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Dell bid for slice of £6bn public sector deal in doubt

Microscope contributor

Dell and a number of other suppliers are believed to be appealing against their failure to make the second stage tender for Buying Solutions' £6bn IT Hardware and Software framework agreement in a move which could delay the final decision.

 

As revealed by MicroScope weeks ago, DSGi Business failed to score highly enough on the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire and was told by Buying Solutions it had not made the grade, and it would seem a number of others are in the same boat.

 

A source close to Buying Solutions said Dell, like DSGi Business, had fallen short on a number of criteria, including demonstrating consistent growth for the past three year.

 

"Dell has been shocked that it was left out of phase two because of the size of its business, but Buying Solutions is trying to reduce the suppliers on the framework," said the insider.

 

In a letter sent to suppliers, Buying Solutions confirmed it had "received a number of appeals" following the release of the Commoditised IT Hardware and Software PQQ results.

 

"It is appropriate to give these appeals detailed consideration prior to the Invitation To Tender (ITT)," said the Government's national procurement partner for UK public services.

 

The deadline for the submission of general ITT clarification questions was due on 27 October but sources say Buying Solutions has been inundated with so many requests that it is possible the agreement's 1 March 2010 launch date may slip.

 

"I am wondering about the timescales," said one supplier. "Buying Solutions can't extend the existing contract past the end of February, and it is already tight without issuing the stage 2 tender. This could be a nightmare."

 

The criteria to determine the suppliers that make it through to the second round of the tender has been made more stringent to rationalise the final numbers, split between general capability, lot specific capability and previous experience.

 

A source close to Buying Solutions said Dell, like DSGi Business, had fallen short on a number of criteria, including demonstrating consistent growth for the past three years.

 

"Dell has been shocked that it was left out of phase two because of the size of its business, but Buying Solutions is trying to reduce the suppliers on the framework," said the insider.

 

In the previous three year framework agreement, due to end in February, 170 suppliers made it through to the second round, but this year only 45 are understood to have successfully navigated the initial stage.

 

Buying Solutions does not comment on individual suppliers but confirmed earlier this month that it wanted 10 suppliers in each of the three lots and that some could be awarded multiple lots.

 

A Dell spokeswoman said it had "no comment to make at this stage".

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