COI launches Merchandising and Promotional Items Framework review
16 April 2009
The Central Office of Information (COI) is reviewing its framework (roster) of agencies that specialise in merchandise and promotional items.
The current framework, worth over £3 million per annum, was established in 2005 for use over a maximum of four years.
The framework allows agencies to compete for government and public sector work without going through a lengthy procurement process for every contract.
A new EU Directive requires that all suppliers on a framework 'capable of performing the proposed contract' are invited to compete for each piece of business.
To manage this requirement efficiently the new framework will be divided into 'lots and labels' to provide easy to access short lists for competition. The lots will be broken down into the following specialisms:
- in-house producers, manufacturers or stockists;
- suppliers of standard imported products;
- suppliers of bespoke imported products;
- suppliers that can provide online corporate merchandise schemes; and
- gift voucher suppliers.
There will also be an Approved Suppliers List, which will allow COI to add suppliers when requirements for products not covered in the main framework arise.
COI maintains and uses world-class frameworks of suppliers which are the 'best of the best', taking into account the anticipated needs of COI and its clients.
Agencies will be selected through a rigorous procurement process on the basis of their proven success in the lot specialisms. Criteria will include:
- product functionality;
- product range;
- technical merit, aesthetics and branding potential;
- creativity and design innovation; quality control;
- flexibility and ability to meet specific deadlines;
- track record; and
- financial soundness and organisational information.
The sustainability, recycling and green credentials of applicants to lots one to four will be particularly considered. Applicants to lots two and three will be particularly considered with regards to information on their supply chain including factory audit reports.
Sarah Walsh, Head of Merchandising, who is leading the review said:
"The new framework calls for a broad range of suppliers that offer a wide range of merchandise.
"Our aim is to provide excellent merchandising solutions for government departments and the public sector, and we want to work with the best suppliers out there.
"In most cases we are looking for product specialists not general suppliers, so distributors with no added value elements or specialisms relating to the stated lots are not encouraged to apply."
All suppliers interested in applying to the Merchandising and Promotional Items Framework should go to http://coi.bravosolution.co.uk and complete the pre-qualification questionnaire by 19 May 2009.
Questions about the framework can be sent via http://coi.bravosolution.co.uk Questions and answers relevant to all applicants will be published online. Suppliers should not telephone queries to COI direct.
For press enquiries please contact Rhona de la Mer on 020 7261 8306.
Notes to Editors
In the past year, COI commissioned around £3 million worth of merchandising orders on behalf of government departments and the public sector, to communicate issues that affect the lives of every citizen - from health and education to benefits, rights and welfare. These ranged from small scale stationery orders to multi product orders for large campaigns such as Change 4 Life and Royal Air Force recruitment. COI also purchases around £800k worth of gift vouchers a year for employee reward schemes across the public sector.
The framework review is expected to be completed by October 2009.
Companies on the current Merchandising and Promotional Items Framework can be found here: www.coi.gov.uk/suppliers.php?page=46
In accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, this framework will be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).