Government preps plan for new £5bn contact centre and outsourcing framework with two years to spare

The Crown Commercial Service has published a future opportunity notice outlining its intent to engage with suppliers, ahead of plans to implement a long-term framework beginning a year from now

Government has revealed plans to replace and expand an existing multibillion-pound framework through which public-sector organisations can buy outsourced contact centre and other business services.

The Crown Commercial Service has released a future opportunity notice outlining its intent to create a new ‘Outsourced Services’ commercial agreement. The publication of these commercial documents means that the process of establishing the framework has begun two years before the deal is scheduled to come into effect, and replace an existing arrangement.

The agreement will be comprised of two lots, respectively covering ‘Contact Centres’ and ‘Business Process Services’.

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Details are fairly scant at this stage, but the notice says that the former will feature suppliers that can offer “the provision of full contact centre services, including the provision of skilled call handlers, project managers and full innovation and automation functionality provided through technology”.

The second section, meanwhile, will contain providers of “outsourced business process services, including – as a minimum – payroll, HR, finance and source-to-pay services”.

Ahead of the expected launch of a formal procurement process in September of next year, CCS indicated that it will spend the next few months running “market engagement sessions… with industry experts and suppliers interested in potentially bidding for the resulting framework contract”.

The plan is for the new framework to ultimately come into effect in August 2025 – around the same time that the incumbent buying vehicle expires.

Like the deal that will replace it, the existing Contact Centres and Business Services agreement is split into two segments: a contact centre lot valued at £1.5bn; and a £2bn lot covering business services. The contract features 18 suppliers and commenced in summer 2021.

The incumbent agreement and its successor are both open for use by all public-sector organisations.

Sam Trendall

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