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INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Purpose of this document The Northwest Development Agency (the “Agency”) requires the information sought in this questionnaire from applicants responding to the OJEU notice for the provision of high growth business support to the defined target markets within the North West region. Responses to the pre-qualification questionnaire will be used in the first step of selecting applicants to tender. Selected applicants will be invited to participate further in the procurement. This is a competitive procurement conducted in accordance with the Restricted Procedure under the EU Procurement Directives and as implemented in English Law under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No. 5) and such other UK regulations implementing its provisions as may be made from time to time.

Organisation of this document This document contains three sections: 1. background information and instructions for completion; 2. evaluation approach; 3. the pre-qualification questionnaire.

Background Information The GVA of the Northwest has increased by £3.7bn from 2004 to 2005 (3.7%). However GVA growth has been below the England average of 3.9%. This means that the GVA gap has increased from £17.3bn to £17.8bn. (The RES identified the GVA gap as £13bn, however subsequent data revisions changed this figure)1. This £17.8bn gap is accounted for by: • •

£3.5bn due to fewer people of working age and fewer people working than the England average (compared to £3bn in RES 2006) £14.3bn due to lower productivity of those people in work (compared to £10bn in RES 2006).

Against a backdrop of falling job numbers from 2004 to 2005, the number of knowledge jobs in the Northwest has increased by 42,200 so that knowledge occupations now represent 38.5% of all jobs. This is an increase of 1.6% points compared to 1% in England, although this increase relative to England is not fast enough for the Northwest to meet the England average percentage by 2009. The total number of jobs is also not growing as fast as needed to achieve the target. In addition, general entrepreneurial data shows the Northwest to be performing poorly in relation to the UK average with 17% fewer start-ups per 10,000 adults and the region has 38,000 fewer businesses than the England average based on population. If this same analysis is extended to business size, then the Northwest has a gap of about 6,500 businesses which have grown to a turnover of greater than £500K per annum. The RES actions 3 and 4 identify requirements to improve start up rates overall and that knowledge-based businesses (including start-ups) are more innovative and internationally competitive. Whilst Business Link will provide support to individuals considering starting a business and established businesses across the whole of the region, this contract will deliver additional targeted business support to those identified with the potential for high growth in accordance with RES Actions 3 and 4. In this context, the Agency is seeking to procure a contract for a targeted support programme for High Growth Business focused in line with RES priorities 3 and 4 which builds upon existing best practice throughout the sub-regions.


NWDA, BASELINE UPDATE REPORT 2007 :Progress One Year On, June 2007


The focus of this contract will be a dedicated growth programme delivering support to start-ups and established businesses where potential high growth has been identified. The overarching objective for the programme will be to increase the GVA contribution of clients using this support service. The Agency aims to deliver support to High Growth companies which we define as (a) pre-start or start-up firms which have the potential to reach a turnover of >£500k or to employ >5 people or (b) established businesses which have the potential to increase turnover or employment by >20% per annum for the first three years of joining the programme. Each business should be capable of producing GVA/ employee well above the regional average (£33,786 per employee in 2004). The Agency anticipates that this contract will consist of one ‘Lot’, encompassing all of the areas set out in the supporting notes to this PQQ. It is anticipated that the successful bidder or consortium will be capable of delivering all aspects of high growth business support to these targeted groups. In addition, where applicable this contract must be able to exploit and maximise EU and other funding available within the North West to enhance provision under this contract. It should be noted that this contract will NOT provide generic start up and survival support to prospective businesses in the Northwest. For further details regarding the project background, refer to the supporting notes to this PQQ.

Outline Timetable Return of Pre-Qualification Questionnaire

22 October 2007

Anticipated tender issue date

19 November 2007

Anticipated contract award date

1 March 2008

Instructions for Completion Responses to the questionnaire must be returned in a blank envelope, with the PQQ label affixed to the envelope (the PQQ label is available for download from the website). One copy of the completed questionnaire should be submitted in paper format to the address provided on the PQQ label by the due date (and one copy on CD). PQQs must not be submitted via e-mail. PQQs must be returned to: Tender Board, Northwest Development Agency, Renaissance House, PO Box 37, Centre Park, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 1XB (as stated on the PQQ return label). Applicants should answer all questions as accurately and concisely as possible. Where a question is not relevant to the applicant’s organisation, this should be indicated, with an explanation. Supporting information should be presented in the same order as and should be referenced to the relevant question. Questions must be answered in English. Responses will be evaluated in accordance with the procedures set out in Section 2. In the event that none of the responses are deemed satisfactory, the Agency reserves the right to consider alternative procurement options. Failure to furnish the required information, make a satisfactory response to any question, or supply documentation referred to in responses, within the specified timescale, may mean that an applicant will not be invited to participate further. The information submitted will be held, in confidence by the Agency and used for the purpose of determining applicants’ suitability for meeting the Agency’s general requirements for the provision of the above services. Further assessment and shortlisting may be required before any award of business, which may be subject to a formal separate contract.


