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What is Technology Products & Associated Services 2?

Written by Thornton And Lowe

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Nov 18, 2022

The Technology Products and Services 2 Framework aims to provide Public Sector buyers with a simple, flexible and efficient way to purchase technology products and associated services.


This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Laptops
  • Desktops
  • Mobile phone
  • Printers and scanners
  • Servers
  • Storage disposal
  • Refurbished/repurposed devices
  • Off-the-shelf software and associated services

This is a Crown Commercial Services (CCS) Framework, available to all public sector buyers from across the UK. Established in 2022, this now replaces the current Technology Products and Associated Services (TePAS) Framework but will offer the same range of products and services. With a big focus on sustainability, the new government framework is intended to allow buyers to buy products and services from resellers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in an environmentally conscious and cost-effective manner.

Technology Products and Services 2 is projected to have the same overall spend as the previous version of the framework, at around £8bn. TePAS, which ran from 2019 and is due to end in December 2023, has allowed buyers to select products and solutions from 40 suppliers across 4 Lots. Over 60% of suppliers on the previous framework are SMEs.

However, as per recent market engagement activities, the Lot structure has been altered to encompass 8 Lots, instead of the previous 4.

Lot

Description

Scope

1

Hardware & Software & Associated Services

End-user devices, infrastructure and software

2

Hardware and Associated Services

End-user devices and infrastructure

3

Software and Associated Services

General software

4

Information Assured Products & Associated Services

High-security accreditation products

5

Health and Social Care Technology

Health-specific technology products

6

Education Technology

Education-specific technology products

7

Sustainability & Circular IT

Refurbished kit and secure disposal services

8

Catalogue

Catalogue function for lower-value products

In 2021/22 a total of over £2.8 billion of public money was spent by using CCS agreements.

AIMS OF THE FRAMEWORK

Offering a ‘one-stop shop’ for customers, the new framework aims to provide a complete range of technology products and services for various purchase models. It also seeks to simplify the customer experience, enabling sustainability by providing end-to-end services for the lifecycle of technology products.

As per the announcement at the Market Engagement session at the end of October, the timeline for this procurement exercise is as follows:

Activity

Date

Final Business Case

November 2022

Bid Pack Preparation

December 2022/ January 2023

Contract Notice Available on Find A Tender

February 2023

Framework Award

September 2023

Project Goes Live

October 2023

Length of Framework

30 Months with an extension of up to 18 months

Buyers for the current framework purchase a wide variety of products through further competitions, spanning items such as desktop computers, tablets and laptops through to Microsoft Office software suites and encryption software for high security buyers such as the MoD. Due to the change in Lot structure, there are additional requirements for TePAS 2, including Education and Healthcare-specific technology products and a specific Lot for refurbished IT hardware and disposal.

WHAT DO I NEED TO CONSIDER WHEN BIDDING FOR FRAMEWORKS SUCH AS TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 2?

Based on what we know about the previous TePAS Framework, we can expect the new framework to last 4 years. Each previous iteration of this framework has had a strong focus on accessibility for SME suppliers, and it is anticipated that Technology Products and Services 2 will be no different.

As the documentation for this iteration has yet to be formally released and market engagement is currently ongoing, the full details of this framework are not yet publicly available. As with all large government frameworks, the application process can be intensive to ensure the suitability of suppliers.

Tender documentation is expected to be released in February 2023, as per the timeframe given during the Market Engagement event, when the number of suppliers sought per Lot should also be announced. As with all frameworks, winning a place on them doesn’t automatically guarantee work from it. However, it is still a great way to secure a pipeline of work.

