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Commoditised IT Hardware and Software

Contract ID: RM721

Start Date: 02/03/2010

End Date: 31/01/2015


Commodity IT Hardware and Software (RM721) has been extended up to 31 January 2015 to provide continuity of service for customers with further competitions underway. Technology Products (RM1054) is now live and should be used for all new requirements.

Supplier update: Kelway Ltd acquisition of Equanet and non-renewal of DSG Retail Ltd/Equanet framework agreement. Please download full details here

Updated Model Contract: Please note that from 1 March 2014 the maximum contract period allowed for any further competitions conducted under this agreement is three years.

The Commoditised IT Hardware and Software (CITHS) framework agreement provides you with access to a wide range of hardware and software.

Developed in consultation with our public sector customers, the framework agreement has been structured so that IT products and services can be quickly and efficiently called off, while standard terms and conditions provide the important contractual safeguards you need.

The framework agreement includes:

Lot 1 - Desktop Hardware

The supply of personal computing and client access products including but not limited to:

  • Desktops, laptops, notebooks and netbooks
  • Personal data assistants and mobile internet devices
  • Peripherals equipment including printers, monitors, spares and accessories.

Lot 2 - IT Infrastructure Hardware

The supply of IT infrastructure hardware equipment including but not limited to:

  • Servers
  • Storage
  • Routers
  • Switches and hubs 

Lot 3 - Specialist Channel Partners for Software

The supply of the full range of commercial and open source off-the-shelf software, software licenses and associated software services including software asset management.

A range of associated services directly related to the purchased IT products is also available, across all lots, including but not limited to:

  • Pre-sales support i.e. for specification clarification
  • Advice and provision of Information Assurance products.
  • Delivery
  • Asset tagging
  • Imaging
  • Warehousing
  • Extended warranties
  • Installation
  • Configuration
  • Maintenance services
  • Support, helpdesk and training
  • Post sales support 


  • Suppliers are contractually committed to a capped margin.
  • A compliant route to resellers who can provide the levels of discounts negotiated via central deals.

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You should read the guidance notes for this framework agreement before making a purchase.

To order IT hardware and software, you may either select a single supplier from the information provided in the catalogue, or conduct a further competition between multiple suppliers.

Ordering via the catalogue

Online catalogues are available for direct purchases via the Government eMarketplace, which can be accessed here. If you would like more information on how to register for the Government eMarketplace please refer to our Overview. N.B. If you would like to browse and shop from these catalogues, ask your Zanzibar administrator to make the catalogues listed below available to you, if you are a user of the Government eMarketplace you will already have access to these catalogues by default. The catalogues available are:

  • GEM_PU_PHOE_1111 - Phoenix ICT CITHS RM721 11/11

You may only order directly from the eMarketplace, without competing your requirements, if you can determine which supplier represents best value for money from the detail given in the eMarketplace.  You may not specify special terms for catalogue orders.

To order IT hardware and software directly from the eMarketplace, you must:

  • First determine from the eMarketplace which suppliers are capable of meeting your requirement;
  • Then decide which of these represent best value for money using the award criteria specified in the customer guidance notes;
  • Place the order with the supplier. This should be done through the eMarketplace wherever possible, though orders via telephone, fax or email are permissible.

Conducting a further competition

Where you cannot determine which supplier can deliver best value for money from the detail given in the eMarketplace or where any special terms are needed, you should carry out a further competition within the framework agreement which would enable you to determine best value for money for your specific requirement.

Further competitions must be completed in writing. Our online further competition tool can be used to conduct the procurement, though any option in writing is permissible. 

In carrying out a further competition you should:

  • Invite (in writing) all suppliers capable of meeting the requirement to submit proposals.  Note that there is no scope to run a general selection procedure, based on technical ability, financial standing etc.  This was carried out before the framework agreement itself had been awarded and should not be repeated at further competition stage.  The invitation should:
    • specify a fixed time limit for submission of proposals.  Such time limit shall be of sufficient duration to allow proposals to be submitted, taking into account factors such as the complexity of the IT hardware and software requirement and the time needed to compile and submit a proposal;
    • seek proposals for fulfilling the requirement, including agreement to any special terms, additional clauses and/or alternative clauses;
    • not refer to goods of a specific make, brand or source, or to a particular process that may have the effect of favouring or eliminating particular suppliers.  Specifications must be expressed in generic terms to facilitate maximum competition;
    • contain a copy of the order form, completed as far as possible as if it were the resultant order and, at your option, a copy of the draft contract completed as far as possible and indicating where material from the winning supplier’s proposal will be input to complete the contract;
    • state if an electronic reverse auction is to be held;
    • clearly specify the precise award criteria including any sub-criteria and their relevant weightings, ensuring the mandatory award criteria headings form the top level, as specified in the guidance notes; and
    • not refer to, or contain, terms and conditions that contravene the model contract (i.e. you must not append your own terms and conditions).
  • Consider whether your invitation to suppliers, as a ‘tender document’, should be published under the government’s Transparency policies;
  • Keep each submitted proposal confidential until the expiry of the time limit set;
  • Evaluate the proposals received and notify all invited suppliers of the outcome (i.e. were they successful).
  • Note that it is best practice to debrief unsuccessful suppliers, particularly where they request this. 
  • Place the resulting order with the supplier who has submitted the most economically advantageous tender.

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Lot 3 offers a compliant route to resellers who can provide the levels of discounts negotiated via central deals, for example the Microsoft PSA09 agreement and the Adobe Cumulative Licensing Programme.

Lot 3 of the framework has delivered savings of £7.5 million in the first 9 months of this financial year (2011/12).

Savings are calculated by comparing average prices paid for groups of COTS software types, e.g. Operating Systems, Desktop Publishing or Security against the average prices paid in 2009/10.

Benchmarking clauses exist within the framework and if a review were to find that pricing was not good value suppliers would have to lower prices or their agreement would be terminated.

We have also been working hard to ensure transparency of pricing and competition amongst the suppliers.

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The agreement was developed to provide a compliant, efficient route to software resellers who can sell a wide range of software and provide added value services such as installation and testing at a capped margin.

Suppliers are audited to ensure compliance to the terms and conditions of the framework and the capped margin.

The OJEU Notice can be accessed via the Documents tab


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Lot details

Lot Number Lot Name Lot Category Number of Suppliers Contract Expiry
All suppliers 19 - click here to view suppliers
1 Desktop Hardware ICT 11 - click here to view suppliers 31/01/2015
2 IT Infrastructure Hardware ICT 13 - click here to view suppliers 31/01/2015
3 Specialist Channel Partners for Software ICT 9 - click here to view suppliers 31/01/2015

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Framework Manager Contact Details

David Leighton

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