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​​Using the consultancy services contract

This page will provide step by step instructions on how to use the All-of-Government (AoG) consultancy services contract. You may also find additional resources on this page.

Using this contract

  • 1
    Determine your requirements

    Start by determining your requirements and ascertaining what you have the capability to do in-house and what you need to source from the panel. By determining your requirements you can form a clear picture of what outcome you would like to achieve.

  • 2
    Assess the panel of providers

    Review providers within the Online Panel Directory to assess their suitability for your engagement. If your agency is a participating agency in this agreement your procurement team should be able to advise how to access the Online Panel Directory. You can see the names of the providers and which sub categories they service on the providers page. Providers are classified based on a tier structure.

    Consultancy services providers

    Tier characteristics

    Search criteria in the Online Panel Directory is based on a number of criteria such as:

    • Sub category
    • Focus area
    • Maximum and standard daily rate (per job level)
    • Location
    • Government sector experience
    • Key words (only one key word search)
    • Provider name

    Online Panel Directory

  • 3
    Select a provider

    A participating agency can choose to select a provider from the panel directly or undertake a secondary selection process.

    In making this decision consider the budget, timeframes and specific nature of the brief, any existing or past relationships, as well as any internal financial delegations and processes your agency may have.

  • 3a
    Direct selection

    You can select a provider by using the information available in the Online Panel Directory and/or your own market knowledge and experience.

  • 3b
    Secondary selection

    This is a process where you go out to a number of providers from the panel.

    NZGP has already completed a robust procurement process to select the panel providers, so there is no need to test the entire panel each time you have a requirement. You do not need to advertise your requirements on GETS.

    A secondary selection process is recommended where:

    • further follow-on business may result; and/or
    • you have not tested the market for this work recently
    • internal policy on procurement financial thresholds require more than one quote/proposal
    • there is ambiguity in how the service will be delivered. A secondary RFP may be useful in this case (typically large projects)
    • the engagement is high-value and/or risk
    • there are many providers that could undertake the engagement.

    Tips for running a secondary selection process

  • 4
    Start a Consultancy Services Order (CSO)

    Once you have made your selection, complete a CSO to be signed by both your agency and the provider of choice. A CSO needs to be signed in order to be covered by the consultancy services main agreement. If you select multiple providers a separate CSO will need to be completed with each provider. Complete Part A of the CSO, providing as much detail as possible.

    All other documentation (such as briefs, cost estimates, and variations) generated as part of the delivery of services can be referenced or attached to a master CSO as appendices for purposes of audit, invoicing, and reporting.

  • 5
    Brief providers

    Brief your provider(s) for every piece of work you undertake. A written brief ensures that both your agency and your provider are clear about what your objectives and expected outcomes are.

    A combination of a written brief followed by a verbal brief is ideal for larger projects. If required, any amendments to the CSO should be made at this point prior to contract commencement.

    The panel providers will respond with their quote within Part B of the CSO.

  • 6
    Due diligence

    You can choose to complete some or all of the following for due diligence.

    • Interviews
    • Reference checking
    • Ministry of Justice and Police checks

    Once you have completed your due diligence and selected the preferred provider you will confirm this with them. If the CSO needs to be revised further use Part C to undertake this.

  • 7
    Finalise the Consultancy Services Order (CSO)

    Approval is then undertaken by both parties signing Part B9 of the CSO. Please check your internal delegations to ensure the correct authority signs. The provider can now begin their engagement with your agency. The CSO should be kept on file as per your internal policy.

  • 8
    Debrief unsuccessful providers

    After the CSO has been agreed and approved, you should ensure that you let the unsuccessful provider(s) know that a provider has been selected. Where appropriate you should also offer the courtesy of a debrief. This obviously comes down to the size and nature of the engagement. A debrief does not need to be an overly onerous task; it could be a simple phone call to give the provider an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of their response candidate, and is to give providers an opportunity to improve future responses.

  • 9
    Provider executes brief and measures outcomes

    Delivery of services as outlined in the brief, to your agency by your provider(s). Outcomes are measured and reported back to your agency (where applicable).

  • 10
    Complete a post engagement survey

    Your provider is required to send you a survey to complete within 10 days of the engagement being completed. It is important that you complete this so that we can continue to monitor the performance of the panel. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.

    Provider performance All-of-Government contract survey

    End of process

Contract resources

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Tips for running a secondary selection process

  1. Consider the size and nature of the role and determine how many providers will provide you with a competitive, but high quality selection. Completing a secondary process can result in significant time and cost effort for the providers, so you need to ensure that the scalability of your process is appropriate.
  2. Consider the risk of the procurement, which may influence the approach to take. For example, a procurement of $50k may be high risk to your organisation therefore, require more thorough agency requirements development and subsequent thorough response from the provider. In this case the dollar value is not the main driver for a secondary procurement.
  3. Gather information from these pages, the Online Panel Directory, and use your own market knowledge and experience and determine which providers to approach.
  4. You could use the Consultancy Services Order (CSO) to obtain a quote from more than one panel provider, but make it clear to providers that you are seeking a quote and not concluding a contract. We suggest advising the number of providers you are seeking a quote from too. Your agency may have its own request for quote or proposal template that you can use for the same purpose.
  5. Avoid asking questions that were already answered in the consultancy services RFP. We can provide guidance on what was asked in the RFP if needed. Please note the terms and conditions of the contract can only be changed by NZGP.
  6. Ensure you give a reasonable timeframe for providers to respond.
  7. Depending on the requirement, you may request that providers respond using a template form. You may also opt to meet in person prior to their submission to clarify requirements. In any case, you need to ensure that all providers are treated consistently and the response method is clearly communicated.
  8. Once you have made your decision, document your decision in line with your internal policies and inform the selected provider using the CSO.
  9. Advise those who were unsuccessful and provide feedback in regard to your selection.