Date lodged: 2 October 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether framework contracts are being used as a route to privatise services.
Answered by: Derek Mackay 24 October 2017
EU and national procurement legislation specifically provides for the use of framework agreements. They are generally used for purchases where there is a requirement for a high volume of goods or services, or a repeat need where exact quantities or timings are unknown. They offer a quick and relatively inexpensive route to market. They establish in advance the terms under which subsequent call-off contracts are awarded and can remove the need for subsequent contract awards to follow a new advertised competition. Frameworks are used extensively by professional procurement organisations across the UK (and beyond) to underpin collaborative contracting and/or to meet recurring requirements in a legally compliant and cost-effective way.
Before starting a public procurement it is important that public bodies consider whether this is the most appropriate method of delivering particular goods, services or works or if there are any existing arrangements which could meet their needs. Public contracts, including those which are initiated under a framework agreement are seen as one approach which public bodies can choose to meet their requirements.
It is worth noting that it is not mandatory for public bodies to use framework agreements if they believe other arrangements will deliver better value for money.