As part of your bid, you’ll almost certainly be required to complete a mandatory Standard Selection Questionnaire document which is split into three parts:

Part 1 - This covers basic information about you, including contact details, trade memberships, details of any parent companies and group bidding

Part 2 - This covers a self-declaration to confirm whether any of the exclusion grounds apply. For example, fraud or corruption

Part 3 - This covers a self-declaration to confirm that you meet the selection criteria in respect of financial standing and technical capacity

Part 3 will cover things such as:

  • Economic and Financial Standing - CCS will ask for evidence to demonstrate your financial stability. This is usually in the form of accounts
  • Technical and Professional Ability - You’ll need to provide Case Studies of your experience in providing the required services/products. Any information around KPIs, testimonials, volumes of work you currently deliver are key to this section
  • Insurance levels – These are usually set out at £5 million, as a minimum, for Employers’, Public and Professional Liability

From what we know about CCS Frameworks, holding a valid and current Cyber Essentials Certificate is also an essential requirement. This must be either a Cyber Essentials Basic Certificate or the Cyber Essentials Plus Certificate. From the previous iteration, suppliers on Lot 4 for Information Assured Products are also required to be List X accredited.

The qualitative score will be assessed through a number of written questions. From what we've seen from other recent CCS IT procurement, these are likely to be tightly character limited. Their preference lately has been to use questions which provide detailed guidance and specific sub-criteria to answer which against the character counts, mean that conciseness is key. Addressing all criteria sufficiently is also a must to score highly meaning that detail is important, as is evidence (even if the room is restricted for this).

There will of course also be some form of pricing schedule or catalogue to complete, though all of this, and the precise weightings for each will be apparent upon Framework launch

So that you’re in the best possible position to complete your bid when the application process opens, it’s important to get this information in place now.

HOW THE FRAMEWORK WILL OPERATE (ONCE AWARDED)

Previously, with TePAS, the process to secure work through the Framework was through further competition, although we don’t expect this to be altered significantly, there could be new additions to the types of questions asked.

With Social Value becoming on even bigger focus within public sector tendering, TePAS 2 is looking to reflect this by announcing at their recent market engagement event plans to reflect current government Procurement Policy Notes and social value themes including combatting climate change, tackling economic inequality, providing equal opportunities and wellbeing.

Whilst we await the official requirements and scoring for TePAS 2, due February 2023 as per the Market Engagement event, we can look to the previous iteration for guidance as to what can be expected in terms of criteria. TePAS used a relatively uncommon scoring system, whereby the weighting of the quality and pricing submissions were changeable dependent upon the further competition requirements. Thus individual buyers on the framework could decide to evaluate pricing as being worth anywhere between 10% to 100% of the total score for example.

Previously, the quality submission had been scored using these criteria:

  • Quality and further product discretion
  • Buyer service and satisfaction
  • Logistics and delivery capabilities
  • Goods and service fitness for people
  • Understanding buyer needs
  • Associated services as described within the Lot

Looking at these areas, there are things that companies who wish to bid can do right now to get ahead and prepare for the formal release of TePAS2. Creating key elements such as method statements or organisational charts and making sure critical documents such as CVs and case studies are up to date and relevant to this framework will save both time and resources further down the line.

BID WRITING SUPPORT FOR TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 2

Whilst the specifics of the Technology Products and Services 2 requirements are yet to be confirmed, there are several areas that Thornton & Lowe can support you with now so that once the tender is released, you are in the best position to win work. This could include reviewing your current/previous content, supporting you to compile key information and evidence, conducting targeted research or reviewing/improving your bid process to ensure that you can get the most from the available time.

As professional bid writers, we can also help you respond to Crown Commercial Services tenders, such as Technology Products and Services 2 once it is released. Our bid consultancy services will ensure you fully understand the requirements for this critical tender. Our services include but are not limited to:

  • End to End Bid Management - managing your bid for Technology Products and Services 2 from conception to completion
  • Support for Specific Bid Elements - targeted support to areas such as case studies, additional evidence or social responsibility
  • Read, Review and Comment - expert feedback to add value to your bid
  • Bid Design - bringing structure and a professional, brand oriented design to support your bid

Thornton & Lowe can help you add significant value to your offering, showcasing your services to win work on this competitive framework.

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