Online and Telephone Dispute Resolution Services

Online and Telephone Dispute Resolution Services

The successful contractor will be required to provide a telephone and online information and support service consisting of at least two advisers (the ‘ODR Contact Point’) to assist parties involved in disputes about online purchases.

United Kingdom-Swindon: Telecommunications services

2015/S 087-157445

Contract notice


Directive 2004/18/EC

Section I: Contracting authority

I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)

UK Shared Business Services
North Star Avenue
For the attention of: Sarah Palmer
SN2 1FF Swindon
Telephone: +44 1793867163

Internet address(es):

General address of the contracting authority:

Further information can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

Specifications and additional documents (including documents for competitive dialogue and a dynamic purchasing system) can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

Tenders or requests to participate must be sent to: Crown Commercial Services
Internet address:

I.2)Type of the contracting authority

Body governed by public law

I.3)Main activity

Other: Public Procurement

I.4)Contract award on behalf of other contracting authorities

The contracting authority is purchasing on behalf of other contracting authorities: yes

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
1 Victoria Street
SW1H 0ET London

Section II: Object of the contract


II.1.1)Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority:

UK SBS – PS150006 — Online Dispute Resolution Contact Point.

II.1.2)Type of contract and location of works, place of delivery or of performance

Service category No 5: Telecommunications services

NUTS code UK

II.1.3)Information about a public contract, a framework agreement or a dynamic purchasing system (DPS)

The notice involves a public contract
II.1.4)Information on framework agreement

II.1.5)Short description of the contract or purchase(s)

UK Shared Business Services Ltd as the Contracting Authority is putting in place a contract for The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

II.1.6)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

64200000, 64211000, 64211100, 64211200, 64213000, 79510000, 79511000, 79512000

II.1.7)Information about Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)

The contract is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA): yes


This contract is divided into lots: no

II.1.9)Information about variants

Variants will be accepted: no
II.2)Quantity or scope of the contract

II.2.1)Total quantity or scope:

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is the department for economic growth. The department invests in skills and education to promote trade, boost innovation and help people to start and grow a business. BIS also protects consumers and reduces the impact of regulation.
BIS is a ministerial department, supported by 45 agencies and public bodies.

Further information may be found at:

