March 2018

Help shape our upcoming Network Services 2 agreement

Are you an ICT buyer or decision maker? Do you want to help the public sector leverage spend and make savings?

We currently provide the Network Services framework (RM1045), which offers a fully comprehensive route to market for data access, telephony, conferencing, mobile data and services, and unified communications.

This framework is due to end in July 2019. As part of our customer engagement activity, we are providing customers with an opportunity to get involved and help shape our upcoming Network Services 2 agreement.  

Customer event

The event will cover:

    • The telecommunications market and supplier base
    • Workshops on our strategies for telecommunications in the public sector, including data access, mobile services and voice services
    • The current network services offering
  • How we can better meet customer needs

London, 8 March, Venue TBC – Register


Product specific webinars will be hosted, with each covering the following:

    • Overview of the strategy
    • What this means for Network Services 2
    • Discussion – your points of view
  • Next steps and keeping in touch

Please register for those of interest below:

Voice and Conferencing

Tuesday 13 March – 10:00

Thursday 15 March – 14:00

Mobile strategy

Wednesday 14 March – 10:00

Tuesday 27 March – 10:00

Agreement Design

Monday 19 March – 10:00

Thursday 22 March – 14:00

Data Connectivity

Monday 19 March – 14:00

Tuesday 27 March – 14:00

If you have any questions please fill in our online form.

UPDATED: New data protection legislation is coming – how to ensure data processing contracts comply with the law

The EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 will come into force on 25 May, the aim of which is to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches by putting stricter obligations on those who process personal data. The new regulations apply to all organisations operating in the EU that control and process personal data, both public and private, as well as those operating outside the EU that offer services to individuals in the EU.

What is GDPR?

The GDPR applies to data processing, which includes collecting, keeping, using, passing on and deleting personal data. It requires that individuals be given more information about how their personal data will be used through ‘enhanced privacy notices’, and gives individuals stronger rights to have their personal data updated, deleted or shared with them if they request it. Importantly, the systems used by organisations must be able to honour these rights, and organisations will need to keep a record of all personal data processing activities, and ensure that their contracts with suppliers contain specific clauses governing data processing by third parties.  

What action should I take on contracts to ensure they are compliant?

GDPR will apply to new contracts let on or after 25 May and also to existing contracts put in place before May 2018 that continue after 25 May, that involve data processing.

The new regulations state that any processing of personal data by a ‘processor’ (e.g. a supplier which processes personal data on behalf of a customer) must be governed by a contract. This contract must include certain terms as specified in the regulation itself.  

We have recently published a Procurement Policy Note (PPN) to inform you of your responsibilities – read the advice in the PPN here.

The PPN contains guidance on how to bring your existing and new contracts into line with these new requirements and provides a standard generic clause that can be inserted into contracts.

Please note the PPN was updated on 17 January to correct an error in clause 1.13.

The main actions to take include:

  • writing to your suppliers to notify them of the changes you intend to make to relevant contracts to make them compliant with the new data protection regulations
  • conducting due diligence on existing contracts to ensure suppliers can implement the appropriate technical and organisational measures to comply with GDPR
  • updating your contract specification and service delivery schedules to set out clearly the roles and responsibilities of the controller and the processor and any sub-processors
  • updating relevant contract terms and conditions, using the standard generic clauses provided in Annex A of PPN 03/17.

What about CCS commercial agreements – will they be updated too?

We are working hard to ensure all relevant existing and new commercial agreements are updated in line with the new regulations, that suppliers are well informed of our plans, and that customers will be able to access GDPR compliant deals as soon as possible.  

The role of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

There is a risk the ICO will issue fines to organisations found not to be compliant with GDPR. Commercial teams should work closely with their data protection leads in their organisations to ensure a seamless transition to GDPR compliant data processing.

Got a question? Please get in touch.


LASA framework – a one-stop shop for all your housing management needs

Are you looking for a new housing management system or support for your existing system? Our Local Authority Software Applications (LASA) RM1059 framework offers you access to carefully selected suppliers that can provide you with support and maintenance for existing systems or supply new systems to meet your requirements.

Suppliers can be appointed via direct award on the government e-marketplace or by carrying out a further competition.

Property or House Management

Specifically, lot 5 of the framework offers a variety of software and associated services including:

Property or Housing Management

  • Application and waiting list with status enquiry
  • Property or housing stock management
  • Tenancy management
  • Rent accounting and default management

Property or Housing Repairs

  • Self-service and agent-mediated case initiation
  • Incident tracking; procurement and commissioning
  • Time and materials planning, job allocation and work recording.

Business area: E-Marketplaces for materials or services relating to maintenance

Catalogues for a range of services:

  • Materials
  • Labour costs
  • Planned maintenance programmes
  • Reporting tools
  • Integration with Finance/BACS

Lot 8 for Civil Enforcement, which includes application for parking permits and administration of penalty notices, may also be of use to you.

To find out more, visit our framework page or fill in our online form and quote ‘LASA’ .

