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Automation Marketplace

Clarifications

There are 115 clarifications for this DPS

121. Dear Sir/Madam, there is a question in SQ nr "178. Upload documentary evidence to demonstrate the process that ensures your supply chain supports skills, development and apprenticeships in line with PPN 14/15". However the PPN 14/15 is not valid anymore. If and how is this question to be answered? Best Regards
This PPN has been superceded by PPN 06/20. Please answer the question using PPN 06/20 rather than PPN 14/15.
Answered
22/01/2024 10:46
120. The bid pack makes reference to the supplier's "Data Protection Officer" in the DPS Joint Schedules (1 and 11); the Appointment Form; and DPSQ (question 75). In the Joint Schedules 11, clause 11 it appears that a DPO only needs to be appointed where required by law. The other references appear to make it mandatory to have a DPO in order to register under the DPS. We do not have a DPO because we are not legally required to have one for the work we currently undertake. We would not apply for any work under the DPS which legally required us to have a DPO. Please could you clarify whether it is a requirement to have a DPO in order to register with the DPS and/or whether it is necessary to enter into a contract with a buyer. If it is not mandatory we assume that we can answer DPSQ question 75 and the appointment form fields with 'N/A'.
Having a DPO is only necessary where required by legislation (as stated in Joint Schedule 11 'Processing Data'. Not having one does not preclude you from joining the DPS, however you would not be able to bid for work where a DPO was part of the requirements.
Answered
22/01/2024 10:44
119. The 'Buyer Needs' document lists several technical standards which must be complied with in order to register with the DPS. ("comply with the appropriate Standards (or equivalent)") Please could you confirm whether the supplier must hold a certificate for each of these standards in order to register with the DPS. Please could you confirm whether the supplier must hold a certificate for each of these standards in order to enter into a contract with a buyer. The relevant standards are:- BS EN ISO 9001; BS 7858:2012; ISO 10007; BS EN ISO 14001; ISO/IEC 13066-1:2011; and ETSI TS 103 645."
You do not need to have all of these standards in place in order to join the DPS. However, you will need to have the relevant standards in place where you are bidding for work under the DPS and the customer has stated that this is a requirement of their call off.
Answered
22/01/2024 10:43
118. Good morning, we would like to ask the following questions: 1.(DPS Schedule 1 - Specification v6.0, Standards) Could you please clarify whether all listed standards are prerequisites for all lots, or if certain standards pertain to specific lots? 2a. (DPS Core Terms V1.0.1, 4 Pricing and payments, section 4.8) In what circumstances would CCS or the Buyer decide it necessary to either require the Supplier to adopt more favourable commercial terms for relevant items or engage in agreements with subcontractors or third-party providers for materials, goods, or services? 2b. (DPS Core Terms V1.0.1, 4 Pricing and payments, section 4.8) If such a decision is made, could you elaborate on the process employed by CCS to carry out this action? 3.(DPS Core Terms V1.0.1, 14 Data protection, section 14.3) Does the requirement to create backups of Government Data which is stored in an off-site location and supply copies to the Buyer every six months pertain to all work carried out by the Supplier, or is it specific to certain lots?
Good morning, we have looked into the clarification and can confirm the following- 1. There are no lots on a DPS, these standards relate to the filter categories. You need to self certify that if asked by a buyer at call-off level you would be able to meet these standards. You do not need to have them in place when awarded a place on the agreement. 2a. This type of provision is commonplace in public sector commercial terms although its relevance varies. The rationale is that if the Supplier is contracted to provide an assemblage of deliverables of varying origins it may be that the public sector customer can secure the relevant items from alternative sources and/or on better terms than the supplier prime contractor can. In such circumstances the customer could choose to invoke Clause 4.8 and reduce the overall cost of the deliverables to be provided by the supplier. In practice, for the type of deliverables that are the subject of the AI DPS it's difficult to foresee circumstances in which CCS would invoke the Clause. 2b. Such a decision would necessitate a change to the DPS Agreement which would need to be handled in accordance with Clause 24 of the Core Terms, using the Variation Form at Joint Schedule 2. 3. Application of the Clause applies to all Order Contracts placed via the DPS.