Clarification of Abbreviations
ODR — Online Dispute Resolution
ADR — Alternative Dispute Resolution
1. Introduction
The successful contractor will be required to provide a telephone and online information and support service consisting of at least two advisers (the ‘ODR Contact Point’) to assist parties involved in disputes about online purchases and which have been submitted via a Europe-wide online dispute resolution platform (the ‘ODR Platform’).
The parties involved in disputes may include UK or European consumers, UK businesses and UK ADR providers.
2. Aims
To improve access to redress for consumers with a dispute about a purchase made online from a trader based outside the UK.
3. Objectives
We require the successful contractor to provide a telephone and online information and support service that will fulfil the requirements of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No. 524/2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes (the ‘ODR Regulation’).
The contractor must be designated by Government by 9.7.2015 however the ODR platform will not be operational until January 2016. The contract will be on an ongoing basis for 3 years commencing on 9.1.2016.
4. Background to the Requirement
This requirement is needed to implement the ODR Regulation.
The ODR Regulation was adopted alongside a Directive on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes (the ‘ADR Directive’) which requires all the Member States of the European Union to ensure ADR that meets certain specified quality criteria, is available for every consumer to business dispute regarding contractual obligations.
Competent authorities designated by the Government will maintain and monitor a list of certified ADR providers which will be communicated to the European Commission.
The ODR Regulation obliges the European Commission to develop and set up the ‘ODR Platform’ which will allow European consumers to seek assistance in obtaining redress for disputes relating to goods and services bought online.
The ODR Regulation obliges all Member States to designate a single point of contact (an ODR Contact Point), consisting of at least two advisers, who will provide information and assistance to consumers wishing to submit a complaint via the ODR Platform and facilitate communication between the parties involved in a dispute.
The ODR Regulation enables Member States to decide which body they should designate to fulfil the obligations under Article 7. In the UK the Government has decided to award the contract for delivery by this open tender action.
Sign-posting obligations on businesses:
In addition to requirements found in the ADR Directive which require businesses to provide information about ADR in certain circumstances, the ODR Regulation requires all businesses who sell their goods or services online to provide a link to the ODR platform on their website. Further information must be provided about the ODR platform if the online business is obliged or committed to using ADR. All websites which act as a platform for businesses to sell their goods and/or services must also provide a link to the ODR platform.
5. Scope
Article 7 of the ODR Regulation requires the UK to have in place a single point of contact (or ODR Contact Point) that enables parties involved in a dispute to find out general information and seek assistance and support in submitting a complaint using the ODR Platform.
The ODR Regulation allows the Government to decide whether the UK ODR Contact Point handles the following:
— Disputes relating to a domestic complaint involving a UK consumer or business;
— Disputes initiated by business (potentially allowing complaints made by a business against a consumer) to be submitted to an ADR provider via the ODR platform
The Government is not going to make it a requirement for the supplier of the UK ODR Contact Point, to assist with domestic online purchases. However, the supplier will have discretion to help with domestic complaints where they see fit on a case by case basis.
The Government will not permit disputes initiated by businesses to be submitted via the UK ODR Contact Point.
The UK ODR Contact Point will therefore deal with contacts from both UK consumers as well as EU (but non-UK) consumers who wish to seek assistance via the UK’s ODR Contact Point (and not the ODR Contact Point in their own country). It is reasonable to expect that most EU (and non-UK) consumers who need assistance in submitting a complaint via the ODR Platform, will likely seek assistance from the ODR Contact Point in the country in which they are based. Frequent contacts from EU (and non-UK) consumers are therefore unlikely.
Contacts seeking information or assistance may also be received from UK businesses that have been made aware of a complaint submitted by an EU (non-UK) consumer via the ODR Platform as well as the UK ADR entities involved in a dispute.
The role of the ODR Contact Point includes the provision of general information on the consumer’s right to access ADR in a given instance and/or on the process of submitting a complaint via the ODR Platform and to facilitate communication between all or some of the parties involved in a dispute. The role is not to provide advice on the specific circumstances or merits of a particular dispute.
Citizen’s Advice: Consumer Complaints Helpdesk
Citizens Advice will extend their existing consumer advice service to provide specific advice and assistance on ADR.
They will help consumers understand the UK ADR landscape and the law on ADR and to provide them with practical assistance in making complaints. Citizens Advice will facilitate communication between UK consumers and UK traders, about domestic (including online) complaints and will inform traders of their information and sign-posting obligations.
It is expected that where a UK consumer has a dispute regarding an online purchase made through an EU (and non-UK) trader, Citizen’s Advice will sign-post the consumer to the ODR Platform.
6. Requirement
As required under the ODR Regulation, the ODR Contact Point’s function is principally to provide an information and support service to the parties involved in a consumer dispute about contractual obligations. The service must be accessible at a distance including by electronic means.
The main objective therefore is for consumer advisors, with some knowledge of general European and national consumer rights legislation, to provide support and information to UK and EU consumers, UK businesses and UK ADR providers on submitting disputes via a Europe-wide consumer complaints platform hosted by the European Commission.
The successful bidder needs to have within their organisation:
— Experience of providing consumer and business information and support;
— Knowledge of the European arena, the ability to work with other ODR Contact Points based around Europe;
— Contact centre experience;
— IT and telephone systems capability to run the service.
The successful bidder needs to ensure:
All information and advice is provided in a clear and unambiguous manner that is:
— easily accessible;
— up to date;
— relevant;
— accurate; and
— presented in a coherent and structured manner.
The handling of requests for information received from visitors to the Contact Point (and other Contact Points) must be dealt with efficiently and effectively.
The successful bidder will need to ensure that they are able to communicate readily with other ODR Contact Points in all EU Member States.
