Framework Agreements and Single Purchasing Centers are tools, specifically provided for in the Public Contracts Code, designed to simplify purchasing procedures and make the activities of Public Entity contracting stations more efficient. Through PRO-Q’s features, Public Administrations can better manage their purchasing procedures, taking advantage of the benefits guaranteed by these tools-here’s why.
Framework agreements: what they are and how they help the operations of public agencies
Article 54 of the Public Contracts Code establishes the criteria for the conclusion of Framework Agreements for the acquisition of goods, services or works by Public Administrations.
This particular type of agreement provides that the contracting station may agree with one or more suppliers on specific clauses regarding contracts to be awarded within a defined period of time (which, except in exceptional and duly justified cases, may not exceed 4 years in the case of contracts in the ordinary sectors and 8 years in the case of contracts in the special sectors). Through the Framework Agreement, the procuring entity then has the ability to set the terms of contracts to be concluded in subsequent months and years, limited to the subject matter of the Framework Agreement.
It is important to note that the Framework Agreement requires the Administration to make an estimate of the total economic value of the contracts that will be awarded to the supplier(s) within the term of the Agreement. This figure constitutes an upper limit that cannot be exceeded (when the initially estimated amount is reached, the Agreement is terminated and has to be redrafted from scratch), but if at the end of the period the amount has not been fully allocated through specific bidding procedures, the Entity is in no way bound to pay it to the supplier.
Framework Agreements facilitate Public Entities because they enable them to contract with economic operators on the price and quantity of supplies or services that will be provided in the following months and years, simplify the replenishment of goods that are purchased on a regular basis (such as stationery, cleaning products and other materials that tend to run out at a constant rate), and, most importantly, enable Entities to improve their spending forecasting capabilities, helping them to manage their economic planning in the medium to long term and make their purchasing processes more efficient.
Simplification and aggregation of spending through Single Purchasing Centers
Single Purchasing Centers are entities that aggregate several contracting stations and manage on their behalf the conduct of tenders, the awarding of contracts or the conclusion of Framework Agreements, operating in a centralized manner.
The Central Offices function as collectors of requests from the contracting stations of individual member entities (which may be, for example, various municipalities in a given area), which in this way are relieved of the burden of independently managing tender procedures for which they may not have sufficient forces, skills, technological infrastructure, and so on.
Joining a Single Central Purchasing Authority also allows contracting stations that do not have the necessary requirements to award contracts for amounts above certain thresholds to delegate to the Central Authority the performance of all the relevant tender procedures: in this way, it is the Single Central Authority, which has the necessary requirements, that concludes the supply contract on behalf of the member authority, operating in full compliance with the regulations.
Single Purchasing Centers were created with the dual role of facilitating the contracting stations of smaller Public Entities, relieving them of a number of complex and delicate tasks, and better organizing public spending by preventing each individual Entity from independently conducting bidding procedures for small amounts, favoring aggregation and reducing the expenses and risks associated with conducting irregular procedures.
Framework agreements and Single Purchasing Centers: all the benefits guaranteed by PRO-Q
In this regulatory context, Venicecom’s PRO-Q platform was developed to better manage both Framework Agreements and Single Purchasing Centers.
With regard to Framework Agreements, PRO-Q is able to manage both the phase of entering into the Agreement with one or more economic operators and the individual procedures derived from it, allowing Entities to take full advantage of this tool that improves their operations.
In addition, the software can be configured to integrate with the Single Purchasing Centers system. The platform, for example, allows the Main Entity to carry out tenders on behalf of the member Entities, and the Needs module enables automated management of requests from each of the individual Entities that join the Central. Thanks to PRO-Q, moreover, entities that join the Single Central Purchasing Authority can take advantage of a Supplier Register shared: each potential supplier, at the time of registration, has the option of registering in the Register of one of the individual Entities or in that of the entire Central, and this, on the one hand, promotes a more correct management of data and information, and, on the other hand, makes the work of suppliers and contracting stations more effective and easier.
Want to know more about how to manage Framework Agreements and Single Purchasing Centers through the PRO-Q platform? Our professionals are at your disposal!