The applicant is responsible for obtaining all information necessary for the preparation of its proposal. In addition, the applicant will bear all costs, expenses and liabilities incurred in connection with the preparation of its submission and all further participation in the procurement process. It should be noted that the information given at this stage will be subject to verification at later stages of the procurement process. If any error, omission or misrepresentation is discovered, the Agency reserves the right to disqualify the applicant from further participation in the process, no matter what stage the process has reached. The Agency does not bind itself to accept the lowest, or indeed any, tender.

Single point of contact In question 3.1, Organisation Identity, applicants have been asked to include a single point of contact in their organisation for their response to the pre-qualification questionnaire.. The Agency shall not be responsible for contacting the applicant through any route other than the nominated contact. The applicant must therefore undertake to notify any changes relating to the contact promptly.

Consortia and sub-contracting The initial preference of the Agency is to receive bids from consortia whose structure will be able to meet the service requirements through the different skills & experience of its partners. However, the Agency anticipates and welcomes to receive bids from single organisations who posses all of the relevant skills and experience in house to deliver the full range of services specified within the contract. However, the Agency does not wish to receive responses from any organisation wishing to sub-contract all of the service outside of their own organisation or consortium. Where a consortium approach is proposed, all information requested should be given in respect of the proposed prime contractor or consortium leader. The Agency will also require signed letters of confirmation from each of the partners acknowledging their participation in the consortium. Relevant information should also be provided in respect of consortium members or sub-contractors who will play a significant role in the delivery of services or products under any ensuing contract. Responses must enable the Agency to assess the overall service proposed. Where the proposed prime contractor is a special purpose vehicle or holding company, information should be provided of the extent to which it will call upon the resources and expertise of its members. The Agency recognises that arrangements in relation to consortia and sub-contracting may be subject to future change. Applicants should therefore respond in the light of such arrangements as are currently envisaged. Please provide details of the proportion of any contract awarded under this contract that the prospective partner proposes to subcontract. The Agency may seek independent financial and market advice to validate information declared or to assist in the evaluation. References, site visits, demonstrations and/or presentations are unlikely to be requested at this stage.

Queries about the procurement Any questions about the procurement should be submitted at least 5 working days before the submission date to Karen Burton at: or telephone 01925 400119. If the Agency considers any question or request for clarification to be of material significance, both the query and the response will be posted on the NWDA website at in an anonymous form. It is the responsibility of the applicant to check this website periodically before the PQQ return date to check for any updates and to incorporate these updates into its submission.

Timetable Responses must be received by 10.00am on 22 October 2007. Responses received after this date may be disregarded.


Important Notices 1.1

The information in this document provides an outline of the restricted procedure procurement process that the Agency intends to follow, although it reserves the right to amend this process or cancel the procurement at any stage without prior consultation. Under no circumstances will the Agency or its advisers be liable for any costs or expenses incurred by applicants during the procurement process. Expressions of interest are only sought from organisations that are agreeable to these arrangements.


The information in this PQQ is provisional and will be superseded by the Invitation to Tender.


The information provided is intended only as an explanation of the Agency’s requirements and is not intended to form the basis of an applicant’s decision on whether to enter into any contractual relationship with the Agency. The information provided shall not form the basis of or be relied on in connection with any contract.


Whilst all materials supplied have been prepared in good faith the information provided has not been independently verified and does not purport to be all-inclusive or to contain all the information that a prospective supplier may require. Applicants are responsible for making such checks and investigations as they consider appropriate. The supply of the information provided to applicants does not constitute an obligation to give further information or to update the information provided or to correct any information that is incomplete or inaccurate.


None of the Agency’s directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or advisers (together the “Issuers”) make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of the information provided. Applicants considering responding with a view to entering into a contractual relationship with the Agency should make their own enquiries and investigations of the Agency’s requirements.


Neither the Agency or the issuers shall be liable for any loss or damage arising as a result of reliance on the information provided. The subject matter of this information memorandum shall only have any contractual effect when it is covered and contained in the express terms of an executed contract.


The issue of this document in no way commits the Agency to award any contact pursuant to the bid process nor does it constitute an offer to enter into a contractual relationship.


