Select Committee on Public Accounts Thirty-Third Report

Annex: Key terms used in the report

Framework agreement: A framework agreement is a general term for agreements with suppliers which set out terms and conditions and standard prices under which specific purchases can be made throughout the term of the agreement. For example, has a range of framework agreements for IT equipment.

Managed services: A range of on-going services managed by on behalf of public sector customers. For example, the Managed Telecommunications Service provides a combination of equipment, infrastructure, service and support to ensure continuous operation of an organisation's communications systems. Organisations are charged a single fee per telephone handset.

Memoranda of Understanding: manages several Memoranda of Understanding which provide public sector organisations with agreed price discounts. For example, for software purchased from Microsoft and Oracle.

Government Procurement Card: The Government Procurement Card provides substantial benefits for users by providing, in a similar way to credit/debit cards, a streamlined process for low value, ad hoc purchases.

Zanzibar: The Zanzibar Managed Service is the new purchase-to-pay and emarketplace available to the whole of the UK public sector, extending to any organisation subject to European Union procurement rules. It enables the public sector and suppliers to be linked up over the Internet, and transact in a fully integrated end-to-end manner, from initial tender to invoicing, using electronic systems.

Single approach to sourcing: The Office of Government Commerce will identify either or a relevant department—generally the one that has the largest spending for the category—to lead on behalf of the rest of government in buying a range of commonly procured goods and services, where that can provide good value for money.

eAuction: An eAuction (electronic auction) is an online bidding process between pre-selected suppliers for a specific piece of business. Suppliers compete online and in real-time using the internet to communicate offers. Its principles, therefore, follow those of a conventional auction, but as the eAuction proceeds, suppliers make offers to supply goods and services at successively lower prices until nobody wishes to place a lower bid.

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