Answered
28/11/2023 12:24
117. In the RM6173 - Automation Marketplace document, you specified the timeline for the request to participate in the submission of the OJEU Contract Notice by 13/02/2020. I would like to confirm if it is still possible to participate at this time and if yes, whether we need to submit only the selection Questionnaire document.
If you are referring to the published contract notice for RM6173 Automation Marketplace then the date for receipt of tenders contained within the notice refers to the initial procurement exercise to establish this agreement. However, as this is a dynamic purchasing system (DPS), you are able to apply at any time during the life of the agreement. You will be required to submit a Selection Questionnaire and any other documents requested within the bid pack. The bid pack can be accessed on the Supplier Registration System (SRS). Please refer to section 'How to Request to Participate' within the READ FIRST DPS Needs document within the bid pack, which explains the process.
Answered
06/07/2023 16:27
116. Good afternoon. We are about to undertake an application for the Automation Marketplace DPS, however; We understand from the Bid Pack that applications close on 15th March 2023, and that the framework will end on November 15th 2023. We note that in order to be approved as a supplier, we need to complete; Supplier Registration SSQ and then finally the DPS specific SSQ. In-between that, we must wait for our application to be assessed. Are we still able to join the framework if we are waiting for our Supplier Registration SSQ to be evaluated; if so, what are then the timeframes for submitting the DPS specific SSQ. Kind regards
"CCS has made the decision to extend the RM6173 DPS agreement for a period of 8 months, in addition to the initial 12-month extension, to allow an appropriate amount of time to develop the replacement agreement. This means supplier onboarding will continue on the DPS until the 15 November 2023. You will need to wait for await confirmation that your registration onto the Supplier Registration Service platform has been completed prior to completing both the standard Selection Questionnaire (SQ) and the subsequent your DPS Specific Selection Questionnaire (DPSQ). Once the DPSQ has been submitted, the Assessing process is initiated, provided you have answered the Qs correctly and up to date compliance evidence, this process would normally take less than 48 hours. The submission will then progress to the Agreeing stage where you will asked to electronically agree to the DPS Terms and Conditions and once this has been completed you will receive confirmation of being 'Appointed' as supplier to the DPS."
Answered
24/03/2023 12:43
115. Hello, I was hoping to get some clarification on the tiers of suppliers in the Modern Slavery Assessment. What exactly do these refer to, and is this an essential question for suppliers with a nonphysical (SaaS) product?
Tiers of suppliers refer to how many different organisations are used to transform the basic raw materials into the finished products that an organisation then sells onto your customers. Do any of these intermediary businesses engage in Modern Slavery. For suppliers of non physical products, it depends on how thorough you wish to be, for example even though you do not sell computers, you buy computers to use in your administrative functions, is the supply chain for your computers Modern Slavery Free? Generally speaking CCS will accept that your organisation continues to review your supply chain regularly for any threats of Modern Slavery.
Answered
08/03/2023 14:28
114. Dear sirs, we are interested in applying for the Automation Marketplace DPS, and are already a supplier on the RM6181 Contact Centre framework. Could we please clarify there are no restrictions between the two frameworks - i.e., if we were successfully appointed by a buyer through the DPS to provide consultancy on automation, which then goes on to form part of a tender on the RM6181, we will not be excluded from bidding on the subsequent contact centre tender?
Good morning, If a supplier was successfully appointed by a buyer through one DPS to provide consultancy on RM6173, which then goes on to form part of a tender on the RM6181, they will not be excluded from bidding on the subsequent contact centre tender. However, the buyer must carry out an open and transparent call for competition and award the contract to the successful bidder, in line with the order and award procedure for that agreement. This means that the buyer must be open to awarding the contract to an alternate supplier if they are the highest scoring supplier. Subsequently the supplier must be open to not winning the bid for the same reason. Kind regards, Crown Commercial Service
Answered
13/12/2021 08:54
113. Good afternoon, We are trying to amend one of our answers to the SQ however there does not appear to be an option to do so. Do we have to start the application process again? If so, how do we do this?
