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CCS extends controversial temporary staff sourcing framework

The Crown Commercial Service extends the Contingent Labour One framework, now due to expire in June 2017

Public sector procurement body the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has extended its controversial contract for sourcing temporary staff across government for another year.

The Contingent Labour One (CL1) framework, which was due to expire this June, has now been extended until June 2017.

In January, CCS issued a prior information notice, looking for a replacement for the framework, which is used to bring in short-term workers – everything from clerical temps to interim CIOs.

However, with the contract scheduled to expire, CCS has had to extend the current framework.

“All lots of CL1 have been extended until 18 June 2017,” CCS said in an update.

“Additionally, from 1 June 2016, 100% of new placements under lot 1 (neutral vendor) will be fulfilled by external suppliers registered on the supply chain.”

Lot 1, where Capita was contracted to manage sourcing the higher value, more skilled requirements, has caused serious controversy. A consortium of SMEs said they had lost millions of pounds in revenue as a result of the framework and accused the supplier of breaching the terms of the contract.

Some suppliers also accused CCS of attempting to undermine their relationship with government and to pursue a policy to cut them out of the supply chain in direct contravention of official Whitehall policy to increase the amount of public spending put through small businesses.

Read more about Contingent Labour One

A spokesperson from CCS told Comnputer Weekly that while the “new long-term contracting solution” is being developed, the contract with Capita has been extended  to provide continuity of service to public sector customers”.

“However, even with our current arrangement over 90% of the supply chain are SMEs and since CL1 was launched in Sept 2013 41.3% of total spend has been with SMEs,” the spokesperson added. 

CL1 review

In April 2015, CCS began a review of CL1 to prepare for its replacement, followed by the prior information notice, issued in January 2016.

The notice said that initially the focus will be on “hard-to-fill requirements” for specialist contractors with digital, cyber, legacy technology or technology change skills and expertise.

“The remaining phasing of the model will be reliant on input from the market and customers, and will depend on the scope, scale and complexity of the solution,” the notice said.

CCS has also undertaken a series of market engagement events, with more than 500 internal and external stakeholders to help “further develop our new ‘big and bold’ contingent labour model”.

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