The contracts awarded to Serco and Sitel to provide call handling services for the contact tracing initiative were made using direct awards under Lot 2 of Crown Commercial Service’s Contact Centre Services framework which was varied under Public Contract Regulations (PCR) 2015 Regulation 72 to allow for direct awards for COVID-19 related procurements.
Crown Commercial Service undertook a pre-procurement exercise engaging with all suppliers on Lot 2 to understand which could establish the contract centre in the volumes required and the timescales needed. All suppliers on Lot 2 were engaged with, in order to ascertain capabilities to meet the contract output specifications.
Serco and Sitel are approved suppliers on the Crown Commercial Service contact centre framework. They gained their places through fair and open competition via an Official Journal of the European Union procurement. Value for money and capability were part of the assessment criteria. The Department has put in place arrangements to ensure robust contract management in terms of performance and quality standards in line with relevant guidance.