The Government Procurement Service (GPS) continues to engage with the FM industry for their input in order to shape the new FM Contracting Model (FMCM) (see our previous link).  As part of this process, the GPS also held a supplier webinar on 12 November. The webinar was attended by over 40 suppliers and supplemented the October conferences. It provided:

  • a background to the impetus for change and aims of the new FMCM
  • an outline of the proposed new FMCM and its key features; and
  • an overview of the proposed timescales for delivery.

There was also an opportunity to ask the project team questions, which will be published with answers on the GPS website once compiled.
Notable items from the webinar included further detail on:

  1. The Case for Change – GPS highlighted the different approaches adopted by Government departments in the past for procuring FM services which were inconsistent, inefficient and lacked transparency. The new FMCM seeks to provide an innovative and collaborative solution for the Government who will be an intelligent buyer and manager of FM services. This will also contribute to generating savings and value for money.
  2. Phased Approach – The first phase involves delivering the new FMCM to market early next year and simultaneously centralising control and management of the procurement of FM services working with individual Governmental departments. The second phase seeks to further develop FM sourcing options to use across the Government departments.
  3. Government Spend - The Central Government spend under the new FMCM has been estimated at approximately £2 billion plus an additional wider public sector spend, which is significant and we are told details of a proposed project pipeline will be issued soon to support those indications.
  4. Standardisation – The aim is to standardise and simplify the procurement process. GPS are also looking to apply common approaches and standards across Governmental departments such as the use of formal contracts and benchmarking which will enable the Government to accurately market test. This will be particularly tricky with competing department’s needs and differing levels of engagement in the process.
  5. Engaging with a wider supplier base – In particular, the GPS is looking to support SME’s in tendering under the new FMCM to help promote growth in this sector.
  6. Creation of Crown Commercial Services (CCS) – The CCS will be a new central function for the Government and will be the key delivery vehicle for the procurement process under the new FMCM.
  7. Closed Loop – Suppliers under the new FMCM will also be contractually committed to work with the GPS’s closed loop supplier, who supports the Government’s initiative to recycle Government waste paper into copier paper which is then provided back to the Government as a quality end product.

So, what more did we learn about the new FMCM?

It was reiterated that, the new FMCM is to be a combination of (1) FM Contracting Vehicle and the (2) GPS FM Procurement Managed Service.

The FM Contracting Vehicle structure being suggested breaks down the various FM services into 6 different FM Framework lots (those currently identified are: Total FM, Hard FM, Catering, Cleaning, Security and Waste Disposal). It is considered that a surplus pool of pre-approved additional suppliers or specialists will be within the dynamic FM Market Place who will be available for the provision of FM services outside the lots identified.

The intention is that there will be two separate procurement activities running in parallel from January 2014 for the FM Market Place and the FM Framework. The first OJEU will allow suppliers to tender for a place in the FM Market Place, provided they meet the qualitative criteria (to be determined). The other OJEU procurement will be a comprehensive bid process run for suppliers to tender for the FM Framework. The current thinking amongst the GPS, seems to be that they would like to create a national rather than a local/regional framework.

However it should be noted that securing a place in the FM Market Place and/or on the FM Framework will not guarantee contracts. Suppliers will still need to enter into mini-competitions and meet further detailed requirements (to be agreed) at a later stage in order to win contracts for the FM packages to be released by Governments departments. Therefore, whilst at first sight, it appears that barriers have been removed to entry to the new FMCM, in particular with the FM Market Place, a closer look suggests that where additional criteria are applied at a later stage, this will no doubt lead to increased tendering costs for suppliers and may also leave SMEs behind.

Along with the CCS, the GPS FM Procurement Managed Service is a new division which will assist (and hopefully apply consistency) in the procurement process in awarding and implementing the contracts with the supplier. Again this reinforces the principle that this administrative burden is to be lifted from individual Governmental departments. Whilst the day to day running of the contracts will rest with Governmental teams, the GPS FM Procurement Managed Service will have the following 4 core functions:

  • Sourcing
  • Mobilisation and implementation
  • Data and performance management
  • Due diligence/procurement strategy,

all with the intention of assisting the Government in becoming more efficient and an intelligent client of FM services.

The formal framework documentation (currently RM708), which is based on the NEC3 Construction and Engineering Contract, is also intended to be revised. Details regarding the updated RM708, invitation to tenders, KPIs and other documents which suppliers will want to start familiarising themselves with prior to the procurement process in January 2014, are due to be released by the GPS shortly, on their website. 

The detailed timetable for the FM Contracting Vehicle phase is on the GPS website. The current intention is for the OJEU process to commence in January 2014, with the go-live date for the first tranche of contracts to be awarded between October 2014 to March 2015.

Scheduled 1:1 interviews between GPS and industry suppliers are happening this week but if you have any comments on this process or still have not fed back your views to the GPS you can still have your say but the process ends on 29th November so you need to act fast!

For further details, please see the GPS website.