Procurement process 8

Using Pre-existing Framework Agreements

Multiple Supplier Framework Agreements

Use this process and check list where you are considering using a pre-existing framework agreement for:

  • a purchase of Equipment, Goods (Products) or Services; or 
  • procurement of Works

using a Multiple Supplier Framework Agreement with a mini-competition (further competition)

If you are considering setting up a new framework agreement/call off contract for Equipment, Goods (Products) or Services or Works for the purposes of spending ERDF funds the process is the same as for the procurement of a single purchase of/contract for Equipment, Goods (Products) or Services or Works. You are required to please:

  • refer to How to calculate the value of your Purchase/Contract which provides information on creating new framework agreements 
  • refer to the relevant Procurement Process and Procurement Process Checklist applicable to the anticipated total value of the call offs against the framework agreement; and 
  • contact the Procurement Division (Procurement Division Contacts) for advice and support

Information and Instructions

Use of Framework Agreements – requirement for prior approval by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
(Required for purchases funded by ERDF funding contracts which had not reached the stage of full application submission at 1st January 2018)

Pre-existing framework agreements must not be used unless the Department for Local Government and Communities (DCLG) has given prior approval and confirmation at the full application submission stage that it is acceptable, and that the University is eligible to use any existing and current framework agreements that the University wishes to use in the procurement of Equipment, Goods (Products) or Services.

The University will not use any framework agreement without the consent of DCLG as set out above and the procurement of any Equipment, Goods (Products) or Services or Works or Construction concerned will be undertaken in accordance and compliance with the relevant ERDF compliant procurement process as if no framework agreement existed.

Where the University proceeds to use a framework agreement evidence of the DCLG approval and confirmation must be included in the records kept


The requirements set out in the ERDF Procurement Requirements are that:

  • where it is proposed that a Multiple Supplier Framework Agreement will be used to make a purchase/create a contract a mini-competition must be undertaken and all capable suppliers on the framework agreement must be given the opportunity to bid for the contract 
  • DCLG must have confirmed that the University is eligible to use the framework agreement as described above 
  • the University (as a Contracting Authority) must ensure (and be able to provide evidence to DCLG) that it is eligible to use the framework agreement and that it has been properly established 
  • suppliers must have been selected following an EU compliant tender process 
  • the “Multiple Supplier” Framework Agreement must have no less than three suppliers on the framework agreement 
  • if the framework agreement has only one supplier on the framework please go to Procurement Process 7 
  • if the framework agreement has two suppliers on the framework please contact the Procurement Division (Procurement Division Contacts) who will refer the matter to DCLG for advice and confirmation that it is acceptable to proceed (note: this action should be picked up at the Final Application Submission Stage when you are required to obtain DCLG approval to use an existing framework agreement -please refer to “Use of Framework Agreements – requirement for prior approval by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)” above) 
  • a mini-competition or further competition must be used to select the successful supplier - if you do not wish to undertake a mini-competition and are seeking to select one supplier off the framework please go to Procurement Process 9 (Single Source Purchase using a Multiple Supplier Framework Agreement) 
  • the same selection and award criteria as were used when setting up the framework agreement must be used in the evaluation of the responses received to an invitation to quote or tender for Equipment Goods (Products) or Services or Works 
  • Single Supplier Framework Agreements, or Multiple Supplier Framework Agreements which have been established by the University by means of undertaking a mini-competition involving suppliers on a Consortium framework agreement (for example) are ineligible and cannot be used for ERDF purchases/contracts. In order for such framework agreements to be used all capable suppliers (which usually means all suppliers) on the original framework agreement put in place by the Consortia concerned must be invited to participate in the mini-competition

Subject to the provisions set out above and provided that the agreement (contract) made with the supplier is made following the completion of a mini-competition using the same award criteria as that applied when the original framework agreement was awarded pre-existing (current) framework agreements may be used to select suppliers to provide Equipment, Goods (Products) or Services or Works for ERDF funded contracts and projects.

Proceed to Procurement Process Checklist 8