Dear bidder, Suppliers are unable to amend/update any of their answers within the Selection Questionnaire (SQ) and Registered 1 stage. This is reflected within the bid pack READ FIRST DPS Needs document which explains 'Please note - you CANNOT amend your responses to any of the standard Selection Questionnaire responses once you have progressed on to the DPSQ.' If suppliers wish to amend/update any of the SQ questions, suppliers will have to contact the platform helpdesk at NQC to delete the previous application and re-submit and restart the application process with the amended/updated answers before progressing onto the specific DPSQ.
Answered
20/04/2021 14:17
112. Please can you confirm that contract examples are not required as part of the submission?
This is covered in the bid pack First Read DPS needs document I can confirm there are questions in the Selection Questionnaire that are not applicable for RM6173 Automation Marketplace procurement, therefore please note, a response is NOT required to the questions as detailed below: • Part 1: (Contract Example 1) - Q133 • Part 1: (Contract Example 2) - Q134 • Part 1: (Contract Example 3) - Q135
Answered
14/04/2021 12:24
111. I am already a DOS5 supplier . I wish to be a supplier for Automation technology and platform . Can I check how do I get registered as a supplier ?
The Automation DPS can be applied for by clicking the "Access as a Supplier" option within the DPS landing page. https://supplierregistration.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/dps#technology
Answered
08/04/2021 12:42
110. How can an appointed supplier check currently open or on-going Automation Marketplace opportunities/pqq/ITT ?
Dear bidder, there are no platforms on our Automation Marketplace which centrally show customer opportunities. This is dependant on where the customer runs the opportunity and via their chosen eSourcing portal for the opportunity. However, CCS would typically expect the contract to be posted to 'Contracts Finder' post-award.
Answered
23/03/2021 10:27
109. The language in the DPS Core Terms v1.0.1 clause 11.5 "In spite of Clauses 11.1 and 11.2, the Supplier does not limit or exclude its liability for any indemnity given under Clauses 7.5, 8.3, 9.5, 12.2 or 14.9 or Order Schedule 2 (Staff Transfer) of a Contract." references a clause 14.9 that does not exist in the document. We note that in the Appointment Form v1 Special Terms 2 the Core Terms Clause 11.5 is replaced with "In spite of Clauses 11.1 and 11.2, the Supplier does not limit or exclude its liability for any indemnity given under Clauses 7.5, 8.3, 9.5, or 12.2 or Call-Off Schedule 2 (Staff Transfer) of a Contract. In spite of Clauses 11.1, 11.2 but subject to Clauses 11.3 and 11.4, the Supplier's aggregate liability in each and any Contract Year under each Contract under Clause 14.8 shall in no event exceed £10 million." Could the Authority please confirm that the language in the DPS Core terms referencing clause 14.9 is incorrect and should be disregarded in favour of clause 14.8 as included in Appointment Form v1 Special Terms 2?
Special Term 2 has precedence over the DPS Core Terms and in this case replaces Clause 11.5 of the DPS Core Terms. Any and all text at DPS Core Terms Clause 11.5 is replaced with the text within Special Term 2 including any and all references to other clauses.
Answered
26/02/2021 15:35
108. Please can the following policies as mentioned in the following sections of the "DPS Order Schedule 9 - Security" be provided. a) Security policy b) ICT Policy These artifacts are referenced within the schedule below; Under Page 2 of the "Order Schedule 9 - Security" 2. Complying with security requirements and updates to them - This section makes reference to a "Security Policy". But we have not been provided with the Security Policy to review. 2.2 The Supplier shall comply with the requirements in this Schedule in respect of the Security Management Plan. Where specified by a Buyer that has undertaken a Further Competition it shall also comply with the Security Policy and shall ensure that the Security Management Plan produced by the Supplier fully complies with the Security Policy In addition, Under Section 3 - Security Standards - There is reference to both the "Security Policy" and "ICT Policy". 3.2 The Supplier shall be responsible for the effective performance of its security obligations and shall at all times provide a level of security which: 3.2.1 is in accordance with the Law and this Contract; 3.2.2 as a minimum demonstrates Good Industry Practice; 3.2.3 meets any specific security threats of immediate relevance to the Deliverables and/or the Government Data; and 3.2.4 where specified by the Buyer in accordance with paragraph 2.2 complies with the Security Policy and the ICT Policy.