The Commission-run ODR Platform will include a translation tool to allow documentation submitted via the platform by a consumer in a different Member State, against, for example, a UK trader, to be translated into the language of the country in which the respondent party is based (in the case of the UK trader, the trader will receive the documentation in English). ODR Contact Points will need to keep in close contact with each other as the parties involved in a dispute submitted via the ODR platform will frequently be based within the jurisdictions of more than one ODR Contact Point.
All information requests received from visitors to the Portal must be responded to within a reasonable period of time. Any requests for information should be dealt with within five working days.
The successful bidder should comply with the following specific requirements of the ODR Regulation:
Specific requirement 1 — Article 7(2)
‘The ODR Contact Points shall provide support to the resolution of disputes relating to complaints submitted through a Europe-wide ODR platform managed by the European Commission.
The ODR Contact Point must:
1) Facilitate communication between the parties involved in a dispute and a relevant ADR entity, which may include where requested:
assisting consumers (who may be based in the UK or another Member State of the European Union), if requested, with the submission of a complaint via the Commission’s ODR platform and, where appropriate,with completion of relevant documentation;
providing the parties and relevant ADR entities with general information on consumer rights in relation to sales and service contracts which apply in the Member State of the ODR Contact Point which hosts the ODR adviser concerned;
providing information on the functioning of the ODR platform;
providing the parties with explanations on the operational rules and processes applied by the relevant ADR entities identified;
informing the consumer of other means of redress which may be available if a dispute cannot be resolved through the ODR platform;
2) Submit an activity report to the EU Commission and other Member states, based on the practical experience gained from the performance of their functions, every 2 years.
Specific requirement 2 – Article 7(5) and (6)
‘The Commission shall establish a network of contact points (‘ODR Contact Points network’) which shall enable cooperation between contact points and contribute to the performance of the functions listed in paragraph 2.’
The ODR Contact Point must be able to communicate readily with ODR Contact Points in all other EU Member States. It should cooperate fully and respond to requests for information from other Member State ODR Contact Points who may have received requests for assistance from consumers based in their country about purchases made from a UK-based trader. This will at times necessitate accessing documentation submitted by a complainant party via the ODR platform and the exchange of relevant information as appropriate with other ODR Contact Points, and relevant parties involved in a dispute.
Specific requirement 3 – Article 7(6)
‘The Commission shall at least twice a year convene a meeting of members of the ODR Contact Points network in order to permit an exchange of best practice, and a discussion of any recurring problems encountered in the operation of the ODR platform.’
The ODR Contact Point must send at least one adviser to actively participate in discussions, in line with the above statement, between other ODR Contact Points within the network and the European Commission as arranged and required by the European Commission.
Cooperation with other organisations
While the ODR Contact Point will exist to assist and inform the parties involved in a consumer dispute and facilitate the process for consumers seeking to obtain redress in the event of a problem with an online and in particular cross-border purchase, a key part of the role requires cooperation to ensure the process efficient.
The ODR Contact Point should therefore look to build relationships with the following bodies:
— The ODR Contact Points in the other Member States;
— The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) — Consumer Policy Directorate;
— The European Commission — The DG for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality;
— Citizen’s Advice and Citizen’s Advice Scotland*;
— Trading Standards Institute (the UK’s generic ADR Competent Authority);
— UK European Consumer Centre.
We welcome ideas from potential bidders as to any additional bodies they feel may be appropriate to add to the above list.
*Citizen’s Advice will be extending their existing consumer service to create a consumer complaints ‘helpdesk’. Citizen’s Advice will develop their system to allow disputes to be referred directly through to the ODR Contact Point where appropriate.
Travel costs
Any travel to the meetings of the network of Member State ODR Contact Points arranged and required by the Commission and/or the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is to be booked in a timely manner, by least cost option, and without the use of flexible tickets. Any travel expense incurred is to be charged as actual with accompanying receipts.
7. Timetable
The ODR Contact Point must by designated by the Government by the time the ADR Directive comes into force on 9.7.2015.
Activity however will not begin until the Europe-wide ODR platform is operational on 9.1.2016.
About UK Shared Business Services
Putting the business into shared services
UK Shared Business Services Ltd (UK SBS) brings a commercial attitude to the public sector; helping our customers improve efficiency, generate savings and modernise.
It is our vision to become the leading provider for our customers of shared business services in the UK public sector, continuously reducing cost and improving quality of business services for Government and the public sector.
Our broad range of expert services is shared by our customers. This allows our customers the freedom to focus resources on core activities; innovating and transforming their own organisations.
Core services include Procurement, Finance, Grants Admissions, Human Resources, Payroll, ISS, and Property Asset Management all underpinned by our Service Delivery and Contact Centre teams.
UK SBS is a people rather than task focused business. It’s what makes us different to the traditional transactional shared services centre. What is more, being a not-for-profit organisation owned by its customers, UK SBS’ goals are aligned with the public sector and delivering best value for the UK taxpayer.
UK Shared Business Services Ltd changed its name from RCUK Shared Services Centre Ltd in March 2013.
Our Customers
Growing from a foundation of supporting the Research Councils, 2012/13 saw Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) transition their procurement to UK SBS and Crown Commercial Service (CCS) agree a Memorandum of Understanding with UK SBS to deliver 2 major procurement categories (construction and research) across Government.
UK SBS currently manages 700 000 000 GBP expenditure for its Customers, our growth projections anticipate this will rise to 1 000 000 000 GBP in 2013/14.
UK SBS is procuring the Contract as a central purchasing body for itself and Customers who are Other Public Bodies (OPB’s). This means that OPB’s referred to in the OJEU Notice may also participate in the Contract.
Detailed on the UK SBS Ltd website is a list of all organisations, institutes, centres and bodies (Authorised Entities) that may also use any appropriately advertised Contract let by UK Shared Business Services Ltd The full list is detailed below.
Estimated value excluding VAT:
Range: between 150 000 and 300 000 GBP

