The Eastern Shires Purchasing Organization (ESPO), a public sector-owned professional buying organization, announced on August 3, 2020 the winners of a language services contract estimated to be worth GBP 80m (USD 100m).
The framework agreement is divided into five lots: one lot for translation and transcription, another for “managed services,” and three lots for a range of interpretation services, including in-person, video remote interpretation (VRI), over-the-phone interpretation (OPI), and British Sign Language (BSL). Maximum duration of the framework is four years.
As covered by Slator in June 2019, the UK government issued advance notice that the contract would be up for renewal. The actual call for tender was issued in January 2020, with the start of the new framework agreement, slated April 2020, coinciding with the end of the previous contract.
All but Lot 5 (Translation) are divided into sub-lots. Lot 1 for “Managed Services” is divided by client group: Police, Health, and Local Government & Wider Public Sector. It covers a “large range of customer needs” […] based upon a combination or all of the remaining framework lots.”
Lot 2 for in-person interpreting is divided into 12 geographical sub-lots; as is Lot 3 for in-person BSL, Irish Sign, Foreign Sign Languages, and Speech-to-Text Reporting, among other “non-spoken” services. Meanwhile, Lot 4 is divided by service group into three lots: OPI, VRI, and VRI Sign.
The winning language service providers (LSPs) for the in-person sign language interpretation, OPI, and VRI lots were selected based on Price, 60%; an unspecified “Non-price” criterion, 30%; and Quality or “Social Value,” 10%.
The LSPs for the managed services, in-person interpretation, VRI sign, and translation lots were chosen based on the Non-price criterion, 60%; Price, 30%, and Quality, 10%.
The 20 winners who won from a field of 43 bidders per lot are shown in the table below in the order of their listing.