Government should put consultancy framework 'effort where its mouth is'

5 September 2012

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5 September 2012 | Adam Leach

The UK government has only informed suppliers who have made it through the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) stage for three of the five lots that make up its consultancy framework. It has missed its own deadline for announcing them all.

Last November, the Cabinet Office announced it would set up a framework agreement through which all consulting contracts valued at more than £100,000 would be bought. In late July, the government said it would be issuing the results of the PQQ phase for all lots on 3 September. However, suppliers who are participating in the ‘consultancyONE’ were told on Monday afternoon that the government will now “phase the conclusion of the procurement by lots”.

The government said this was “in order to deliver a robust outcome in the shortest timeframe and ensure equal consideration of all PQQs”.  SM understands the delay to the remaining lots has been caused by strong interest from the consultancy community. The PQQ results of the final two are now expected in November.

Alan Leaman, chief executive of the Management Consultancies Association, told SM those in government “should put their effort where their mouth is”. Voicing his disappointment at the second delay, he added: “The other two lots are extremely important because they are the meat and drink of management consulting. Many, particularly specialist and smaller firms, have looked at those lots and seen them as their opportunity.” Having invested time and resources into the PQQ stage, small businesses hoping to win the work want to get it under way quickly.

Lot one covers multi-specialism programme delivery, lot four includes corporate finance and financial strategy and finance operations support and lot five covers internal audit and advice and external audit and advice. The remaining lots – two and three – span categories such as policy development and advice and procurement.

SM understands that the first lot was prioritised because it generated the most interest from consultancies. It is not thought, however, that lots four and five are seen as more important than lots two and three.

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