II.2.2)Information about options

Options: no

II.2.3)Information about renewals

This contract is subject to renewal: no

II.3)Duration of the contract or time limit for completion

Duration in months: 42 (from the award of the contract)

Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information

III.1)Conditions relating to the contract

III.1.1)Deposits and guarantees required:

Participants will be advised if this is necessary during the procurement. Parent company and/or other guarantees of performance and financial liability may be required if considered appropriate.

III.1.2)Main financing conditions and payment arrangements and/or reference to the relevant provisions governing them:

Bids to be priced in £ GBP.

III.1.3)Legal form to be taken by the group of economic operators to whom the contract is to be awarded:

Any consortium to have a designated lead service provider, all members will have joint and several liability in respect of the obligations and liabilities to the framework agreement and any subsequent contracts.

III.1.4)Other particular conditions

The performance of the contract is subject to particular conditions: yes
Description of particular conditions: The government has set out the need for greater transparency across its operations to enable the public to hold public bodies and politicians to account. This includes commitments relating to public expenditure, intended to help achieve better value for money.
As part of the transparency agenda, government has made the following commitments with regard to procurement and contracting:
All new central government ICT contracts over the value of 10 000 GBP to be published in full online from July 2010
All new central government sourcing documents for contracts over 10 000 GBP to be published on a single website from September 2010, with this information to be made available to the public free of charge.
New items of central government spending over 25 000 GBP to be published online from November 2010.
All new central government contracts to be published in full from January 2011.
Suppliers and those organisations looking to bid for public sector contracts should be aware that if they are awarded a new government contract, the resulting contract between the supplier and government will be published. In some circumstances, limited redactions will be made to some contracts before they are published in order to comply with existing law and for the protection of national security.
Service providers must clearly demonstrate recent successful experience in similar projects and environments.
Potential suppliers will be excluded if one of the following applies, the supplier is in a state of bankruptcy, insolvency, compulsory winding up, administration, receivership, composition with creditors or any analogous state or subject to relevant proceedings, has been convicted of a criminal offence related to the business of professional misconduct, has committed an act of grave misconduct in the course of business has not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of taxes is guilty of serious misrepresentation in supplying information required by the authority, is not in the possession of a licence or not a member of the appropriate trade or other organisation where the law requires it.
III.2)Conditions for participation

III.2.1)Personal situation of economic operators, including requirements relating to enrolment on professional or trade registers

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: Candidates will be assessed in accordance with Part 4 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, as amended (implementing Title II, Chapter V11, Section 2 of Directive 2004/18/EC), on the basis of information provided in response to a Request for Proposal
This procurement will be managed electronically via the Crown Commercial Service’s e-Sourcing Suite. To participate in this procurement, participants must first be registered on the e-Sourcing Suite.

