Decision details

Procurement Management Consultancy

Decision Maker: Executive Director - Finance and Commercial

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Approval to procure management consultancy support for procurement services through the Crown Commercial Service management consultancy framework.

This is to provide a cost-effective route to procure specialist procurement consultancy services to support the transition of the procurement function to an in-house service. It will also improve the Council’s capacity by providing specialist services that are not available in-house when there is a need for specialist procurement advice for major projects.


Approved to procure management consultancy support for procurement services through the Crown Commercial Service management consultancy framework.

Alternative options considered:

Option 1. Recruit additional in-house resources:

The option to recruit additional in-house resources to support the requirements of the current and projected workloads has been considered. However, there is a shortage of available specialist procurement staff, and the Council would be unlikely to be able to recruit to fulfil these roles. It would also create additional and permanent employee costs to the Council for what is a fluctuating resource requirement. This option would be unlikely to allow for situations where specialist knowledge is required. Furthermore, it places an additional financial pressure on the Council in periods where there may be limited need for this expertise. This option is not recommended.

Option 2. Procure professional services on a project-by-project basis:

This option provides maximum choice in terms of capability and experience although it provides very limited agility in terms of responding to requirements in a timely manner. This would result in substantial delays to project and programme delivery, it is likely to lead to poor procurement practices by creating a very ad hoc process and add higher than necessary costs. This option is not recommended.

Option 3. The use of an established external Framework Agreement. - The recommended option.
A number of potential frameworks have been researched including Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO) and the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) Management Consultancy Framework 3 (MCF3). The CCS MCF3 framework has been identified as the best option based on the quality of framework participants, confidence in competitive processes applied and the flexibility of the selection and award processes. This approach is currently being used for a number of other services within the Council e.g. asset disposal and some technical design services. In common with the use of all third-party frameworks, there are fee implications for the Council to access the agreements and in the selection option from CCS MCF3 the fee is charged directly to the suppliers. The Framework Agreement also affords some opportunity to adjust the terms and conditions to suit the Council’s requirements e.g. the use of social value criteria. The Council already has experience of using this framework and it has shown full flexibility by allowing the Council the opportunity to call off services on a demand basis and at the same time ensure that the costs applied have been competitively benchmarked against market rates.

Publication date: 27/01/2023

Date of decision: 24/03/2022