Public Sector FAQs | Perfect Circle

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What is Perfect Circle?

Perfect Circle is an incorporated joint venture, operating as a limited company which is jointly owned by Pick Everard, Gleeds and AECOM.

Who delivers services for Perfect Circle?

Along with the three Principal Partners, a number of Preferred Partners can lead commissions. All partners work with an extensive supply chain of sub-consultants.

What is SCAPE?

SCAPE is a public sector owned, limited company, governed by Public Law. It is a local authority-controlled company whose shareholders are Derby City, Derbyshire County, Gateshead, Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire County and Warwickshire County Councils.

Its shareholders nominate directors to the Board and have reserved rights under the Shareholders’ Agreement. SCAPE was formed by its shareholders in 2006 under the powers contained in the Local Government Act 1972, Local Government Act 1983 section 95 and the Local Government Act 2000. Its role as a Contracting Authority and Central Purchasing Body was established at the point of its formation. SCAPE has a legal personality, and as such can trade with any organisation. However, as a public sector owned and operated organisation, its main objective is to support the efficient delivery of public sector

What is SCAPE Consultancy?

SCAPE Consultancy is a direct award, fully compliant procurement solution that represents a route to the most extensive property, construction and infrastructure consultancy services available. The SCAPE Consultancy framework was awarded to Perfect Circle for Lot 1 Built Environment and Lot 2 Infrastructure in 2021 for a four-year term (with two-year extension) and have a combined value of £600m.

The framework can significantly reduce the time needed for brief preparation and procurement procedures, enabling earlier delivery of projects and programmes. Direct access to Perfect Circle on the SCAPE Consultancy framework provides clients with access to an extensive supply chain, combining the strongest collaborative team with value for money while amplifying the local economic, environmental and social impact of every project.

Is SCAPE Consultancy compliant? How is the framework procured?

For more than a decade, SCAPE has partnered with both nationally recognised and local construction companies, civil engineering companies and consultancy organisations to deliver fully compliant framework services across the UK. Its frameworks are procured via a two stage ’restricted’ process which fully complies with Regulation 28 of the Public Contracts (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) Regulations 2015 and Regulation 29 of the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015.

The procurement process is run entirely as an eProcurement, using Delta e-Sourcing. A selection team is formed comprising representatives from SCAPE, the public sector including their local authority Shareholders, independent industry experts and legal advisors. The selection team read and score bids at Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) and Invitation to Tender (ITT) stages as appropriate.

A reduced team then participate in and score the interview stage. Tenders are evaluated based on the most economically advantageous tender in accordance with Regulation 67 based on both cost and quality. The qualitative and commercial submissions for SCAPE Consultancy were weighted in the ratio of 70% for quality and 30% for price.

On completion of the process, one supplier is identified for each of SCAPE’s direct award framework Lots.

What does ‘direct award’ mean?

Direct award is a method by which an organisation can directly call off services from a framework partner without the need for conducting any further competition.

How long does it take to get contracts and agreements set up?

Direct engagement with Perfect Circle is quick and efficient, resulting in a contract being set up for service delivery in as little as two to 20 days depending on scope and complexity. Perfect Circle can significantly reduce the time needed for brief preparation and procurement procedures, ensuring the service delivery starts as soon as it is needed.

How do clients select which framework lot to use, if the requirement cuts across both Built Environment and Infrastructure?

This should be discussed with the Perfect Circle Regional Lead or our Development Director, Nigel McCarthy, who can advise on which framework to use.

The framework allows a number of contract options under NEC4 and NEC3 – which option best suits the client’s needs?

The four Model Delivery Agreements available are:

  • NEC4 Professional Service Short Contract (PSSC) - For low risk, low value, simple commissions.
  • NEC4 Professional Service Contract (PSC) Option A - Priced Contract with Activity Schedule - A lump sum priced contract, in which the risks of being able to provide the service at the agreed prices in the Activity Schedule are largely borne by the Consultant.
  • NEC4 Professional Service Contract (PSC) Option C - Target Contract - A target fee contract in which the financial risks (savings or over-spend) are shared by the client and the consultant.
  • NEC3 Professional Services Contract Option G -Term Service Contract - Provides the flexibility to agree a long-term call-off arrangement using Task Orders. This type of contract lends itself to a programme of works where the same contract terms apply for all orders.
Who determines how Perfect Circle delivers the service?

