The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has set out the proposed division into lots of its planned “Wider Public Sector Legal Services framework”, which is worth an estimated £80m a year.
A prior information notice on what was originally going to be called the Legal Services Marketplace, was published in October 2017. The use of a dynamic purchasing system was considered but appears to have been ruled out.
The framework will be made available to a wide range of organisations including NHS Trusts, schools, universities, local authorities and charities.
The CCS said it was finalising the framework’s design and wanted to boost the participation of SMEs.
The five lots will be:
- A regional lot, where bidders will have the opportunity to demonstrate expertise in a minimum of only one legal area and one of 12 UK regions
- A ‘full service’ lot designed to deliver a suite of mandatory legal services within the jurisdictional areas of England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
- Three smaller, specialist lots, focusing on individual jurisdictional areas; Property & Construction, Rail, and Cost Lawyer Services.
“The lotting structure means that public bodies will be able to access legal expertise from suppliers based in their own area, to meet their specific requirements and with pre-agreed terms and conditions - removing the need for them to run their own, costly procurement exercises,” the CCS said.
It added that the agreement would make use of the new Public Sector Contract, developed by CCS in partnership with Government Digital Service and the Government Legal Department.
Framework contracts and call-off contracts will also carry the same terms and conditions – which the CCS said was an innovation for public contracting – “removing the unnecessary legal expense of knitting the two together”.