; my view based on experience is that misuse of frameworks is perhaps the most common breach of EU regulations around the public sector, if usually through ignorance rather than anything more malicious. So this is needed and relevant to many organisations.

Frameworks are a valuable tool in both public and private sector, but (as we discussed at some length in our book) they can be a real negative in terms of value and supplier performance if they're not used intelligently. Anyway, this new OGC material is well worth a look if you are a public procurement practitioner, and you might even get some good ideas if you're in the private sector where preferred supplier lists and frameworks are also commonly used.  I may well come back to this when I've had the chance to look at it in a bit more detail.

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