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The Benefits of Direct Award

Procure Partnerships allow public bodies to use a variety of different call-off methods when making visions and plans of upcoming projects a reality. With several value bands, eleven regions and the choice of selecting either a contractor or professional service supplier there is one call-off method that has proven to be particularly popular for both suppliers and clients, Direct Award.

The popularity of the Direct Award call-off method comes down to the ability to allow our framework users to quickly appoint service providers, and avoid longer, drawn-out processes meaning projects can commence in good time. In this blog, Key Account Manager Lauren Banks, with commentary from contributors Tamworth Borough Council and Procure Partnerships Framework Director Robbie Blackhurst, will explore these benefits and how they can support our public bodies.

Direct Award Is A Popular Route Amongst Public Sector

Procure Partnerships has supported the appointment of exactly 71 projects through Direct Award across its three national agreements, contractor minor works agreement, contractor major works agreement and the professional service agreement. This makes it one of the most popular and well-used call-off methods to date. Procure Partnerships have an excellent body of work that shows the great success of projects produced through Direct Award such as:

– Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust recently appointed City Build to deliver enabling works at Arrowe Park Hospital

– Portsmouth City Council Appointed BAM to deliver the new £13M industrial unit including offices, a service yard, car parking, access roads and associated servicing and landscaping

– Newcastle College Group appointed 10 professional service suppliers across multiple disciplines to fulfil work over different sites.

– Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust appointed Vinci to deliver a programme of refurbishment works to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Straight Forward Process Allows for Seamless Appointments

Direct Award is one of the most straightforward call-off methods on offer as it allows public sector clients, including NHS Trusts, Local Authorities, Education providers, and Housing providers, to negotiate with one supplier without the need for a competitive process or re-opening competition. Contractors can work under a PCSA to develop any remaining design or request for projects to be fully priced. Direct Award is also known as Single Tender Actions and occurs when a contract is awarded to a contractor without competition or where there is a material change to an existing contract. This type of contract, although suitable for any kind of project within any value, has proven particularly popular with minor projects especially professional services due to its quick turnover time.

Therefore, the process remains straightforward and seamless throughout. This allows contractors and professional service suppliers to easily be appointed to a project within good time as they have not had to compete for the contract, which is often time-consuming by comparison to other forms of call-off methods.

Working 100% Open Book Allows Value for Money When Directly Appointing

In addition to ensuring a speedier appointment, Direct Award puts the client need’s first and ensures that they are getting the full benefits of using the contract, including value for money. This can provide public sector clients with total transparency. Direct Award allows clients to see every subcontract package return, meaning that the client can compare prices accordingly and then select exactly who they want to go with, guaranteeing that no public body is taken advantage of when it comes to fulfilling a project within their set value band.

Tamworth Borough Council credits the Direct Award for providing them with an effective and simple route to procuring a recent project. “Through Procure Partnerships we were able to procure our project and get it up and running through the use of a Direct Award contract. This procurement route has proven to be a simple and easy-to-use method that has allowed us to see true value for our money as part of an overall effective and compliant process.”

Direct Award Offers Quick and Compliant Route to Market

The advantages of this approach for the client are significant as a Direct Award contract can offer a more compliant route to market. Cutting out the need for competition allows projects to commence on time, within the set schedule and with a supplier suitable for each particular project.

Direct Award allows all parties to gain trust with one another and work collaboratively. Procure Partnerships provide public sector customers with pre-approved suppliers who are trustworthy with a proven track record in executing successful, high-quality work. Therefore, this may lead to long-lasting relationships between all parties, increasing the likelihood of contractors and professional service suppliers being assigned to further projects by the same client in the future, again providing a swift route to market and getting projects up and running.

“Although 80% of the projects procured via the Framework are done so via a further competition route, whether that be two-stage or single-stage, over the past year we have seen an increase in Direct Award opportunities. Direct Award via the Procure Partnerships Framework allows public sector bodies to compliantly contact with any of our partners without reopening competition. Competitive tension is proven by each supplier’s competitively tendered rates and open book accounting at the second stage. The big plus to clients is that they can be in partnership with a supplier within 48 hours of commencing the process” – Robbie Blackhurst, Framework Director, Procure Partnerships

To learn more about Direct Award contact the Key Account Manager in your region Here.