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22 October 2018
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Contracts will be in plain English © Shutterstock

10 January 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has issued a contract notice for its new facilities management marketplace framework – with a focus on simplification and increasing opportunities for SMEs to supply to government.


The framework will be the first to make use of the new, easy-to-use terms and conditions of the public sector contract, cutting the time and cost of procurement.


The move could see hundreds of pages of terms and conditions removed from contracts and either moved online or cut out entirely, where information is not relevant to the particular deal being agreed. This is particularly relevant to lower value and less complex FM deals delivered by smaller FM operators across the UK.


The FM marketplace, potentially worth up to £12 billion, includes several measures designed to increase SME participation, and will be awarded in two phases.


Suppliers bidding for places on phase one will have to choose to bid on a maximum of two lots out of the three available.


This means that suppliers will have to balance between bidding for large, medium or small value lots – increasing the chances for smaller suppliers to compete for public contracts.


The public sector contract was developed in partnership by Crown Commercial Service (CCS), Government Digital Service (GDS), the Government Legal Department (GLD), and law firm DLA Piper.


Contracts will become modular and written in plain English – making it easier for suppliers and public bodies to understand their responsibilities, and making it more likely that smaller companies with less time to read through and analyse long, complex documentation will bid.


The core terms are just over 20 pages and will not change, with extra modules that ‘plug in’ if some tailoring is required.


The contract will be rolled out across new frameworks awarded in 2018, beginning with the facilities management marketplace.


CCS will be holding a webinar for interested suppliers at 10:30am on Friday 12th January 2018. Visit the registration page to sign up.


To find out more about the facilities management marketplace, visit the CCS procurement pipeline.


To find out more about the public sector contract, read the blog by the government’s legal department.


Visit TED for the full OJEU notice.