Dear Bidder, Crown Commercial Service does not have a specific generic security policy for suppliers to adhere too for the Automation DPS agreements. All suppliers are expected to have a robust internal security policy and ICT policy that is enforceable within your organisation and with key contractors that demonstrates good industry practice as a minimum. You as the supplier must be able to present and show evidence of your (the Suppliers) security policy to the buyer if required and comply with the buyers own security policy and ICT requirements that are mandatory for the procurement of the service expected. This is outlined within the Automation Bid Pack RM6173 Buyer Needs document section 2.6 Security it states that The Supplier shall be required to have their own security operating procedures that shall be made available to Buyer. The Supplier shall ensure appropriate security Standards, controls and measures in place such as access to premises. The Supplier shall ensure that any suspected or actual security breaches are reported to the Buyer representative immediately. The Supplier shall provide details of their personnel security procedures and upon request provide details of all personnel that they intend to use in the delivery of the Services. In addition to this Policy in Order Schedule 9 (Security) Part B: Long Form Security Requirement section 3 obliges the supplier to implement an Information Security Management System (ISMS) in addition to the requirements of the short-term form option, in line with the industry specific standards and formal government guidelines determined by the security policy framework tiers 1 - 4. This can be found via the hyperlink within Section 3.4.3 (e) This policy is outlined fully in Part B: Long Form Security Requirements. Section 3 Information Security Management System (ISMS)
Answered
24/02/2021 13:16
106. We have been appointed to this DPS- How we will be notified of opportunities/invitations to tender etc? Will we be alerted via the CCS e sourcing suite?
Dear Bidder, CCS can confirm that notification of further competition will be issued directly by the buying organisation via email. The buying organisation may choose to use the CCS esourcing suite, however can use their own e-tender system.
Answered
29/09/2020 16:44
104. Hello, Can all of the clarification questions to date be provided in either Word or Excel format, so they can be easily viewed by other members of the business who not have access to website?
The clarification questions and responses are publically available once published to the Supplier Registration Service.
Answered
01/12/2020 12:44
102. Hi, We raised a CQ on 3rd June, but haven't received a response to that. Please if you can reply to our query: Question - In relation to the question 'Does your organisation have a fully comprehensive occupational health screening service in place?', are you looking for data on whether we have an occupational health provision (and then the confirmation letter and contract start and end dates for that), or looking for information on actual health screenings provision such as health assessments? Thanks
Please refer to the RM6173 Automation Marketplace DPS Needs document which is held in the Bid Pack. Your query relates to SQ 161. Point 72 of the Bid Pack states that there are questions in the Selection Questionnaire that are not applicable for this RM6173 Automation Marketplace procurement, therefore please note, a response is NOT required to the questions as detailed below: Part 1: (CPV Codes) - Q3. Part 1: (Contract Example 1) - Q133. Part 1: (Contract Example 2) - Q134. Part 1: (Contract Example 3) - Q135. Part 2: (Product Liability Insurance) - Q143. Part 3: (Steel) Q147 - Q149. Part 3: (Supply Chain Management) Q150 - Q154. Part 3: (Department of Health Questions) -Q157 -Q161 Part 3: (NHS Questions) Q157 - Q161
Answered
10/03/2021 10:25
101. Can you please confirm what the Management Levy is and how it's calculated for the Automation Marketplace DPS?
The management levy for the Automation Marketplace DPS is 1%.
