World Trade Organisation (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
The UK is currently part of the WTO GPA because it is a member of the European Union (EU). It has now been formally invited to join the GPA in its own right. There are still some ratification procedures to go through, but the expectation is that if the UK exits the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal, it will accede to the GPA in its own right about a month thereafter. If either the Article 50 period is extended, or if a deal is reached with the EU which contains a transition period, then the UK will temporarily continue to be part of the GPA through the EU’s arrangements, and accession to the GPA will take place after these periods are complete.
Because the UK is already part of the GPA as a member State of the EU, the UK’s independent accession should not have any new implications for buyers in Scotland.
Preparing changes to procurement legislation
The Scottish Government has introduced legislation which will make sure that procurement law continues to function in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU. The core aim of this legislation is to ensure that, as far as possible, there is continuity on day one after exit. Scottish Procurement Policy Notes 1/2019 and 2/2019 describe the effects of the legislation in more detail. If a deal is reached with the EU which contains a transition period, we expect that existing arrangements will continue until the end of that period.
The new UK eNotification system is in the final stages of testing and Proactis (Millstream) completed its testing a couple of weeks ago. All new notices published on PCS are now being automatically issued to the new system in parallel to OJEU and this will remain the case until we know the outcome of the UK’s relationship with the EU. Nonetheless, the requirement to publish notices in PCS will remain in place regardless of the outcome.
No-deal Brexit: economic implications for Brexit
The Scottish Government issued an illustration of the potential impact that a no-deal Brexit - leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 without a transition period or agreement on any future trade deal and wider economic relationship - could have on the Scottish economy over the next 12-24 months. The paper No-deal Brexit: economic implications for Brexit is useful for forecasting commercial implications for contractual agreements, particularly in terms of inflation and foreign currency impacts.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK will transitionally recognise the European Economic Area (EEA) (GDPR was adopted by EU and also in EEA) as though they have been subject to an affirmative adequacy decision by the UK which will enable personal data to flow freely from the UK to the EEA. However, if we leave the EU without a deal, GDPR transfer rules will apply to any data coming from the EEA into the UK. At EU exit date there may not be an adequacy decision by the European Commission regarding the UK, therefore, you need to consider what GDPR safeguards you can put in place to ensure that data can continue to flow into the UK.
The ICO has published a suite of no-deal guidance on their website:
DCMS has also published the following on gov.uk:
Scottish Procurement continue to monitor the level of impact associated with Brexit particularly under a no-deal. Engagement has been undertaken with key suppliers on SG-led agreements with focus on preparedness and contingencies to minimise disruption and/or adverse commercial outcomes.
We continue to work with sectoral procurement Centres of Expertise and UK Government commercial colleagues to enable an aligned approach and share knowledge.
2. National Framework Agreement for Cloud Services
The OJEU notice for the new Cloud Services framework has now been issued.
3. Print and Associated Services
The re-tender process to replace the existing frameworks for Print and Associated Services is in the very last stages. Unfortunately, we have encountered a slight delay. However, we are still working towards timing the award of these frameworks with the expiry of current frameworks on 1 April 2019.
In the meantime, we suggest that if framework public bodies have imminent requirements, they look to award any call-off contracts prior to 1 April 2019. Call off contracts placed under the current frameworks can run beyond the expiry of the frameworks until the end date stated in the contract.
If you have any questions contact:
4. Temp and Interim Staff Services
The re-tender process to replace the existing frameworks for Temp and Interim Staff Services is in the very last stages. Unfortunately we have encountered a slight delay. However we are still working towards award of these frameworks by 1 April 2019, with a view to new frameworks commencing on 13 April 2019 to coincide with the expiry of current frameworks on 12 April 2019.
In the meantime, we suggest that if framework public bodies have imminent requirements, they look to award any call-off contracts prior to 12 April 2019. Call off contracts placed under the current frameworks can run beyond the expiry of the frameworks until the end date stated in the contract.
