‘Consistency and simplification’ – CCS looks to standardise framework guidance
Procurement agency seeks research and design specialist to support work to streamline advice for buyers
The Crown Commercial Service is aiming to increase the “consistency and simplification” of guidelines to help support the public sector’s use of frameworks and other buying arrangements.
The Cabinet Office-based agency is seeking to appoint a supplier to spearhead research into existing guidance and how it informs and impacts the buying experiences of public-sector organisations. The chosen provider will be asked to help identify complexity and duplication, and then “rework into standardisation and simplification of website guidance”.
The project will cover online guidelines in a range of areas, including procurement timelines, tech systems, and use of call-off agreements. The research will also consider the efficacy of advice existing documents of various lengths, ranging from 15 to 50 pages.
The ultimate aim of CCS is to “provide an easier and more consistent buying journey for current and potential customers of our commercial agreements”.
“This project will act as a key enabler for our ambitions to extend our reach and coverage across the public sector and deepen our impact. The project will ensure that we improve the guidance provided on our website relating to our commercial agreements, while also allowing us to be compliant and maintain accessibility standards,” the buying agency said, in a contract notice.
It added: “CCS needs to move towards having more consistent information provided through our commercial agreement guidance, the processes we use and the buying journey. We need to standardise these elements to create a consistent and cohesive experience, whilst making sure customers fully understand the variations in each agreement. Creating customer guidance can be burdensome and a long process for our colleagues. This can lead to inaccurate information being shared or multiple versions of the same information.”
As well as simplifying advice for buyers, CCS wants to provide its framework managers with online content templates that enable guidance to be published and updated more easily, and with greater consistency. While these should offer “clear instructions and pre-filled” text where possible, they should also have a level of flexibility “which allows for any nuances on… agreement guidance” for specific procurement vehicles.
Bids for the project are open until midnight on 4 July, after which CCS intends to evaluate up to four suppliers – one of which will be appointed to a contract scheduled to commence in early August. The winning bidder will be expected to deliver 40 days of work. The procurement agency has not specified a budget, but has rather said that it will “set the budget in line with competitive responses received from the market”.
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