Government network services tender deadline slips again

Crown Commercial Service pushes back deadline for tender submissions to Network Services framework to give suppliers more time to prepare

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has pushed back the deadline for suppliers to tender for the new public sector Network Services Framework (NSF) to 19 February 2015.

Earlier in January CCS took the option to extend the lifetime of the Public Services Network (PSN) after it received a flood of queries from potential NSF bidders.

In a notice sent out to suppliers, CCS said it had taken this latest decision – the third time it has pushed back the deadline, which originally passed in November 2014 – for the same reason.

The statement said: “As you are aware, we have received a large number of clarification queries for the Network Services procurement, many of which have been very constructive and have helped inform the final ITT document set which has now been published as Version 2.0.

“We have extended the deadline for submission of tenders to ensure potential providers have sufficient time to respond.”

Responding to the change of deadline, PSNGB, the trade body for PSN framework suppliers, said it had made CCS aware of the “disappointment and frustration” it would cause suppliers.

In a blog post on its website, PSNGB said: “Each delay costs the supplier community money and also lost opportunity. Whether you are a large organisation required to present responses to RM1045 to senior management or the board; or whether you are a smaller organisation that has manpower tied up in responding to the tender, then another delay is unfortunate and frustrating.”

The association said it would be conducting a review meeting with CCS and asked interested parties to inform it of any specific areas they wanted raised.

PSNGB said that because NSF is being let on the same basis as PSN, for two years initially followed by options to extend for two further years if wanted, it would like to avoid a repeat of the current issues further down the line.

NSF is still set to go live in April 2015, running concurrently with PSN for 12 months. It replaces both PSN and the Public Sector Telecommunication Services (PSTS) frameworks.

The £2bn framework will provide access to PSN compliant and non-PSN services.

It comprises of 10 lots, data access, local connectivity, traditional telephony, inbound telephony, IP telephony, mobile voice and data, paging, video conferencing, audio conferencing and integrated comms.

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