If you have any questions contact:
5. Recruitment Advertising and Public Information Notices Framework Agreement
The Recruitment Advertising and Public Information Notices framework agreement with TMP UK Ltd has been extended for a period of 12 months until 17 April 2020. Approximately 40 organisations use the framework on a regular basis and TMP UK Ltd continue to deliver very positive performance levels, with value for money savings running at approximately 22%.
6. Supply of Electricity framework SP-17-004
The new national Supply of Electricity framework has been awarded to EDF Energy Customers Ltd.
Supply of Electricity will begin from 1 April 2019 for an initial two year period with options to extend up to a further three years.
Benefits of the new framework include:
- annual cost avoidance savings of £9m per annum
- service improvements including provision of a self-service web portal
- green energy at fixed rates, and
- the ability for public bodies to sell self-generated renewable energy back to the grid.
It also provides a range of community benefits.
A Determination of Savings, buyer’s guide and operational process manual will be published at the end of March.
If you have any questions contact:
Tom Waring on 0131 2445485
7. Internet of Things Technologies and Services
Scottish Procurement intends to establish a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for Internet of Things (IoT) Technologies and Services. We expect to issue the Contract Notice in April 2019 and make the DPS available for use in May 2019.
The range of IoT technologies and services is wide and diverse. Some of the technologies and services available include:
- device management
- data management
- subscription and connectivity management
- application enablement and management
- IoT enablement (advice) and implementation services
- IoT related hardware including sensors
We carried out an initial opportunity assessment to see if there was a demand for, and, market to provide, IoT technologies and services to the Scottish public sector. It confirmed that there is a pipeline for IoT and that the services required by the Scottish public sector broadly align with what the market can currently offer.
We are not aware of any existing IoT collaborative procurement arrangements within Scotland or wider UK. For more information, please contact:
Anamaria Rehbein on 0131 244 5749.
8. Mobile Voice and Data Services
Scottish Procurement is considering the establishment of a new collaborative framework agreement for the provision of mobile voice and data services. We have previously carried out four collaborative mini competitions through Crown Commercial Services (CCS) frameworks which have provided excellent value for money to participating organisations. A restriction to the mini competition process though is that organisations must commit to being part of the collaborative procurement at the outset and this limits the availability of the arrangement only to those organisations.
Strategic analysis will look to develop and build upon previous procurement approaches and there is a potential to put in place a single supplier framework agreement for a period of up to 2 years. Consideration will also be given to some form of initial call-off commitment, perhaps via an anchor, for customer(s) to provide a degree of commercial confidence in the framework. This approach should open up mobile voice and data services to a greater number of Scottish public sector organisations. This in turn could provide benefits through increased economies of scale and will allow call off contracts to be awarded over the duration of any framework.
The scope of any new collaborative arrangement is still being developed. However, the core requirements are expected to focus on the provision of calls and SMS, data services and handsets. Optional requirements may also include:
- handset insurance
- device disposal and recycling
- mobile device management
- lone and remote worker services
- multi sim
- converged mobile services
- shared data services
This is subject to change as the strategy develops. In addition to value for money benefits, a key criteria for any arrangement would be around the effective mobile network connectivity that service providers can offer.
We intend to issue a Prior Information Notice to the market to help us to understand their views on the future arrangement and to inform our strategy. We are also looking to establish an User Intelligence Group (UIG) to assist with the development of the strategy. If you would like to be involved in the UIG or wish to nominate someone that you feel would provide valuable contribution, please provide the name and contact details to:
Dawn Swan on 0141 242 5595
9. Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS 2.0) – Digital Technology Services
We are pleased to confirm that DPS 2.0 for Digital Technology Services will go live this month. The lot structure will cover:
- digital technology projects
- digital technology resources, and
- cyber security services
This will replace the hugely successful DPS 1.0 for Digital Services which will shortly be closed to new procurement requirements and will also replace our framework for Digital and Technology Services (DATS) - which is due to expire in May 2019.
A DPS provides a number of benefits to buyers and suppliers (especially SMEs) alike with its increased choice, competition and straightforward call-off process. To date, around 74% of suppliers on DPS 2.0 are SMEs and all have committed to pay the Real Living Wage.
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