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Countess of Chester Framework – Charges to Framework Providers

By September 2, 2022No Comments

It has been brought to BIVDA’s attention that a framework has recently been issued by Countess of Chester, Commercial Procurement Services with charges being applied.

Upon review of the Invitation to tender (ITT) it appears that there will be a Framework Agreement award fee of £5,000, an annual fee of £5,000 and a gain share fee – this will be 1.0% of the turnover of each call off Contract awarded. This is uncommon, but Countess of Chester Commercial Procurement Services are a commercially independent organisation and have an income stream to develop.

This framework looks to compete as a Framework with Akeso’s managed service framework.

The use of Gain Share is dubious as it looks like just another fee to suppliers for procurement of products from this Framework as opposed to directly or from another Framework. The only gain is to the Countess of Chester.

Suppliers will of course build these costs in to bids (although the annual fee is more complex, with it potentially being a fee with no revenue and the resulting prices may or may not be better that NHS orgs could get from other routes.

In addition, by charging a fee, suppliers should expect a certain level of performance by the Contracting Authority (CA) and a return on their investment should be achieved, however there are no guarantees of business from this fee.

There does not appear to be any measurement and rectification terms if no business is received from the work that the CA states it will be doing to ensure public sector compliance.

BIVDA is seeking feedback from members of their thoughts relating to this framework and is considering what steps if any to take next.

Options include opening up discussions with the Countess of Chester Commercial Procurement Services, Akeso, NHS England and alignment with other trade associations whose members are affected. It depends on the feedback received from members, so please email your views to no later than 14.00 the 9th September 2022.

If there is no feedback received, then we will presume that members are happy with the structure of the contract and are happy for this model to be applied in this and future tenders.

Ben Kemp