Crown Commercial Service

CCS supplier assurance arrangements

Background

We aim to be the ‘go to’ provider for the procurement of common goods and services across the public sector. To achieve this we deliver high quality commercial agreements, containing suppliers who have the capabilities and skills to provide your requirements and who we are confident to promote.  

In order to give us that confidence in our suppliers, we undertake a number of supplier assurance activities at various stages, i.e. at the design stage of a new commercial agreement, during the sourcing process and the live running*.

We have recently reviewed our supplier assurance activities to ensure that we are doing the right things, at the right time. We want to provide you with clarity on our activities so you can:

  • understand what supplier assurances we will undertake 
  • determine what assurances you, as customers, may need to undertake for any call-offs.
*This applies to the majority of CCS commercial agreements. However, some products in the digital marketplace may have different arrangements and this will be covered in customer guidance for those specific commercial agreements.  

What supplier assurances will we undertake?

We will undertake the following supplier assurance activities:

During the design stage of a new commercial agreement

We will:

  • risk assess each new commercial agreement we put in place, to establish up front the necessary levels of checks/standards. This includes issues such as economic and financial standing, insurances and indemnities, cyber certifications, quality and industry standards.  
  • consider whether any specialist checks may be needed and how they might be undertaken.    

At the sourcing stage

We will:

  • require bidders to confirm that they have, or are willing to put in place prior to award, any required insurances and standards/accreditations for that commercial agreement. We do not check any certifications or evidence at this stage.
  • check their economic and financial standing, to ensure their current financial health is acceptable, based on the specific commercial agreement requirements. This is usually done by setting an appropriate Dun and Bradstreet financial failure risk threshold score but we may also check their financial accounts. In limited circumstances we may accept suppliers where a guarantor has been assessed and secured.

During the award stage

Successful bidders will be required to provide us with proof of any insurances and standards, e.g. copies of certification/documents. We will not make suppliers available for customers to undertake call-off contracts until all such proof is received by us. You can therefore be confident that any suppliers made available under our agreements have provided the necessary evidence.

In live running of a commercial agreement

We will:

  • check that certification/standards are renewed, where applicable   
  • ensure supplier spend is being recorded correctly
  • check that suppliers retain the necessary economic and financial standing
  • in some cases, we may undertake some specialist checks
  • review customer feedback to identify any major concerns or issues with our suppliers – you will take responsibility for the day to day contract management of any call-off contracts they let from our agreements.  

What supplier assurances might you need to do?

The customer guidance we issue as part of the launch of a new commercial agreement outlines the standards (including insurances/indemnities, cyber provisions, other standards or specialist checks), which have been applied to the suppliers on each specific commercial agreement.  

In the rare cases where you need to deviate from these, e.g. if you require higher levels of insurances or other standards, you would need to make that clear to bidders as part of the call-off process, and made any necessary checks on those.

Find out more

If you need further information please do not hesitate to get in touch or call our customer service team on 0345 410 2222.

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