ITT Design Support – Consortium of Public Sector Commissioners

Project Overview

Three regional Commissioners initially collaborated with a view to commissioning services, for themselves. However a short way into the project, it became clear that many, if not all, Commissioners nationally had a similar need to commission services and there would be benefits in establishing a Framework contract that could be used by any interested party.   This resulted in the establishment of an ITT for a national Call-off framework contract with a potential value in excess of £100m over 5 years and available for up to 42 Commissioners.

The services had been previously provided by a national Charity centrally funded via Government grants. As a result, the new commissioning landscape was considerably more complex for both Commissioners and the incumbent supplier alike.   Neither having undertaken a competitive commissioning process of this size and nature before.


In conjunction with our partners TONIC, EVOLVE served as advisers to the consortium of public sector commissioners who were looking to establish an EU compliant call-off framework for the supply of these services.  Our role included the following:

  • Advising on the final draft of the ITT
  • Ensuring the ITT was fit for purpose and flexible enough to enable the calling off by Commissioners with different requirements
  • De-risking the process and highlighting improvements to the ITT
  • Evaluation and clarification of bids – ensuring that bids were scruitinised, all the questions and information requested was dealt with satisfactorily and suppliers responses were adequately challenged where necessary
  • Contract negotiation – supporting the commissioners in establishing a final contract which provided adequate contractual protection for the commissioners and met the specific and diverse needs of calling-off commissioners
  • Implementation advice

 Outcomes & Achievements (EVOLVE):

  • The productions of a robust and EU Compliant tender
  • Providing professional rigour and experience of large/complex contracts to ensure high quality
  • Delivering enhanced performance monitoring capabilities
  • Incorporation of added value, Social return on investment and Open Book principles to the tender and subsequent contract
  • Flexibility – ensured that the framework was adaptable to the extent that it could be amended to meet the differing commissioner requirements nationally
  • Helped to ensure that evaluation criteria was suitably balanced between price and quality
  • Proposed improved contractual protection for the commissioner better defined breach and escalation procedures

The benefits of this approach (Framework / collaborative commissioning)

  • Framework avoids each commissioner having toincur the individual cost of a tendering process
  • Improved buying power and influence on the supplier
  • Attracting interest from the best providers
  • Fully EU compliantand robust commissioning process which will stand up to public scrutiny on obtaining best possible value for money

Client Testimonials:

“TONIC have helped us to develop key components of the tender process and the service to be delivered.  We found that they are committed and flexible and pushed themselves to meet deadlines. They have given us much valuable advice which has contributed to the framework, including for example, open book accounting. Their work has greatly strengthened the influence of any organisation calling down on services.  Their background and experience provided a helpful sounding board, reassurance and quality assurance. We found that they have been proactive, an asset and very enjoyable to work with.”

Senior Policy Advisor and Framework Contract Lead, Public Sector Commissioner

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