Where a client approaches Perfect Circle, we will select the most appropriate partner to deliver the commission based on experience, capability, expertise and capacity.

How do we appoint a consultant Partner?

To use the SCAPE Consultancy frameworks clients must sign an Access Agreement with SCAPE. A Partner will then develop a Service Request Proposal (SRP) with the client which outlines the scope of services and the price. Once agreed, an NEC Contract (termed a Delivery Agreement) is drawn up incorporating those terms from the SRP for signature by both the client and Perfect Circle.

What is the contracting arrangement?

Perfect Circle is the Incorporated Joint Venture company contracted with SCAPE to hold the framework, therefore the headline contract (Delivery Agreement using NEC3 or NEC4) must be between the client and Perfect Circle. There is then a step-down contract with back to back terms for Partners to deliver the consultancy services.

Perfect Circle and all Partners hold the levels of EL, PL and PI mandated under the Framework Agreement with SCAPE.

What suppliers can we use?

Perfect Circle has an existing approved supply chain of over 500 pre-qualified suppliers that offer the full range of consultancy services at all project stages of the life cycle. Additional suppliers may be added should they satisfy Perfect Circle’s compliance requirements.

What are the benefits of procuring more than one service?

Clients have the benefit of managing a single provider for a number of services, across all stages, which in turn offers greater efficiencies.

As this is a multidisciplinary service framework, can we pick and choose specific services?

Yes. Clients can pick and choose specific services - the full scope of services are set out in Schedule 3 of the Framework Agreement.

What if we require the QS or Project Management services to be separate from the design or engineering team?

This can be achieved through consultation with Perfect Circle as part of the Pre- Procurement Engagement. The benefit of Perfect Circle is different services can be provided by different organisations or teams for project assurance.

How do I know I’m getting value for money?

The commercial rates that underpin the SCAPE Consultancy frameworks were competitively tendered against a projected Contract Notices.

For each commission, we prepare a bespoke fee proposal that demonstrably links back to these commercial rates, giving the client complete transparency that it is benefitting from this economy of scale, no matter how small the requirement may be. Perfect Circle ensures supply chain efficiency with competitive market rates, bringing real value for money.

What performance measures are in place?

Please refer to Schedule 11 of the Framework Agreement which lists all the Project and Framework Performance Indicators (PIs). These are summarised in the SCAPE Consultancy framework Handbook.

Can we novate Perfect Circle’s design team to a Works Contractor?

This must be with the agreement of Perfect Circle, and any such novation would fall outside the framework agreement through a separate contract negotiated with the specified contractor.

Can you run tender competitions for suppliers?

If a procurement strategy requires a tendering process, Perfect Circle can do this for selected parts of the project team, or for example if seeking to use specific local suppliers.

Perfect Circle will work to develop sub-consultancy packages for services beyond the Prime Core services of Project Management and Cost Management which will be provided by the Contract Lead Partners as required under the Framework Agreement.

Who will invoice the client?

The Framework Agreement is between SCAPE and Perfect Circle. It is Perfect Circle that will issue invoices to clients. Invoices will not be issued directly by the Partner providing the services.

How does an organisation become a Perfect Circle supply chain partner?

A step-by-step process is on the supply chain partner hub.

Suppliers can register interest by completing Perfect Circle’s contact form or by contacting a Regional Lead for more information.

What insurances and warranties will be required to become a supply chain partner?

Insurances required will vary depending on the services the supplier offers and will form part of the approval journey and completion of the supply chain pre-qualification process, in line with PAS 91 and other system requirements. Contact a Regional Lead for more information.

What is meant by social value?

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 requires “public authorities to have regard to economic, social and environmental well-being in connection with public services contracts”. There is no conclusive list of what these benefits may be and therefore must be considered in the context of local needs. As a result, all projects must contribute to the long-term well-being of communities.

How do we voice any concerns over performance?

Where there are any concerns, clients should contact their Perfect Circle contact in the first instance. In the event this does not satisfy your concerns, then please contact the Development Director, Nigel McCarthy.

We have a client satisfaction survey, why is this needed?

Perfect Circle monitors all Partners in the delivery of services and actively seeks feedback. It is important to Perfect Circle to know where improvements to the service can be made and equally to know what is working well.

Perfect Circle sends out satisfaction surveys at the end of every commission and encourages clients to give open and honest feedback for the benefit of all its clients.

Need more support?

Please contact the Development Director, Nigel McCarthy at nigelmccarthy@perfectcircle.co.uk

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