Auditing Framework to save time and money for public sector

Public sector organisations looking to procure cost-effective auditing, governance and counter fraud services are set to benefit from a new framework launched this week. Internal and External Audit, Counter Fraud, and Financial Assurance Services Framework Agreement has been developed by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) and is free-to-use for any public sector organisation.

The framework has a range of 20 suppliers, including large well-established providers, small and medium-sized businesses, and boutique services, covering a wide range of specialisms such as External Audit, Internal Audit, Counter Fraud, Well Led Governance and Ancillary Services.

With average indicative savings of 10-15% compared to buying direct from a supplier at list price, the potential cost saving for the public purse is expected to be significant.

In developing the framework for the public sector, NHS SBS worked in close partnership with NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA) on the specification and evaluation of Lot 3, which covers Counter Fraud Services.

The framework has five lots in total and provides a fully compliant route to market. It offers complete flexibility to the NHS and the wider public sector, with options to directly award contracts or run mini competitions to meet bespoke requirements. It will run until November 2022 with the possibility of extension until 2024.

Phil Davies, Director of Procurement at NHS SBS, said:

“We understand the financial pressures that public sector organisations are under at present, and the framework has been carefully designed with this in mind. Indeed, suppliers are excited to have the opportunity to help public sector organisations and offer a streamlined, cost-efficient and effective service.

“We welcomed the opportunity to work with NHS Counter Fraud Authority and its expert input has helped ensure this aspect of the framework meets complex requirements, which are critical for public sector organisations across the board.

“This renewed framework is free-to-access, open to the whole public sector and provides simple, user-friendly terms and conditions.

“Whether a NHS trust, school, police force or local authority, all public sector organisations can be confident the mix of framework suppliers are trusted partners that represent excellent value for money.”

Sue Frith, CEO of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, said:

“I am pleased that NHSCFA was able to contribute its expertise in the development of the framework relating to the procurement of counter fraud services. It is timely that the framework is launching in International Fraud Awareness Week, which NHSCFA is fully supporting to help raise awareness of fraud.”

The Internal and External Audit, Counter Fraud, and Financial Assurance Services Framework is fully OJEU-compliant and all suppliers meet legislative requirements.