UK-SBS Cancels �750m Public Sector Consultants Framework

Public sector procurement service UK-SBS (shared business services) has announced that it will cancel the long-delayed £750m consultants framework just weeks after Turner & Townsend agreed to halt its legal challenge against it.

The cancellation of the Project Management and Full Design Team Services framework by UK-SBS has been viewed as a surprise to the industry since last month sources close to the job confirmed it was set to commence within a matter of days.

The framework was originally set to go live in June of last year but was significantly delayed when Turner & Townsend (T&T) launched a legal challenging alleging that “price manipulation” had taken place by some of the bidders shortly after the winners of the framework were announced.

That legal dispute was “stayed” last month and the framework was set to start soon after but in a statement on Friday 7th November, a representative for UK-SBS said that following consultation with the Crown Commercial Service it had been decided that “the appropriate course of action was to not proceed with the framework.”

UK-SBS claims that the decision was taken, in part, because the Crown Commercial Service had decided to establish a “Buildings” category that would “offer a centralised commercial and procurement service for public sector construction projects.” UK-SBS also claims that feedback from suppliers on the “design of the agreement” and the delays due to the legal challenge were also factors in their decision.

UK-SBS stated: “We recognise the significant time and effort put in by all suppliers participating in the competition for PMFDTS…We believe that this decision provides the best way forward for ensuring that we are able to obtain the very best value for customers and taxpayers.”

UK-SBS added that a re-procurement for consultants would take place “in due course” and that public sector clients could use the Crown Commercial Service’s spot buying service in the interim period.

If you have been affected by this decision and would like some advice, please contact us. Email [email protected] or call us on 0203 397 7444.