A G-Cloud supplier has been told off by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) for breaking the framework's rules by locking a customer into a deal and offering reduced prices.
The incident was outlined in CCS' monthly mystery shopper report. The mystery shopper service allows government suppliers to raise concerns anonymously about what they believe to be poor public sector procurement practice.
According to the most recent document, one supplier - which remains anonymous - was told off for locking the Homes and Communities Agency into a deal, hence breaking G-Cloud rules.
"A supplier contacted the mystery shopper team to advise that another supplier on the G-Cloud framework appeared to have behaved in a way that seemed to lock in the Home and Communities Agency (HCA) into using their services," said the report.
"Further to this, as part of this transaction, HCA had been offered a reduced price, contravening the terms G-Cloud suppliers sign up to."
CCS claims to have "responded quickly" to the issue raised, when the HCA then explained that when it had attempted to move to another supplier, "the number of folder permissions had created unexpected problems with the off-boarding".
HCA then agreed to ensure that in future the incumbent supplier must assist them with the off-boarding process, said the document.
Following the investigation, CCS wrote to the supplier in question about their actions and "reminded them that CCS reserve the right to audit".
Elsewhere in the document, details were given about a complaint made against Public Health England (PHE) after it specified that suppliers bidding for a procurement through the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework must have turnover of more than £7.5m.
"This is not in line with current policy guidance which advises against assessing supplier financial condition purely in relation to turnover," the document said, adding that PHE eventually removed the requirement following the investigation.
"PHE responded very promptly, emphasising that the exercise was very much at a pre¬procurement stage, and that the relevant information had been shared with suppliers to give them a chance to comment and to prepare to compete. The requirement is high profile, and high-risk such that PHE will need assurance of supplier financial robustness. However, they accepted that the turnover requirement didn't sit comfortably with Procurement Policy Note and were happy to remove it for the procurement and to assess supplier finances in a more holistic fashion."
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