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New and improved Estates Professional Services procurement arrangements launched by OGCbuying.Solutions

New and improved Estates Professional Services procurement arrangements launched by OGCbuying.Solutions

OGCBUYING.SOLUTIONS News Release (Ref.EPS1109) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 17 September 2008

New and improved Estates Professional Services procurement arrangements launched by OGCbuying.solutions

Organisations across the public sector striving to manage their estates more efficiently and sustainably are to be assisted by new and improved procurement arrangements launched today by OGCbuying.solutions.

The new Estates Professional Services framework agreement builds on the successful performance of previous arrangements by adding additional features and incorporating detailed feedback from customers and other stakeholders.

For the first time the new framework agreement includes rating support services. As a result, the dedicated rating support framework agreement will be allowed to expire later this year.

The comprehensive service set ranges from a full appraisal of an organisation's business needs and existing holdings in an estate strategy, through to individual rent reviews or disposals.

These new procurement arrangements are designed to assist public sector organisations to manage their estates in line with the requirements outlined within:

* The Office of Government Commerce's 'High Performing Property' programme which sets out the framework and direction for improving strategic property asset management in central government over a 5 year period with key actions, milestones and objectives aimed at saving between £1 billion and £1.5 billion per annum by 2013.

* HM Treasury 'Transforming Government Procurement' which unveils a range of public procurement reforms to equip the UK in the next decade with the capability to deliver world class public services in the face of growing challenges of global competition, changing demographics and increasing pressures on natural resources.

Karen Webb, Category Director - Facilities, at Buying Solutions, said today "The effective management of the public sector estate has never been more important, or more under the spotlight.

"Getting it right can save the public purse a lot of money and, at the same time, ensure that buildings, which produce significant quantities of C02, operate as efficiently and sustainably as possible.

"Defining the most appropriate property portfolio, taking the necessary steps to achieve it and then managing it successfully, requires a broad range of skills and experience. Even the largest organisations need to pull in specialist assistance or additional resources from time to time to meet specific requirements.

"Our new Estates Professional Services framework agreement has been refreshed and improved with additional features following a detailed consultation process with stakeholders. It provides a quick, easy and EU-compliant route to just the kind of quality, professional advice and services that the public sector is looking for, delivered by a range of highly regarded and carefully selected suppliers."

The new Estates Professional Services framework agreement covers advice, guidance, negotiation and assistance on property and estates issues including:

* Acquisition of freehold and leasehold property

* Disposal of freehold and leasehold property

* Rent reviews

* Lease breaks and lease expiries

* Lease renewals

* Dilapidations

* Landlord and Tenant issues including Landlord consents, service charges and claims

* Rating support services

* Strategic advice, including the preparation and development of an estate strategy

* Procurement strategy for property related issues

* Development consultancy and advice

* Valuations

* Planning

* Condition surveys

* Service assurance

* Compulsory purchase

* General advice on estate and property management

Approved Estates Professional Services suppliers are: Atisreal, Colliers CRE, Drivers Jonas, DTZ, GVA Grimley, King Sturge, Knight Frank and Lambert Smith Hampton.

One contributor to the collaborative effort that went into formulating the new framework agreement was Peter Jones, the Director of Birmingham Property Services, the UK's largest in-house local authority property consultancy which successfully manages a portfolio worth in excess of £4 billion.

Peter's team has used the Buying Solutions arrangements for a number of years to source specialist estates advice and additional resources. Peter Jones said today: "From time to time, we need a way of engaging specialist support or extra capacity to meet specific needs or circumstances. Historically we used our own framework agreements for sourcing these individuals or services but when those arrangements needed renewing I was shocked at the potential costs and timeframe for procuring a stand alone framework.

"It looked a long, expensive and distracting prospect so when we came across the OGCbuying.solutions Estates Professional Services arrangements they seemed perfect for us and they have worked extremely well. "For example the City Council has recently completed, in quick succession, three large, seven figure deals with Tesco. These deals involve very skilled and specialised negotiations with people who spend most of their professional lives working on deals like these.

"It's essential to field equally skilled individuals to ensure that the people of Birmingham got the best possible deals. We may not do another deal like these for several years, so engaging a specialist on a project by project basis makes perfect sense for us."

For more details go to http://www.ogcbuyingsolutions.gov.uk or call the Customer Service Desk on 0845 410 2222.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

OGCbuying.solutions is the trading arm of the Office of Government Commerce, which is itself an office of HM Treasury.

It provides public sector procurement professionals with a route to the products and services they need to maximise procurement efficiency and value for money. Its contracts and framework agreements offer substantial savings through significant buying power, economies of scale and strategic partnerships.

Rigorous tendering and evaluation processes ensure that products and services are checked for quality, price competitiveness, fitness for purpose and compliance with statutory requirements. These products and services are available through OGCbuying.solutions' framework agreements, managed services and other procurement arrangements.

More details are available on the website: http://www.ogcbuyingsolutions.gov.uk

The Office of Government Commerce is an independent office of HM Treasury, established to help Government deliver best value from its spending. The OGC works with central Government departments and other public sector organisations to provide policy standards and guidance on best practice in procurement, projects and estate management, and monitors and challenges Departments' performance against these standards, grounded in an evidence base of information and assurance.

It promotes and fosters collaborative procurement across the public sector to deliver better value for money and better public services; and it provides innovative ways to develop Government's commercial and procurement capability, including leadership of the Government Procurement Service.

More details are available on the website: http://www.ogc.gov.uk

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