Schools will be able to save money when buying property-related services through the Crown Commercial Service’s new estates framework. Education Business explains how it will work
The Crown Commercial Service’s new Estates Professional Services framework agreement (RM3816) will enable public sector bodies, such as schools, to save money when buying services relating to their estates and properties.
A procurement framework is an agreement put in place with suppliers that enables buyers to place orders for services without having to go through a lengthy tendering exercise.
The new estates framework enables a simplified way for schools to buy services to help them to manage their estates and assets, reduce property costs, release unwanted property assets, and identify savings and opportunities to generate income from land and buildings.
The framework contains multiple lots delivered across all regions.
It is expected that £430 million will be spent through the framework over the next four years by the public sector and that £35 million will be saved on procured services.
Aside from schools, the framework can be used by local councils, NHS trusts, the emergency services and housing associations.
The new Estates Professional Services Framework Agreement replaces the previous one (RM928) and aims to provide public sector buyers with a one-stop-shop solution for professional property related services.
The agreement will complement other CCS property frameworks – including project management, full design team services, facilities management, and construction – and enables CCS to provide a comprehensive offering for property management solutions.
Schools will benefit by using the framework by reducing property costs, releasing unwanted property assets, identifying savings and opportunities to generate income from land and buildings, as well as meet central targets for reduced property occupancy.
The framework will also allow schools to commission reports, studies and strategies to assist in the management of their estate, and help them to deliver social value.
The framework offers a mix of 34 national suppliers and local expertise, with 35 per cent of suppliers being SMEs.
Lot 1 has national scope and offers access to suppliers with the capability and capacity to deliver large programmes across the UK, using in‑house resources or via a supply chain.
Lot 2 consists of eight regional panels offering direct access to regional suppliers with local knowledge.
Lot 3 meanwhile includes suppliers that offer services for Vertical Real Estates (VRE). This includes the administration, management, advice and guidance for new VRE projects or existing VRE installations. VRE is real estate comprising the space on or above a building, mast or structure that may be used for antennas, solar panels or other appliances. It also includes surfaces of the building, mast or structure that may be used for signage, advertising and other purposes, along with those services needed to support the commercial exploitation of such spaces.
Lot 4 focuses on facilities management and property services (procurement managed services). This includes full end-to-end managed procurement services, procurement strategy development, and related advice.
The new framework offers a wider range of services and provides access to vertical real estate suppliers for the first time, as well as a managed procurement offering.
More SMEs have won places to supply estates services to the public sector than ever before, with a new focus on regional expertise.
It also offers a more flexible pricing model than before, with various options available to customers such as incentivised, gainshare, hourly/daily rates, and lump sum, enabling customers to tailor their contracts to meet their needs.
The free-to-use framework provides a streamlined route for all customers to access a comprehensive range of external suppliers through a Further Competition process or Direct Award. Further competition is estimated to take around four weeks, depending on the size and scale of the requirement.
The delivery of savings is embedded into the pricing models through competitive rates and continuous improvement measures. Some of the services are incentivised based on the level of savings or additional income achieved.
The quality of service delivery is another major draw. Suppliers and supplier sub contractors as part of the CCS evaluation stages have completed a financial and professional compliance review. In the case of sub‑contractors, these will be evaluated by CCS to ensure financial and professional compliance.
Conflict of interest clauses have been enhanced in both the framework and call-off terms and conditions. This offers customers greater protection where conflicts may exist, especially where suppliers may be acting on behalf of a customer and landlord in a proposed same transaction.
A robust set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure the supplier’s’ performance across time, cost and quality, and can be used to influence the fee if required. Specific KPI measures can be determined by the customer, and can be tailored to each individual customer’s specific requirements, including social value.
THE CROWN COMMERCIAL SERVICE
The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) was established to bring together policy, advice and direct buying so that commercial services and goods could become available to the public sector at a reduced cost.
The CCS is responsible for managing the procurement of common goods and services, so public sector organisations with similar needs can achieve value by buying as a single customer. It improves supplier and contract management across government and increases savings for the taxpayer by centralising buying requirements for common goods and services. The CCS also leads on procurement policy on behalf of the UK government.