Buyers Guide Refresh Ideas - Procurement Pilot Group

 

FAQ guide (issue 2)

 

  1. PROCUREMENT DRIVER
    Procurement drivers can be any event or opportunity which triggers an intention to procure specific to the Primary Care IT estate, including:
    National Requirements: a new framework such as GP IT Futures.
    Local Requirements: a requirement for change as initiated by stakeholders such as PCNs or GP practices.
    Regional Initiative: this may be where, for instance, several CCGs within a region come together to pursue a joint procurement opportunity.
    Technology Replacement: a procurement required by the need to replace out-of-date, aging or end of term existing IT technologies.
    Supplier Offer: where a supplier may approach a commissioning body with an attractive special offer.
    Notify Board with Pre-Procurement Scoping Paper: the formal notice or paper prepared and issued to a commissioning body’s board(s) with the intention of alerting the board(s) with the details and rationale for the requirement to engage in procurement. A template document is available which can be adapted according to context for this purpose. Contact Buyer Enablement for further details.

 

2. IDENTIFY/VALIDATE NEEDS/OPPORTUNITY and REQUIREMENTS SPECIFICATION
This is the stage of engagement where commissioning bodies engage with their stakeholders at the appropriate level (e.g., PNCs, individual GP Practices) regarding their requirements and expectations for their IT systems. The important first step is to become familiar with the Buying Catalogue, the framework suppliers and – in particular – the capabilities. It is against the Capabilities that commissioning bodies will filter and select suitable suppliers.


Research & Analysis: the process of reviewing the current Primary Care IT estate (or those elements of interest), plus gaining an understanding of what suppliers / technologies are currently available through the Buying Catalogue, as well as potentially investigating available technologies in more general, whilst engaging in:
Consultation with stakeholders: every commissioning organisation will have a different method of stakeholder consultation with the general aim of gaining insight into stakeholders’ requirements and expectations.

Initial Statement of Requirement: a synthesis of all collected stakeholder requirements.

 

3. DEFINITION

Validate requirements: a part of the process where CCGs may wish to ‘test’ out the accuracy and validity of the requirements for the IT estate prior to moving forwards to formalise the set of requirements.

Project planning: the development of a project plan for the procurement including timeframes for actions, inter-dependencies, milestones, and deliverables. This can be created much earlier in the process. It is likely to need continual updating to reflect changing circumstances.

Clarify funding and applicable terms & conditions: the action of ensuring that the funding to be used in the procurement is appropriate to the procurement and that the planned procurement process and strategy complies with all relevant terms and conditions relating to the funding.
Confirm contract value: the Framework makes provision for three different procurement methods depending on what is to be procured and the total contract value – that is the value of the whole contract to be awarded across the total number of years that the contract will run. Determination of contract value will determine which procurement method is to be followed (in the diagram, A, B or C).
Map (requirements) to capabilities: in the Buying Catalogue, suppliers and their respective solutions are indexed by their capabilities. Consequently, it is important that all CCGs engage in the process of translating their sets of requirements for the IT estate into the correct capabilities. This will enable CCGs to browse, compare and select those solutions which offer the best ‘fit’ to their requirements.

Determine evaluation criteria: Schedule 2.1 of the Contract documents contains a list of evaluation criteria which should be applied in the procurement. These criteria have individual weightings which CCGs can adapt according to their procurement aims. The evaluation criteria and their weightings will be included and transparent in the Invitation to Tender that is issued to suppliers.

Determine award criteria: Schedule 2.1 of the Bridging Agreement for reference. The awarding criteria are those factors that will be used to weigh and evaluate each supplier’s response to an Invitation to Tender. It is based on this evaluation that suppliers will be selected for contract award, or not. The process of suppliers’ tender response evaluation and the awarding criteria applied must be transparent.
Clarify any procurement split: in some cases, CCGs may wish to split the overall procurement requirement into individual ‘lots’. For instance, it may be desirable to separately procure those IT solutions classified as ‘non-foundation’ solutions, or to procure on behalf of GP practices or PCNs individually.

4. MARKET RESEARCH
Browse (Buying) Catalogue – match capabilities: CCGs are not required to sign up for an account with the Buying Catalogue to browse through suppliers and solutions. Browsing is the action of searching for suitable suppliers / solutions based on their stated capabilities within the Buying Catalogue.
Identify suppliers of interest: the objective of browsing through suppliers on the Catalogue is to identify suppliers of interest in that their solutions and services are shown to have the capabilities that the CCG is looking for in a future IT system supplier. This step involves creating a short list of suppliers with compatible solutions to the requirement using the Buying Catalogue.
Download full supplier details from the Catalogue: users of the Buying Catalogue can download all the details associated with each supplier of interest.
At this point, the CCG is ready to start the main procurement process.

