Here at Procurement Assist our clients ask us many questions about Dynamic Purchasing Systems, including the differences between DPS and frameworks and also DPS compliance.  We comprised together the common questions and asked our CEO, Keith Armstrong, to give us the answers.

A Dynamic Purchasing System, more commonly known as a DPS, is a procurement method for works, services and goods. A DPS is similar to an electronic framework agreement, but suppliers can apply to join the DPS at any time. Dynamic Purchasing Systems must be run as an entirely electronic process and using the restricted OJEU procedure when they are initially set up. All contracting authorities, including central government purchasing bodies, can set up a DPS.

A DPS is run using a two-stage process. Firstly, during the initial setup stage all suppliers who meet the set criteria will be admitted to the DPS and there is no limit on how many suppliers may apply to it. The second stage of a DPS is where contracts are awarded. The contracting authority invites all suppliers on the DPS or within the relevant category within the DPS to bid for the contract.

Using a DPS can help speed up and streamline procurement for suppliers and buyers and the award of tenders can be quicker than some other procurement procedures, such as direct tenders, or procuring through a framework agreement.

You can access any of our DPS’ by commissioning Procurement Assist for your contract.  We have 4 mains levels of service to choose from.  Upon commission, your contract will be procured through our online portal (or the client can manage this process themselves).  With the Procurement Assist team managing the process, you do not need to directly access our DPS’ – we do the management of your procurement for you, ensuring it is compliant with current regulations.

The main benefit of a DPS is flexibility: it can work around you.  A DPS tender, known as a further competition, is similar to a framework mini competition, however there is greater emphasis on your requirements, which may include your tender specification, KPIs, service level agreements and the final form of tender.  The process itself is managed by the Procurement Assist Team (or the client can manage the process themselves) so you can be assured it is compliant with current regulations.

No, the regulations do not permit a direct award.  A further competition process must be carried out as the original DPS procurement process does not contain sufficient cost and quality information to determine a direct offer of a contract to a supplier.

Yes, one of the key benefits of a DPS over a framework is the flexibility to select your own cost/quality split.

You adopt your own specification into your further competition process and is a key element to the process.  An advantage over frameworks which have pre-procured specifications, is that the specification can be tailored to your specific requirements, rather than an off the shelf option.  It truly is as flexible as you require it to be.

Yes, the process must be fully electronic, as per the regulations.  Procurement Assist manage all further competitions electronically, using an open, transparent and fully auditable online portal.

Yes, all our DPS’s are fully OJEU compliant.  To satisfy the legislative obligations of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 – Regulation 37 (6) Procurement Assist is required to partner with a Public Sector Body (a Contracting Authority as defined by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015) in order to deliver PCR 2015 compliant procurement solutions.

iFM Bolton are a Contracting Authority by virtue of being a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Sector Body Bolton NHS Trust, and can legally act under PCR 2015 Regulation 37 (6) as Procurement Assist’s Contracting Authority.

Procurement Assist and iFM Bolton Ltd have formed a long term strategic partnership for the purpose of providing centralised purchasing activities for the acquisition of goods, services and works for the use of Public Sector Organisations (including, but not limited to The National Health Service (NHS), Social Housing, Education, Charities, Local Authorities and Wider Government Bodies). All Procurement Assist’s Dynamic Purchasing Systems and Frameworks are procured with iFM Bolton Ltd named as the contracting authority on contract notices published in the OJEU in accordance with the obligations imposed by The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 Regulation 37 (6).

Frameworks and DPS’ follow similar processes, and both need to be compliant with the Public Contracts Regulations (2015).  Framework procurement is best known as a pre-procured route to market and they have been present in the market since around 2003.  DPS procurement is a newer, more flexible procurement method that is similar to a framework process but is aimed at attracting more SME’s and local suppliers to bid.

Yes you can.  A major benefit of a DPS is the ability for suppliers to bid for a place on the DPS at any point throughout its life, unlike a framework where suppliers cannot be added once the framework has been awarded at inception.  The addition of suppliers part way through the life of a DPS ensures the supply chain is kept up to date.  In the case of Procurement Assist’s DPS’ they are refreshed annually too, to ensure supply chain accuracy and relevance.

Yes you can.  As DPS procurement is very flexible, and a key part of the procurement process is the flexibility to include elements such as social value, which can also be included as a key part of the specification.  Social value can also be monitored in the contract itself by introducing social value key performance indicators.