Answered
01/12/2020 12:45
100. Clauses 7.1 - Please can the Authority consider that although the Supplier is able to provide reasonable co-operation to the Authority in the event that it receives a claim under pursuant to clause 7.1, the Supplier's contractual obligations should not extend to assisting the Authority in dealing with such claims as that may go beyond the intended scope of services. The Supplier would also not be permitted to disclose information about third parties.
In the event of the Authority receiving a claim relating to the Supplier Staff, the Supplier's contractual obligations should extend to assisting the Authority.
Answered
10/03/2021 10:18
99. We have asked the below questions which have not been answered. Could you please clarify on them (or confirm that Financial Difficulties schedule does not apply on DPS level and we should seek the answers on an Order Contract level)? 1. We refer to DPS Schedule 7 cl. 2.2.1 which allows to reject the bid, but on the other hand as per DPS Schedule 4 cl.3.4 - repeated failure to bid may result in suspension from DPS. Can you please confirm if Supplier can reject the Order? 2. We refer to Joint Schedule 7 (Financial Difficulties) - Annex 2 together with "Credit Rating" definition and "Financial Distress Event" definition, bullet a). As per Annex we should use the "Failure Rating" - we have assumed that to be the failure score, which is a score out of 100 to measure how likely a business is to fail in the next 12 months and gives us the "risk indicator" part of our credit rating. Our current failure score is 97. A 10% fall would take us to 87 - which would still give us a risk indicator of 1 (failure score in the range of 86-100)- the best a company can have - it certainly wouldn't indicate any type of distress, but under current definition it would be. It means that we would need to go into conversation even being in the best score possible, which isn't really pragmatic. Therefore we suggest to use less sensitive measure, like a drop of two or more levels in our credit rating, which would be a more pragmatic approach. Could you consider amending Annex 2 and use "Credit Rating" instead of "Failure Rating" and the threshold being to fall by two levels? 3. We refer to Joint Schedule 7 (Financial Difficulties), part (f) of the Financial Distress definition. The clause refers to "financial indebtedness" but does not define it, nor does it indicate any level of materiality. Would it mean that even £200 would be a trigger? Is there expectation to start discussion with CCS on any such occasion? Could we have a more pragmatic approach and apply any definition of "financial indebtedness" and a level of materiality? 4. We refer to Joint Schedule 7 (Financial Difficulties), Part f of the Financial Distress definition bullet iv - cancellation or suspension of indebtedness - how do things like suspension of VAT payments under COVID19 fit into this - would that be a trigger? 5. We refer to Joint Schedule 7 (Financial Difficulties), all the notification requirements seems onerous and not always possible to comply, especially clause 4.3.1 requesting meeting within 3 Working Days. We would suggest notification requirements of 30 days. 6. We refer to Joint Schedule 7 (Financial Difficulties), clause 3.3 - We wouldn't be able to provide requested information externally based on unpublished results as we are part of a listed Group. We only can provide an audited and published data. Can you confirm that this would be acceptable?
