New government comms framework to allow more open dialogue with agencies

The UK Government is to make it easier for PR agencies to bid for lucrative contracts with a new procurement system set to be announced in the near future, according to Alex Aiken, executive director for government comms.

Government framework: More chances for agencies to take a seat in Westminster (Credit: Kurt Bauschardt via Flickr)
Government framework: More chances for agencies to take a seat in Westminster (Credit: Kurt Bauschardt via Flickr)

He told delegates at PRWeek's PR360 event in London yesterday: "We are just near, I can tell you today, to announcing a new procurement framework for government communications: we’re moving from the ‘final six’ framework, which in some ways was designed to confuse, to two big frameworks."

One will govern contracts for campaign solutions, for what Aiken described as "big end-to-end campaigns because communications needs to be integrated". The other framework will deal with comms services, he said.

The change will allow more PR companies to be on the government framework and "show off their skills," he added.

"As part of that we have done away with some of the unnecessary rules that said you can’t talk to agencies before they bid for stuff. So for me, as head of government communications, once we get these frameworks in place, if you want to ring us up and ask us we're thinking about pitching for this work, what’s the strategy, what’s the plan, what are the benchmarks, what’s the general audience you’re looking at? Yes, absolutely. That’s where we are heading," he added.

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