Having decided on and set up the framework, officers now enter the third phase of frameworking – running it. This involves deciding on, setting up and running the projects.
Selecting the contractor first means you gain all the proven benefits of early contractor involvement.
There is a critical step to ensure the terms of the framework enable you to select the contractor without further competition.
If you had a framework agreement with only one contractor, there would be no selection; it would simply be a ‘call-off’.
Select by suitability and performance
In most practical cases, you will have more than one contractor, so you will select the one that is most suitable, subject to satisfactory performance on any past projects under the framework. You might consider factors such as the scale of the project, the particular forms of construction, the location and particular skills of the contractors when deciding which one to select.
Make sure you select the project contractor according to the criteria you stated in your OJEU notice.
There is an exception when you may need a ‘mini competition’. This arises when the project is not clearly within the scope of what you intended when you set up the framework. In other words, the terms of the framework agreement do not meet the need. An example might be the construction of a type of school not envisaged under the framework. Clearly you already have a choice of framework contractors appointed to build schools, but they will need to compete to see who will provide the best value solution in this new circumstance.