 

5. A: DIRECT AWARD – up to £40K / one-year contract
Create the Call Off Order Form: the Call Off Order form initiates the procurement. This form is accessed in the Buying Catalogue. A template form is available for CCGs to use as a guide to complete the online version. Contact Buyer Enablement for further details.

Produce the Order Summary: again, this is a step completed in the Buying Catalogue. Based on the Call Off Order form, users can generate an Order Summary from the Catalogue.
Send both to the supplier for their completion of Section D: both the Call Off Order Form and the Order Summary should be sent to the chosen supplier. They are required to complete Section D on the Order Summary and return this to the issuing organisation.
Returned Order Summary – Contract: the completed Order Summary (the supplier having completed Section D of the Order Summary) once returned to the issuing organisation is effectively the contract between the parties.

6. B: FURTHER COMPETITION ON CATALOGUE – Between £40K and £250K
Evaluation of suppliers which offer capabilities of interest: CCGs do not issue a formal Invitation to Tender but instead undertake their own review and evaluation of suppliers and their solutions currently available through the Catalogue, and which provide the capabilities they are looking for.
Apply scoring matrix: having identified a short list of potential suppliers, the scoring matrix is used to score and identify the best supplier and solution for the requirement.


Create the Call Off Order Form: the Call Off Order form initiates the procurement. This form is accessed in the Buying Catalogue. A template form is available for CCGs to use as a guide to complete the online version. Contact Buyer Enablement for further details.
Produce the Order Summary: again, this is a step completed in the Buying Catalogue. Based on the Call Off Order form, users can generate an Order Summary from the Catalogue.
Send both to the supplier for their completion of Section D: both the Call Off Order Form and the Order Summary should be sent to the chosen supplier. They are required to complete Section D on the Order Summary and return this to the issuing organisation.
Returned Order Summary – Contract: the completed Order Summary (the supplier having completed Section D of the Order Summary) once returned to the issuing organisation is effectively the contract between the parties.

 

7. C: FURTHER COMPETITION OFF CATALOGUE - £250K +


Issue notification to suppliers of intention to launch a Further Competition: having identified suppliers of interest, this is the simple process of contacting each supplier with a notice of the procurement intention. There is a template notice available. Contact Buyer Enablement for further details.
Create Further Competition Invitation: the next step is to create the formal invitation to compete. This must include the capabilities requirements and evaluation criteria including weightings to be applied. It should also contain details of whether the competition is one or two stages – that is, whether there will be an opportunity for suppliers to present their tenders / solutions, or not. There is a template available. Contact Buyer Enablement for further details.

Option to produce a draft Call Off Order form to include draft implementation plans/ special requirements: as an option, CCGs can include details of their implementation plans and objectives and/or any other special requirements associated with the requirement. There are various reasons why CCGs may wish to include implementation plans and/or objectives including, for example, the necessity of maintaining the current level cross-estate interoperability.
Issue Further Competition Invitation: having completed all of the preceding actions, the CCG is now ready to issue the invitation to compete to the selected suppliers. This can include the draft Call off Order Form (if used via the Buying Catalogue). CCGs are advised to clearly indicate a response deadline and any arrangements for dealing with valid questions from suppliers, ensuring that full disclosure of all answers to suppliers’ questions are made available to all suppliers invited.
Evaluate responses and apply scoring: once final responses are received from suppliers, having been submitted within the due deadline, the evaluation and associated weightings (contained in the Invitation to tender) are applied to responses, and a scoring produced. The result of this process will be a winning and losing tender(s) from suppliers.


Prepare Issue Award Notice: an Award Notice can now be prepared for sending to the supplier with the winning tender bid, and notices sent to all unsuccessful bidders. Templates are available for both of these documents. Contact Buyer Enablement for further details.
Issue Award Notice / Finalise Call Off Order Form: The Award Notice is issued to the winning supplier along with the final Call Off Order Form.
For every contract awarded through GP IT Futures, CCGs are required to update the Order Tracker which can be found on the Team channels for each CCG. Instructions on how to update the Order Tracker are contained within the file itself. Changes to the Order Tracker are completed on a quarterly basis providing the Finance team with essential data.