If Bidders have not yet registered on the eSourcing Suite, this can be done online at by following the link ‘Register for CCS eSourcing’.

Please note that, to register, Bidders must have a valid DUNS number (as provided by Dun and Bradstreet) for the organisation which you are registering, who will be entering into a contract if invited to do so.

Full instructions for registration and use of the system can be found at

Once you have registered on the eSourcing Suite, a registered user can express an interest for a specific procurement. This is done by

Your email must clearly state:
the name and reference for the procurement you wish to register for;
the name of the registered supplier;
the name and contact details for the registered individual sending the email.
Crown Commercial Service (CCS) will process the email and then enable the Bidder to access the procurement online via the e-Sourcing Suite.
The registered user will receive a notification email to alert them once this has been done.
As a user of the e-Sourcing Suite you will have access to Emptoris email messaging service which facilitates all messages sent to you and from you in relation to any specific RFX event.
Please note it is your responsibility to access these emails on a regular basis to ensure you have sight of all relevant information.
For technical assistance on use of the e-Sourcing Suite please contact Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Helpdesk: Freephone: +44 3450103503


Training support to respond to a requirement is available to bidders at

Responses must be published by the date in IV.3.4.

III.2.2)Economic and financial ability

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: Candidates will be assessed in accordance with Part 4 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, as amended (implementing Title II, Chapter V11, Section 2 of Directive 2004/18/EC), on the basis of information provided in response to Request for Proposal.

The sourcing documents can be accessed at: using the instructions detailed in III.2.1

We will also require to see at least one of the following documents
Note — if you have been trading for more than 3 years we will require you to produce Document 1
Document 1 — A copy of your audited accounts for the most recent 2 years.
Document 2 — A statement of your turnover, profit & loss account and cash flow for the most recent year of trading.
Document 3 — A statement of your cash flow forecast for the current year and a bank letter outlining the current cash and credit position.
Document 4 — Alternative means of demonstrating financial status if trading for less than a year.
Document 5 — Parent Company accounts (if applicable).
Document 6 — Deeds or guarantee.
Document 7 — Accountants references.
Document 8 — Management accounts.
Document 9 — Financial projections including cash flow forecasts.
Document 10 — Details and evidence of previous contracts.

III.2.3)Technical capacity

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met:
Candidates will be assessed in accordance with Part 4 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, as amended (implementing Title II, Chapter V11, Section 2 of Directive 2004/18/EC), on the basis of information provided in response to Request for Proposal

The sourcing documents can be accessed at: using the instructions detailed in III.2.1

