The Creative Choice consortium – led by the Live Group – has learned this afternoon (28 March) that it has won its bid for the DFE’s creative services framework.
The DFE framework, which covers work including conferences and exhibitions as well as a range of services such as design, branding and media, is set to run for three years, with the option of a year-long extension.
Creative Choice had been competing against Serco and The Engine Group at the final stages.
A total of 40 bidders were whittled down to six last year before face-to-face pitches took place with the two final contenders for first-tier supplier status, called an integrated service provider, in August 2010.
The Live Group’s executive chairman Jonathan Lewis said: "It has been an extraordinary day."
DFE has been working with other government departments including COI to scope the market and develop a procurement strategy and it is believed that a number of those could also use the framework for services including events.
Meanwhile, Creative Choice is setting up a supply chain that will be "constantly refreshed", added Lewis, and which currently includes around 180 businesses including ten event agencies.
Crown Business Communications is among the agencies registered as a second-tier supplier in the deal and Lewis said the plan was to establish an "extraordinary supply chain of niche providers chosen on the basis of their expertise".
A ten-day cooling off period is now underway that allows time for other bidders to launch a legal challenge, should they wish to.
"DFE has held meetings with government partners and I believe they could all be using the services," added Lewis.
Open supply chain
He added the difference with the COI roster was that it was closed until a formal tender process, whereas the DFE framework would be open for suppliers to join.
"We are dedicated to growing the supply chain as the business grows," said Lewis. "Anyone can log onto the Creative Choice website and tell us why they should join; there is no restriction."