Dear Bidder,1. "DPS Schedule 4 (DPS Management) Para 3.5 states ""Suppliers should participate in further competitions when identified by appropriate filters using the Platform. A repeated failure to bid on further competitions without an acceptable reason may result in the Supplier being suspended from the DPS, in accordance with Clause 10.8 (Partially ending and suspending the contract), for a period as decided by CCS." The obligation on the supplier is to respond. Schedule 7 (Order Procedure and Award Criteria) 2.2 sets out the supplier obligation to provide either 2.2.1 a statement to the effect that it does not wish to tender in relation to the Deliverables; or 2.2.2 the full details of its tender made in respect of the relevant Statement of Requirements. In the event that the Supplier submits such a tender, it should include, as a minimum: An acceptable response to a tender opportunity could be a short email telling the Contracting Authority that you are not bidding. That would meet the >=95% requirement. 2.Joint Schedule 7 is a core schedule in the standard Public Sector Contracts. Its purpose is to trigger a conversation, to ensure a business's financial standing is okay. As part of our Supplier Relationship Management we will carry out a reasonableness test, to assess how likely a business is to fail; for example, is a fall in the rating an ongoing trend over the period of one year or a quarter? A Supplier will not be automatically terminated from the framework if a credit rating falls by 10%. If a Supplier's credit rating were to fall by 10% over the period of a year, this would not raise significant alarm. If a Supplier's credit rating were to fall by 10% over a two week period, this would raise concern. The Schedule governs all suppliers under the agreement, therefore the Failure Rating must cover the minimum credit threshold a supplier would need to meet to deliver work under this agreement. This allows CCS to monitor Supplier's financial performance. A Failure Rating of 10% resulting in a Financial Score of 87 would not cause alarm, whereas a Failure Rating of 10% resulting in a Financial Score below the relevant Credit Rating Threshold would. Suppliers should notify CCS in case of Financial Distress in writing and a Continuity plan will be requested where CCS reasonably believes this event could impact on the continued performance of Suppliers obligations under each Call-Off Contract. Paragraph 6 of Joint Schedule 7 states that if a Supplier's credit rating does not drop below the relevant Credit Rating Threshold, then the Supplier shall be relieved of its obligations under Paragraphs 4.3 to 4.6 and CCS is not entitled to require financial information in accordance with Paragraph 4.3.2. 3. Paragraph 1, part (f) of Joint Schedule 7 (Financial Difficulties) is left intentionally vague to cover lots of events. CCS does not have a hard and fast rule, which allows us to move and flex to protect frontline services and also help protect suppliers. Each case is measured on its own merits, taking many points into consideration, including but not limited to; the risk appetite of an agreement, what is being procured, value of contract, current financial health of a company and how the debt compares to the company's current financial health. CCS do not have a set point to determine risk and instead use a 'gearing ratio'. This is intentional, as CCS do not want to disadvantage Start Up companies who would likely be highly geared and yet this wouldn't put them in financial distress. CCS therefore monitors movements of financial indebtedness to ensure the financial health of a Supplier does not have impact on frontline services and also enable suppliers to deliver their service offerings. 4.The basic premise of this schedule is to give CCS contractual rights to identify and manage financial distress in order to mitigate risk exposure of customer departments using the commercial agreements. The cancellation or suspension of indebtedness is primarily concerned with a company either entering into administration or a voluntary arrangement. Covid specific measures such as suspension of VAT payments would not automatically be considered as a signal of financial distress. However, as part of ongoing financial due diligence any change in financial position will be reviewed with consideration of particular circumstances a suitable action taken. In relation to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, we would expect all Customers to behave in compliance with the relevant PPNs especially with regards to Financial matters. As per the PPNs we would anticipate Customers utilising alternative methods of resolution, before relying on the clauses of the Contract. 5. A meeting within 3 working days may be requested by CCS where CCS reasonably believes that the Financial Distress Event could impact the continued performance of each Contract and delivery of the Deliverables in accordance with each Call-Off Contract and will not be requested if your credit rating is still good (see Paragraph 6). 6. If CCS becomes aware and starts to have concerns of changes to a Supplier's credit rating, we will engage with the Supplier and attempt to gain as much information as possible to evaluate the situation. CCS are aware that listed company stocks are traded based on financial information and that a company cannot risk that information getting out. We realise these limitations and are always happy to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA). CCS monitors the Supplier's financial health to be able to effectively make decisions, to ensure we don't expose our customers to undue financial risk and to ensure the delivery of public services aren't impacted. In the event there are reasonable concerns and a Supplier is unable to share financial information to alleviate the concern, CCS will need to take action. The less detailed information a Supplier is able to provide will have an adverse effect on the risk assessment of that Supplier and it would likely result in CCS putting other measures in place, or potentially suspending the Supplier from the agreement. CCS will always review what information the Supplier is happy to share, will treat each case in isolation and will come to agreement of what is acceptable. It is for you the Supplier to weigh the risks and determine if providing audited and published data will be sufficient for you to provide if CCS were required to gain access to financial information.
Answered
30/03/2021 12:00

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