Public sector research services DPS opened for business

Crown Commercial Service launches £170m contract allowing purchase of online and in-person research, as well as analytics

The Crown Commercial Service has launched a new way for the public sector to buy in research expertise more easily and cost-effectively.

Its Research Marketplace agreement has attracted 46 suppliers in its first two weeks of operation – including the likes of Ipsos Mori, YouGov and Westminster University’s commercial arm, and is expected to be worth around £170m over its anticipated four-year lifespan.

The procurement agreement, which is being run as a dynamic purchasing system rather than a traditional framework, allows suppliers to join at any time as long as they can meet the selection criteria and agree to relevant terms and conditions.

Services offered through the DPS include qualitative and quantitative research, both online and in-person, as well as analysis and consultancy. Areas covered include social attitudes, finance, business, and communications.

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The procurement vehicle is open to central government and the entirety of the wider public sector.

Tracy Clark, CCS head of procurement for marketing, communications and research, said the marketplace could be used to provide social and economic research that would inform and develop policies across a swathe of areas, offering bodies customer experience data and more quantitative measures.

“The research marketplace is an exciting new agreement which will enable the public sector to access wide-ranging research expertise that supports the delivery of efficient, effective public services,” she said.

“The dynamic purchasing system approach also provides greater access to public sector opportunities for SMEs and specialist providers.”  

Under the system, suppliers provide details of their research services, and customers can filter and refine their search to develop a list of potential providers.

Contracts are then awarded by customers following a “call for competition” process.


Sam Trendall

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