First UK water aggregation achieves 10% price reduction on market average

Water aggregationSince 1 April 2017, public sector business customers have been able to choose their water provider for retail services. In collaboration with public buying organisations; YPO, Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO), North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO), West Mercia Energy and The Energy Consortium (TEC), we put in place the first public sector water framework agreement to enable customers to access the market.


The requirement

Recognising customers pay anything between 6-13% for retail water services, we wanted to help customers gain better value for money by accessing lower and transparent billing and improved servicing.  

The solution

We ran the UK’s first aggregated further competition for water and wastewater services for public sector customers using our framework (RM3790), which enabled customers to switch supply as early as 1 January 2018. We leveraged the combined volumes to attract supplier competition and ran an EU procurement compliant eAuction, with a sealed bid process. The eAuction offered both monthly and quarterly billing options and we evaluated supplier responses against rigorous value and quality criteria, awarding to the most economically advantageous offer.  

The results

The further competition, which took place in October 2017, brought together the water and wastewater services of 122 public sector customers, amounting to £40 million of spend.

Find out how CCS can help you

The recommended supplier for the monthly billing and quarterly billing options was Castlewater Ltd and Business Stream Ltd, respectively.  By 31 December 2017, 34 customers across central government, councils, NHS trusts, schools and colleges, had signed call-off forms.  These customers have achieved an average of 4% reduction against the retail market average, with some customers achieving up to 10% reduction.

In financial terms, this equates to between £100 and £10,000 saving per year depending on the size of the estate.   

All customers who participated in this further competition and who submit call-off forms by 14 February will benefit from these great rates and other framework benefits for the next 2 years and will have the option to extend by one year.  All public sector customers are still able to access the framework via further competition.

A quick reminder on some of the benefits:

  • financial savings – on average customers have achieved a 4% reduction against the average retail margin from this competition (with some customers achieving up to 10% reduction.)
  • personalised service – dedicated account manager
  • improved support and query management- dedicated  customer service team
  • choice of billing format – consolidated billing, electronic billing, paper billing,
  • governance – quality service provision with suppliers monitored against framework KPIs, regular reporting and meetings with CCS
  • Time and resource  savings – from simplified procurement process and supplier rationalisation.


Get involved

If you want to find out more about how we can help you save money on your water bills, why not get in touch or sign up to our newsletter? Quote 'Water Aggregation - RM3790'

Get in touch

Office Supplies framework survey

We are working on the next Office Supplies framework and want you to have the opportunity to tell us what you need from it. This short survey will help us get valuable insight to ensure the new framework works for you, so we hope you will take 5-10 minutes to tell us a bit about how you buy office supplies and what is important to you.

The survey will be open until 31 January.

We will also be providing further opportunities for you to get involved in the development of the new framework over the coming months.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch.

New legal services marketplace to be launched

Following the launch of three legal panels in 2017 for central government customers, we are now working on the final element of our legal services strategy – a legal services marketplace designed specifically with the needs of our wider public sector customers in mind.  

Following extensive engagement with customers to understand their requirements, and with suppliers to understand their capabilities, the marketplace will provide:

  • value for money by leveraging best commercial rates
  • a simple “call off” process
  • an SME friendly panel in terms of cost (of bidding) and resources
  • coverage of all commercial law genres
  • options for both low value and high value transactions
  • options for procurements of differing levels of complexity

Continuity of service

It is expected that this new marketplace will be in place by summer 2018. As this means there will be a gap in service provision, if you require legal support before the launch of the marketplace we would advise you to put in place a contract (or extend an existing one) under lot 8 of the current Legal Services framework (RM919) before it expires on 31 January.

Get involved

We are holding 2 more customer engagement sessions to provide updates on our strategy since the first series of engagement events, and get further feedback to help us refine our strategy.

If you would like to attend either of these sessions please get in touch stating ‘Legal Services Marketplace event’ and the date of the event you would like to attend in the comments box:

  • 18 January, 4pm – 5pm
  • 19 January, 11am – 12 noon

Both events will take place at CAA House, 45 – 59 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6TE.

A dial in option will also be available on each date if you are unable to attend in person. If you would like dial in details please mention this in the comments box.

Why understanding your property assets can save you time and money

The Facilities Management (FM) Services framework (RM1056) has been live for over two years now, and as we prepare to go to market for a replacement framework we wanted to share with you one of the biggest lessons that we have learned.

It’s really important that to support your future planning you have a full understanding of what property assets you own, what condition they are in and what is needed to keep them in optimum condition.  Our biggest lesson is the importance of holding an up to date asset register.

The benefits

An accurate, up-to date asset register will ensure that you will benefit from:

  • Accurate and up-to-date fixed asset data to help you with accounting, financial and other reporting and management decision making
  • Improved pricing from suppliers, as it will be based on more accurate data
  • Control over asset inventory and movement, as well as maintenance, from procurement/acquisition right through to disposal
  • Improved risk management
  • Better property lifecycle planning and full sight of future financial liabilities

Are you confident that you hold an accurate and up-to-date asset register?  If not, you may want to consider an asset survey, to identifying the actual assets you have in place and what requires maintaining. A survey will typically include all the mechanical, electrical and maintainable building fabric assets, so that maintenance plans can be developed. A condition survey can also be done to identify your current baseline performance against which future liabilities and maintenance regimes can be developed for inclusion in your next facilities management contract.

