What is a Framework?

A framework is an agreement with suppliers to establish terms governing contracts that may be awarded during the life of the agreement. In other words, it is a general term for agreements that set out terms and conditions for making specific purchases.

What work is within a Framework?

Frameworks cover the provision of a generic group of goods, works or services – or a combination of those things. It could cover the construction of schools (works), the services (design), and goods (furniture) within the framework – which are therefore the ‘lots’. Frameworks can cover all sectors of the built environment.

How long does a Framework last?

The period of agreement can change depending on the need and the company launching the Framework, however this would normally have a maximum of 4 years – and in some cases the Framework may have an extension period set out initially which can be activated at the end of the contract.

Do Framework agreements need to be advertised?

Within the public sector all Framework agreements must be advertised in Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) if the procurement value is estimated to exceed the EU threshold – but the individual works do not need to be re-advertised.

How can you get onto a Framework agreement?

The procurement process for awarding the framework agreement will be awarded according to how well suppliers satisfy the selection criteria. Building relationships to understand the supplier’s values and needs, whilst having clear visibility of the frameworks and having a business strategy are the key ways to get onto an agreement. Our database will help you get clear visibility, whilst our Built Environment Networking events allow you to meet key decision makers from the public sector.

What is the advantage of Framework agreements?

The main advantage to a purchasing authority of using a Framework is that they do not have to go through the full OJEU process every time requirements arise – especially when a large masterplan or set of works is planned. It also means that the companies have already been identified as being able to deliver to the right costs, values and quality in which the authority is happy with – as well as potential savings as potential suppliers offer more competitive prices to secure longer term partnerships and work.

For the suppliers the reduction to tendering costs allows reduced costs and time – with the main advantage being the chance of being awarded valuable business opportunities on both the framework and further afield. It also allows you to be more competitive when bidding, as you’ll have visibility of others within the framework in which you can collaborate of different groups of work.

Do all Public-Sector Bodies have a Framework?

Not all public-sector authorities and bodies have their own framework – in those cases they would usually utilise another authority’s framework agreement or use a private sector framework.

What is the value to a Framework?

The value of a Framework can vary hugely depending on the sector, industry and organisation. A large organisation undergoing a large redevelopment or project would be much higher than one without large work set to be carried out – but all frameworks have a genuine pre-estimate value based on the level of expenditure likely to go through each framework.

Why is it called a Framework and not a contract?

Legal definitions vary, but in essence a contract is a legally binding agreement between two parties which commits them to exchanging goods or services in return for a consideration. Frameworks are different, as they do not normally include a legally binding commitment on the customer to receive the goods or services and to make a payment. Only when the customer places ‘an order’ under the terms of the framework does it become a contract between the customer and the supplier.