2.6.4 How is a Call-off arrangement used?

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There are two options for awarding call-offs (individual contracts) under the frameworks:

Option 1

The terms of the framework agreement define precisely the way that the call-offs will be awarded, so there is no need for the Contracting Authority or the users to carry out a new tender procedure. In case where the agreement has been concluded with one supplier, the users are able to purchase (place orders) directly. In case where the agreement has been concluded with more than one supplier, the terms of the framework agreement should define the precise way for selecting a supplier and awarding the call-off without re-opening the competition.

A common use for call-off arrangements is for low value high volume commodities.  For example: the requirement for vehicle & associated parts, office stationary & consumables, direct labour materials. Photocopying paper is a commonly used commodity in the public sector and by placing the requirement on a call-off arrangement, along with specific levels of services, ensures suppliers hold sufficient stocks to meet the needs of the contracting authority and the users.

In order to ensure value for money, the contracting authority should award the contract to the supplier providing the best value for money on the basis of the qualitative selection criteria, used. This assessment must be kept on file.

 

Option 2

Hold a mini competition When the terms laid down on the framework agreement is not precise and where several suppliers within the framework can meet the requirements, contracting authorities are obliged to undertake a mini competition.

Where a mini competition is held for a particular call-off following the terms of the framework agreement, the contracting authority needs to allow all the suppliers on the framework to compete for the specific project. Not all suppliers within the framework need to be invited to compete (frameworks can cover a number of different supplies and services so it is only necessary to consult the appropriate suppliers for the type of category being considered).Within the framework structure there is no need to advertise for making a call-off.

The award of an individual contract (under the umbrella of a framework agreement) can only be made on the basis of the terms and conditions (including the pricing mechanism) established in the framework agreement itself. No negotiation of price or the pricing mechanism already established in framework can take place at the secondary stage. The award criteria for these mini-competitions should be the same as the original framework competition, for example:

quality/methodology and
Resources/costs.

The EU directive restricts the length of a framework agreement to a maximum of 4 years (the period within which the last call-off must be awarded) unless there are duly justified exceptional circumstances.

 


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