How we can help you

Lot 4 of our Estates Professional Services framework (RM3816) can help you develop your asset register with:

  • Asset verification and condition surveys including estimated replacement, maintenance timescales and financial analysis of current services

When you come to re-compete your FM contract, this framework can also help support you through the procurement process with:

  • Procurement strategy development, including a holistic view of property related requirements such as social value
  • Procurement and project management advice
  • Compiling asset information when preparing to run procurements
  • Managing the procurement process, including award recommendation and overseeing the contract mobilisation process

To find out more about how we can help you improve your FM contract, please visit the Estates Professional Services framework page.

Got a question about we can help you understand the true value of your assets? Please get in touch.

Public Health England saved over £119,000 on print and distribution

Public Health England has reduced print and distribution costs and increased speed to market using a Crown Commercial Service framework.

The requirement

Public Health England’s (PHE) Change4Life programme is a social marketing campaign that aims to reduce obesity by educating and encouraging people of all ages to eat more healthily and increase exercise. Their ‘10 Minute Shake Up’ campaign uses popular Disney characters alongside recognisable Change4Life animations to get children doing more 10 minute bursts of exercise to help them reach the recommended amount of physical activity.

Tactile engagement is key with children and so the campaign packs, containing stickers, planners and passports, are an essential part of the media mix.

hange4Life packs to be printing

PHE needed 4 million educational Change4Life packs to be printed, collated and distributed to 16,500 schools in England.

This major print and logistics project came just as APS Group was transitioning to become PHE’s new provider under the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Managed Print and Digital Solutions framework (RM3785), on which APS Group is the single supplier for lot 1. It was essential that campaign timelines were met and cost efficiencies were identified.

The solution

APS Group scrutinised the specification and re-evaluated the planned supply chain. New suppliers were brought in and supported by the supplier’s own in-house production facility to ensure that each element was produced by a best in class supplier – ensuring maximum cost efficiency whilst minimising risk.

The results

The campaign distribution was completed one week ahead of schedule, and database cleaning and tracked courier services ensured return rates of just 0.08%.

Indicative saving

By offering combined print and logistics services under the CCS print framework, APS Group was able to provide a full end-to-end solution, which removed over a week of transport and double handling time and provided significant additional cost savings.

It was also able to provide a full audit and proof of delivery to every school. Overall, PHE achieved savings of £119,441 (13.6%) in manufacturing and distribution costs.

Get involved

To find out more about the framework and how we can help you make significant savings on print

Get in touch

Office for National Statistics successfully migrates data centre

Office for National Statistics (ONS) moves to Crown Hosting framework and benefits from competitive pricing and strategic alignment with its needs.

The requirement

Office for National Statistics

The opportunity first became apparent through Government Digital Service tech leaders.

Simon Sandford-Taylor, Chief Technology Officer at Office for National Statistics, said:

“We were considering our future Data Centre strategy and upon investigation were pleasantly surprised by the pricing structure and strategic alignment of Crown Hosting to ONS needs.

“While there were no break clauses in the data centre we were migrating from, it had become apparent that it would be cost effective and beneficial to leave, so we decided to accelerate the process once we had understood the many advantages of using the framework.

“Our investigations also led to site visits to see Crown Hosting’s data centres, which enabled us to understand how our servers would be configured within secure data rooms.

“The move to Crown Hosting has been a slick process. The project began a number of months ago and it continues to be delivered as we would wish.”

The solution

Simon continued:

“The move to Crown Hosting itself has not presented any challenges. In fact, it has been so smooth that we’re continuing to work with Crown Hosting to allocate further racks from our existing data centre estate.

“It’s been a pretty easy process; we’ve found the experience a good one and have quickly built up good working relationships with the Crown Hosting team.

“Furthermore, the model has been very easy to understand. The way that we have worked together has been great, the service fantastic, and it is excellent value for money.”

The result

Simon added:

“Crucially, Crown Hosting has also provided ONS with the flexibility we required during the implementation process.

“After getting cables and equipment in, it has proved straight-forward in arranging for people and the third party support that we need to come in and fit out the environment that the hosting solution ONS has opted for.

“Crown Hosting also has a very pragmatic approach to site accessibility. Where this can sometimes be intrusively complicated we found that by giving Crown Hosting good lead-time, it was a smooth process. Security, while stringent, is also easier to navigate due to the various systems in place, meaning that those ONS people that are on the security list find access relatively simple, which in turn saves time.

“It is our longer-term view that our data centre requirement will continue to benefit from the comprehensive service provided by Crown Hosting and we are exploring the extent to which this could increase in the future.”

The Crown Hosting Data Centres and Crown Commercial Service joint venture was agreed after a comprehensive tender process to identify best value against a number of critical government criteria, including energy efficiency, resilience, security, sustainability and both contractual and deployment flexibility.

For further information, view the Crown Hosting Services framework webpage.

Originally published 2 February 2017

Get involved

Get involved If you want to find out more about the Crown Hosting framework, why not contact our team of experts?

Get in touch