back to article Going for a song: Wales inks £300m in deals after shopping spree for hardware, software, and audio-visual equipment

Its place names may baffle fellow Brits, but money talks in Wales. The local National Procurement Service (NPS) has named the winners of a £300m framework deal for a public sector shopping trolley of IT services, hardware, software and consulting. A host of Welsh public and voluntary sector organisations will be free to buy …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The weakness is that there is no set price for most things. The suppliers quote for an initial basket of goods. You award mainly on price and set the contract for 3+years. Then the prices that come for the rest of the term can be whatever they want. Usually a cost + x%, but cost is based on their distributors price with no transparency to that cost and no way of holding to account.

    Private sector - have a preferred supplier with preferred pricing and then have secondary suppliers. Big deals get quotes from all, otherwise buy from whoever on service, lead times and price. It works better,ends up cheaper overall and you have more love from your account manager.

    Other than really large all-nation tenders, frameworks/Public Sector procurement rarely seem to save money in my experience compared to standard procurement in the private sector. Licencing MS software is pssibly an exception to this but your hand gets forced quite a bit and restrictions are quite onerous.

  2. Terry 6 Silver badge


    Buying for a small local authority team I was able to negotiate good deals for the small amount of kit we needed, taking advice from our resident IT pro on what to get as required. He was a regular visitor, knew my strengths ( and weaknesses) in IT and what we were using the kit for.

    Then we were brought into Central Purchasing. With a contracted supplier. One we previously knew to be expensive, and we were buying from their catalogue, but weren't offered any extra discount. And suddenly everything got more expensive.

    I'd like to think there must have been stuff that other departments bought under the contract, that had huge savings (though I'm buggered if I can think what, because it's all pretty standard stuff). We had to use kit selected by the new purchasing officer who knew less about TCO than my goldfish ( or at least no more, because I got equal amounts of sense from both of them) and who charged us an extra % for using his unwanted services, to tell us what to buy (for smaller items we had to buy the stuff ourselves through this chosen supplier). For larger items he bought it for us, but from the same fucking catalogue at the same invoiced price, charged to our limited budget. And he was both unaware and uninterested in what we did and how we worked so hadn't a Scooby about our actual IT needs. He'd just order up a batch of the usual stuff, based on the size of our team, but not the nature of our work. My saying to him "Actually we need to be able to do...because our role needs....." never got us anywhere.

  3. NeilPost Bronze badge

    Isn’t there already a UK wise Framework.

    Agree with above, many of these Central Purchasing deals come with an annual volime rebate that only goes to the purchase organisation and never gets divvied up to the members or people who have bought anything. Self-serving.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      No different then from those loans and insurance products promoted by my union as "members' deals" that were actually more expensive than normal commercial prices. But the union got a useful amount of money, I'm fairly sure, for pushing these things.

  4. EnviableOne Silver badge

    Headline hides the truth

    these frameworks are UpTo <headline Figure>

    chances are that not even 50% of that will be spent

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