A procurement framework has been set up to make it easier for businesses to supply services to Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The estates and facilities framework creates a level playing field and shortens the process, which makes it easier for small, local businesses to bid for work. The framework also makes it much easier for Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue to find a pre-approved supplier to carry out work when it is needed.

Public sector bodies must follow strict guidelines to make sure they act fairly when looking for companies to supply goods and services. Open procurement processes are transparent but can take time for both suppliers and organisations – that can be a problem when critical work to buildings and facilities needs to be done urgently.

The Commercial Team that works jointly for Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner,  created the framework, which, through a tender and selection process, identifies a group of approved suppliers.

Each of the businesses on the framework has been vetted, quality checked and signed up to work to agreed standards.

Twenty-eight companies specialising in electrical, heating, air conditioning, plumbing and other disciplines, work mainly from the local region of Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire are on the framework.

Businesses on this part of the framework were selected predominantly from the East Midlands region, to provide opportunities for local businesses and drive the local connection with the emergency services.

Having a framework agreement in place streamlines tender processes, which saves time and money on both sides.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said that the framework means that it should now be quicker to have repairs and maintenance done in police and fire buildings.

“Most of our buildings are in use 24/7 and we need to make sure they are kept running,” Stephen Mold said. “I’m proud of the work that our Commercial Team has done in setting up this framework, which means we can support local firms at the same time as ensuring the work we need on our estate is done in a timely way.

“We now have a framework full of businesses, all checked and ready to go when we need them.

“This represents great value for money for everyone involved and it’s good to be able to help smaller, local companies grow and create employment, by making it easier for them to do business with us.”

The framework is open to local authorities and other public sector organisations in the East Midlands.

Businesses on the framework have reacted positively to the opportunity to work with their local emergency services.

Chris Griffin from CG Electrical said: “This framework is a brilliant opportunity for a small and local business like us in Northampton. We are really looking forward to being a part of it.”

Blandfords LLP said: “We look forward to working on future projects within this structured and collaborative environment.  We feel this framework will not only provide a streamlined approach to procurement, but also allows for effective communication and co-operation among all the parties involved, allowing us to provide our skills and experience to achieve the goals the framework requires.  We look forward to the potential future business with the local public sector organisations that being a part of this framework will bring.“