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Biffa slams IESE framework

Waste management giant Biffa has set out its reasons for not bidding for a place on the controversial Improvement and Efficiency South East framework.

MRW revealed last week that bids were submitted by fewer than half of the 24 firms invited to tender for a spot on the framework.

IESE appointed all 11 bidders on to the scheme, designed to provide cost-effective waste services to more than 100 councils.

Biffa was among the 13 companies not bidding. It has now set out its reasons for doing so after claiming IESE had suggested it did not know why Biffa had declined:

  • Less choice - local authorities using the framework will in effect have a restricted choice of just 11 contractors, rather than the whole industry.
  • More cost - the IESE framework is likely to be more expensive than existing procurement routes as contractors will have to pay 0.5% of revenue to iESE for every successful bid for the term of the framework agreement. This is in addition to the £10,000 payable annually to IESE.
  • Minimal streamlining - the framework only cuts out the pre-qualification element, which is the least time-consuming and cheapest part of procurement.
  • More evaluation - with the framework’s removal of the PQQ phase, local authorities are likely to incur more time and cost because they will have to evaluate far more bids, ie up to 11. With PQQ, councils can efficiently get to a shortlist of providers, typically between four and six.
  • Time limits on contracts - contracts secured through the IESE framework will be time-limited to a maximum of 10 years, including any extensions. Local authorities currently prefer longer time options as these enable contractors to deliver maximum value. This is particularly relevant where investment costs are high.

Pete Dickson, development director of Biffa’s municipal division, said: “IESE knows exactly why we chose not to bid.

“We’re on record as saying it didn’t offer the required value opportunity for either the public or private sectors.”

“We voiced those concerns at formal face-to-face meetings with iESE and during the initial pre-tender process.”

IESE director of procurement Alison Templeton told MRW last week that a full announcement naming successful bidders would be made imminently.

She added: “We have identified 11 bidders to whom we intend to award the framework contract to.

“All 11 bidders were successful but there was a very robust evaluation carried out by local authorities and IESE representatives.”

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