Crown Commercial Service explores replacement of back offices framework

The government is investigating the potential replacement of a back office services framework for public sector bodies which expired in December.

The Crown Commercial Service has published a prior information notices for a potential second iteration of its Payroll, Human Resources (HR) and Finance Managed Services (PHRF) framework.

The existing framework came to an end on 1 December after the CCS abandoned a previous attempt to put a replacement in place.

CCS said it was “undertaking pre-market engagement with customers and suppliers to understand whether there is still a need for back-office services in the public sector and what shape a potential future arrangement could take to achieve benefits and savings for customers.”

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The aim is to continue supporting the government’s Next Generation Shared Services Strategy, released in 2012.

This strategy enables government’s core back office functions including HR, finance, procurement and payroll to be shared across two independent and three standalone shared service centres in an attempt to drive efficiencies.

Any new framework  could be worth £250m and would be aimed at providing a managed service, although CCS said some outsourced elements may be included for eligible wider public sector customers.

The PIN said: “It is envisaged that a spectrum of services will be required to meet the diverse range of customer requirements and differing rates of adoption – requiring the services to be available separately or integrated, ranging from bureau type helpdesk services with access to software, through to fully- managed, outsourced provision.”

CCS will hold a supplier workshop in Norwich on 22 March to discuss its thinking.

Colin Marrs

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