A consortium owned by the further education sector has released details of a print services framework that is worth up to £700 million and will compete with a similar framework established by the Cabinet Office.
Although the agreement is being established by the further education sector, a contract notice outlines that the framework will be available for use by all other public sector contracting authorities, including central government departments, NHS bodies and local authorities.
The framework looks to offer anything from desk top printers, to recycled technologies and managed print services.
Vendors interested in participating in the tender process have until 2 May 2012 to submit their requests.
Last month the Cabinet Office unveiled a list of suppliers that are set to offer print services to the public sector as part of a similar framework that could be worth up to £904 million. Some of the suppliers include Canon, Xerox, Konic Minolta, HP and Altodigital Networks.
However, the framework faced criticism from analysts who claimed that it was confusing for suppliers.
“The framework raises more questions than it answers. Looking at the contract notice, there are different lots with different values attached, but how much goes through the framework will be dependent on the demand for the services,” commented Georgina O’Toole and John O’Brien, directors at analyst firm TechMarketView.
“There is no mention either of where the funding for new equipment and services is coming from."
They added: “We are seeing more of these frameworks with big numbers attached but no definite commitment to spend through them. This means there will be a level uncertainty from the supplier as to how much it can reasonably expect to achieve."