West Mercia Energy: Energy Frameworks

West Mercia Energy (WME) is a leading Public Buying Organisation, with over 25 years’ experience providing energy services to the public sector through our range of energy Frameworks.

But what are Frameworks, and what are the benefits of using them to procure goods or services, such as energy?

What is a Framework?

A Framework is an agreement put in place with a supplier that enables buyers to place orders for services without running lengthy tendering exercises. They are designed to help public bodies to procure goods and services from pre-approved suppliers, with agreed terms and conditions and legal protections.

Frameworks are generally based on large volume buying. By aggregating buyers’ needs, buyers can source services at lower prices, or with special added benefits and/or more advantageous conditions.

Framework Agreements are Public Contract Regulations (2015) compliant. This removes the need for public bodies to independently undertake a full procurement process, as this has already been done as part of setting up the Framework.

Once awarded, Frameworks run for a set timeframe and allow for a maximum public sector spend during its lifetime. WME generally utilise 4-year Frameworks. After this time, they are re-tendered, giving other suppliers the chance to become the Framework provider.

What are Public Contract Regulations?

All public sector contracts for goods, services or works are subject to UK procurement rules known as The Public Contracts Regulations. These apply where the value of a contract is over a certain threshold.

The purpose of this procurement legislation is to open up public procurement to UK-wide competition and ensure that all potential bidders are treated equally; with contracts awarded fairly, transparently and without discrimination.

The Regulations require all public sector bodies wanting to make a purchase over the relevant threshold to advertise the opportunity and to follow the procedural rules for how the procurement must be conducted.

All of WME’s Energy frameworks are compliant with these PCR ensuring that buyers do not need to go through the process again.

How can WME set up compliant Frameworks?

The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 permit contracting authorities, such as WME, to establish Framework agreements by applying the procedures provided in the Regulations.

These framework agreements establish the terms that govern contracts. Contracting authorities can then award under a given framework provided that they are clearly identified for that purpose, and that they follow the award procedures laid down in that framework and the Regulations.

How are WME’s suppliers chosen?

WME’s main flexible Gas and Electricity Frameworks are single supplier frameworks.

WME designs a bespoke tender exercise outlining all of our key requirements of the supplier, and this is published in line with Public Contract Regulations, 2015.

Suppliers will then competitively bid to become the Framework supplier. Suppliers have to demonstrate how they can provide the goods and services required and to an agreed standard and must explain how working with them will help WME / our customers to generate social value and meet carbon net zero targets.

WME assesses all of the bids against criteria advertised in the framework’s documents and make an award.

Why use a Framework?

Frameworks can be a particularly helpful and effective way for public sector organisations to buy goods and services whether purchased on a periodic or regular basis. Frameworks can considerably reduce the amount of time normally required by organisations to run a procurement exercise, while also ensuring they stay compliant with relevant legislations.

This is very helpful with energy, which is a particularly complex area to procure.

By accessing a Framework, very often you are able to benefit from aggregation that as a standalone organisation, you may not be able to achieve. For example, WME’s energy Frameworks are accessed by over 100 public sector bodies and approx. 2,000 schools and academies. We can achieve some economies of scale when going to market with mass customer commitment which can help us negotiate supplier margins and additional benefits for our customers.

By using one of WME’s Frameworks, you ensure that the buying process is fully compliant with UK procurement legislation. All suppliers utilised on our Frameworks have been assessed during the thorough procurement process for their financial stability, track record, experience, professional ability and value for money.

Who can access WME’s Frameworks?

Any public body can utilise WME’s range of energy Frameworks. We currently work with Local Authorities, Town & District Councils, the NHS, Blue Light Services, Education establishments and Charities.

More details on each of our Frameworks can be found within the links below. To discuss any of these in more detail, please contact us.


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