Procurement - media planning, buying and associated services framework: buyer guide

This buyer’s guide provides guidance to public sector organisations on accessing and utilising the media planning, buying and associated services framework.

Further information

Awarding a direct award/mini competition call-off contract

A direct award call-off contract must be concluded by an award letter including a completed schedule 5 of the Standard Terms of Supply.

A mini competition call-off contract must be concluded by an award letter including a completed schedule 5 and unsuccessful letters must also be issued to all unsuccessful tenderers. Please note that framework public bodies do not have to follow the standstill rules when awarding a call- off contract under a framework agreement. However, where above-threshold level contract is awarded by mini competition, following the standstill rules on a voluntary basis (including summary reasons) can protect the contract from ineffectiveness, if challenged in court. Templates for letters can be found under the links below.

Where requested by an unsuccessful tenderer, framework public bodies must provide feedback in relation to the reasons why their tenders were unsuccessful. The substance and form of the feedback given to unsuccessful bidders in the mini competition will be at the framework public body’s discretion. Example letters and guidance from the Procurement Journey are contained within the guidance given in the links below:

Framework levy

For Lot 1 only, please note that the prices charged by the suppliers for the media ordered, will be audited on a 6 monthly basis by the appointed media auditor. The auditor will produce a report to each framework public body detailing the value of media purchased and will highlight whether the prices charged by the suppliers are ahead or behind the price guarantees set under the framework. Media advice is also included as part of the audit services. The cost of the media auditor’s service will be covered through a framework levy. The levy is currently set at 1.0% of the value of a framework public body’s media spend and may be varied by the auditor contract manager.

Lot 2 ordering procedures

Framework public body obligations:

The framework public body shall give a notice sent by email to the contractor which states the service requirements and seeks a proposal for the service requirements, in accordance with the framework agreement, schedule 2, pricing and schedule 5 Standard Terms of Supply.

Subject to agreement, the framework public body shall award its service requirements by placing an order with the framework contractor in accordance with the following:

  • completes and incorporates a Schedule 5, Standard Terms of Supply
  • states the service requirements
  • states the specification
  • states the charges payable for the service requirements in accordance with the tender submitted by the contractor

Framework contractor obligations

The contractor shall provide a tender proposal, including pricing, and send a response by email to the framework public body. 

Subject to the framework public body notifying the contractor that their response has been accepted, the call-off contract, for example the order, shall be formed on the commencement date set out in the notice.

Awarding an order

A call-off contract must be concluded by an award letter and the completion of schedule 5 from the framework agreement.

The contractor acknowledges that each framework public body is independently responsible for the conduct of its award of call-off contracts or orders under the framework agreement and that the authority is not responsible or accountable for and shall have no liability whatsoever in relation to:

  • the conduct of the framework public body in relation to the framework agreement
  • the performance or non-performance of any orders between the contractor and the framework public body entered into pursuant to the framework agreement


Framework management

Colin Anderson
Scottish Government, Scottish Procurement, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EHQ 6QQ

Claudio Swinton
Scottish Government, Scottish Procurement, 5 Atlantic Quay, Glasgow, G2 8LU

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