The framework agreements previously managed by Firebuy Limited, the national procurement organisation for the Fire and Rescue Services, are being formally transferred to Wiltshire Council. The agreements will now be managed by the private sector procurement and fulfilment company, The Consortium for Purchasing and Distribution Limited.
Firebuy was set up 5 years ago to secure greater value for money through economies of scale and greater collaboration and established a wide range of framework contract arrangements for the Fire Service and wider public sector to use – from turntable ladders to smoke detectors. Following the Government announcement that Firebuy was to close, a competitive process took place which saw the management of the framework contracts awarded to The Consortium.
Wiltshire Council will undertake the role as the Contracting Authority, as required under The Public Contracts Regulations 2006 for the duration of the existing framework agreements. The Council will act in no other capacity and The Consortium will be responsible for the operational running of all framework agreements from the date of transfer, under the new brand name of Firebuy from The Consortium.
The Consortium has been providing specialist procurement support for the Fire Service since 1994, through its work with the Fire Service Appliance Consortium (FSAC). It plans to take the best approaches, from Firebuy and the FSAC, to deliver customer led, value for money, procurement support to the Fire & Rescue Service. Chief Executive of The Consortium, Melanie Teal, commented “The pressure on fire service budgets has never been greater, it follows that the need to procure effectively and efficiently is paramount. We aim to bring fresh perspective to an area that has seen significant scrutiny and review over the last 5 years. We will be engaging with customers and suppliers alike to identify opportunities for improved processes and greater transparency. Our “buying made easy” approach is just as relevant here as it is in all our other areas of operation.”