Use of frameworks: 3/2017

Guidance on the use of frameworks in public sector construction.


1. This construction policy note (CPN) publishes new guidance on the use of Frameworks in public sector construction.

Key message

2. Where frameworks are used contracting authorities should ensure that SMEs are not disadvantaged or prevented from participating in frameworks by the way in which they are set up.

Target audience

3. This note is intended for all those contracting authority staff involved in the planning and delivery of public works projects.

Outline of Guidance

4. The Review of Scottish Public Sector Procurement in Construction recommended that “Guidance on best practice in the use of framework agreements should always be followed, in particular in allowing opportunities for SMEs to Participate”. It noted that whilst frameworks are efficient in getting projects to market and offer improved value for money for the public sector, they can often have a disproportionate impact on SMEs. This can be for a number of reasons including that they can’t get on them, the cost of preparing tenders is prohibitive or the anticipated benefits do not materialise.
5. The guidance, which is attached at Annex A, provides contracting authorities with advice on when to use frameworks, how best to set them up and how to help prevent adverse impact on SMEs.


6. Please bring this construction procurement note to the attention of all those staff involved in the procurement or delivery of construction activities.

Use of frameworks: CPN 3/2017



Tel: 0131 244 8492

Construction Procurement Policy Unit
The Scottish Government
3B South
Victoria Quay

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