The Contracting Authority may have regard to any of the following means in its assessment:
(a) a list of the works carried out over the past five years or goods and services carried out in the past three years, accompanied by certificates of satisfactory execution for the most important works. These certificates shall indicate the value, date and site of the works and shall specify whether they were carried out according to the rules of the trade and properly completed. Where appropriate, the competent authority shall submit these certificates to the contracting authority direct;
(b) a list of the principal deliveries effected or the main services provided in the past 3 years, with the sums, dates and recipients, whether public or private, involved. Evidence of delivery and services provided shall be given: — where the recipient was a contracting authority, in the form of certificates issued or countersigned by the competent authority, — where the recipient was a private purchaser, by the purchaser’s certification or, failing this, simply by a declaration by the economic operator;
(c) an indication of the technicians or technical bodies involved, whether or not belonging directly to the economic operator’s undertaking, especially those responsible for quality control and, in the case of public works contracts, those upon whom the contractor can call in order to carry out the work;
(d) a description of the technical facilities and measures used by the supplier or service provider for ensuring quality and the undertaking’s study and research facilities;
(e) where the products or services to be supplied are complex or, exceptionally, are required for a special purpose, a check carried out by the contracting authorities or on their behalf by a competent official body of the country in which the Bidder or service provider is established, subject to that body’s agreement, on the production capacities of the supplier or the technical capacity of the service provider and, if necessary, on the means of study and research which are available to it and the quality control measures it will operate;
(f) the educational and professional qualifications of the service provider or contractor and/or those of the undertaking’s managerial staff and, in particular, those of the person or persons responsible for providing the services or managing the work;
(g) for public works contracts and public services contracts, and only in appropriate cases, an indication of the environmental management measures that the economic operator will be able to apply when performing the contract;
(h) a statement of the average annual manpower of the service provider or contractor and the number of managerial staff for the last 3 years;
(i) a statement of the tools, plant or technical equipment available to the service provider or contractor for carrying out the contract;
(j) an indication of the proportion of the contract which the services provider intends possibly to subcontract;
(k) with regard to the products to be supplied: (i) samples, descriptions and/or photographs, the authenticity of which must be certified if the contracting authority so requests; (ii) certificates drawn up by official quality control institutes or agencies of recognised competence attesting the conformity of products clearly identified by references to specifications or standards.

III.2.4)Information about reserved contracts
III.3)Conditions specific to services contracts

III.3.1)Information about a particular profession

Execution of the service is reserved to a particular profession: no

III.3.2)Staff responsible for the execution of the service

Legal persons should indicate the names and professional qualifications of the staff responsible for the execution of the service: no

Section IV: Procedure

IV.1)Type of procedure

IV.1.1)Type of procedure

IV.1.2)Limitations on the number of operators who will be invited to tender or to participate

IV.1.3)Reduction of the number of operators during the negotiation or dialogue

Recourse to staged procedure to gradually reduce the number of solutions to be discussed or tenders to be negotiated no
IV.2)Award criteria

IV.2.1)Award criteria

The most economically advantageous tender in terms of the criteria stated in the specifications, in the invitation to tender or to negotiate or in the descriptive document

IV.2.2)Information about electronic auction

An electronic auction will be used: no
IV.3)Administrative information

IV.3.1)File reference number attributed by the contracting authority:


IV.3.2)Previous publication(s) concerning the same contract


IV.3.3)Conditions for obtaining specifications and additional documents or descriptive document

Time limit for receipt of requests for documents or for accessing documents: 11.6.2015 – 07:00
Payable documents: no

IV.3.4)Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate

11.6.2015 – 07:00
IV.3.5)Date of dispatch of invitations to tender or to participate to selected candidates

IV.3.6)Language(s) in which tenders or requests to participate may be drawn up


IV.3.7)Minimum time frame during which the tenderer must maintain the tender

in days: 90 (from the date stated for receipt of tender)

IV.3.8)Conditions for opening of tenders

Date: 11.6.2015 – 14:00


Electronically, via web-based portal.

Persons authorised to be present at the opening of tenders: no

Section VI: Complementary information

VI.1)Information about recurrence

This is a recurrent procurement: no

VI.2)Information about European Union funds

The contract is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: no

VI.3)Additional information

The Contracting Authority expressly reserves the right (i) not to award any contract as a result of the procurement process commenced by publication of this notice; and (ii) to make whatever changes it may see fit to the content and structure of the procurement; and in no circumstances will the Contracting Authority be liable for any costs incurred by the candidates.
If the Contracting Authority decides to enter into a Contract with the successful supplier, this does not mean that there is any guarantee of subsequent contracts being awarded.
Any expenditure, work or effort undertaken prior to contract award is accordingly a matter solely for the commercial judgement of Bidders.
VI.4)Procedures for appeal

VI.4.1)Body responsible for appeal procedures

UK Shared Business Services Ltd

Body responsible for mediation procedures

UK Shared Business Services Ltd

VI.4.2)Lodging of appeals

VI.4.3)Service from which information about the lodging of appeals may be obtained

UK Shared Business Services Ltd
North Star House, North Star Way
SN2 1FF Swindon
Internet address:

VI.5)Date of dispatch of this notice:


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