Save as provided below, in no circumstances shall the Agency or the issuers incur any liability whatsoever or be liable for any expenses incurred by candidates at any time. Any and all liability in relation to this information memorandum is hereby expressly disclaimed and excluded to the maximum extent permissible by law. The exclusions of liability contained in this paragraph do not exclude liability for death or personal injury caused by the Issuers’ negligence and/or to fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation by the Issuers.


The information provided is not, nor is it to be taken as, the giving of investment advice by the Agency or any of the issuers nor is it an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity.

Freedom of Information Legislation 1. The Agency may be obliged to disclose information provided by applicants in response to this PQQ under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, all subordinate legislation made under this and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (“the Freedom of Information Legislation”). 2. Applicants should be aware that the information they provide could be disclosed in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Legislation. The Agency will proceed on the basis of disclosure unless an appropriate exemption applies. Applicants should be aware that despite the availability of some exemptions, information may still be disclosed if the public interest in its disclosure outweighs the public interest in maintaining the exemption. No response to this PQQ should be covered by a general statement regarding its overall confidentiality; instead any specific areas of confidential information should be highlighted in accordance with paragraph 3 below. The Agency accepts no liability for loss as a result of any information disclosed in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Legislation. 3. Applicants should highlight information in their responses which they consider to be commercially sensitive or confidential in nature, and should state the precise reasons why they consider this. 5

4. The Agency will use reasonable endeavours to consult with applicants over the release of information which is highlighted by them as commercially sensitive or confidential.




Supplier Selection The objective of the selection process is to assess the responses to the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire and select potential suppliers to proceed to the next stage of the procurement. Selection criteria will be a combination of both financial and non-financial factors and will consider: a) Supplier Acceptability – status of supplier (in relation to Regulation 23(4) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No 5)). A summary of Regulation 23(4) is included in Section 3.4. b) Economic and Financial Standing – the supplier must be in a sound financial position to participate in a procurement of this size as set out in Regulation 24 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No 5). This may entail independent financial checks. c) Supplier Track Record - The supplier must be able to demonstrate a successful track record of providing similar services to those listed in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) notice as set out in Regulation 25 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No. 5). d) Supplier capacity and capability – Assessment of the totality of resources and core competences available to the supplier(s) in the delivery of this service. Failure to provide a satisfactory response to any of the questions may result in the Agency not proceeding further with the applicant. The information supplied will be checked for completeness and compliance before responses are evaluated. Evaluation of subsequent stages will be undertaken in accordance with the overall Evaluation Strategy for the project. The high level Evaluation Criteria for the project are as follows: Questions


3.1 Organisational Identity


3.2. Organisation Information


3.3 Prime Contractor


3.4 Compliance with EU Legislation / UK Procurement Legislation


3.5 Quality Assurance


3.6 Project Management


3.7 Management Information and Reporting


3.8 Financial


3.9 References


3.10 Disputes


3.11.1, 3.11.2, 3.11.6 Business Capability


3.11.3, 3.11.4, 3.11.5, 3.11.7, 3.11.8, 3.119 Business Capability


3.12.1, 3.12.2, 3.12.3, 3.12.4, 3.12.7 Capacity and Technical


3.12.5, 3.12.6, 3.12.8, 3.12.9, 3.12.10, 3.12.11 Capacity and Technical


3.12.5, 3.12.9, 3.12.11 Capacity and Technical


3.13 Conflict of Interest


3.14 Terms and Conditions of Contract



Weightings definition applies as follows: 5 – Is perceived as an essential requirement 2 – Is perceived as a preferred/minimum requirement 1 – Is perceived as a desirable requirement or is for information only (ie no impact) In/Out Questions are perceived as mission-critical requirements, and thus will not attract a score or weighting, but will determine whether a Supplier remains in the process. FI – For information purposes only Each question within the pre-qualification questionnaire will be scored as follows: 2 – supplier response exceeds requirement, appearing to offer improved value for money 1 – supplier response appears to meet requirement 0 – supplier response does not appear to meet requirement Where in the opinion of the Agency the response is inadequate the applicant may be excluded from further consideration. The Agency intends to award any contract based on the most economically advantageous offer.




NWDA PROVISION OF HIGH GROWTH BUSINESS SUPPORT 3.1 ORGANISATION IDENTITY 3.1.1 Name of the company (Prime or single contractor) in whose name the tender would be submitted 3.1.2 Contact name (Single point of contact): 3.1.3 Address:

3.1.4 Telephone number: 3.1.5 Facsimile number: 3.1.6 E-mail address:

3.1.7 Registered address if different from above: 3.1.8 Registered Number


3.2. ORGANISATION INFORMATION 3.2.1 Is your organisation a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) as defined in Section 248 of the Companies Act (1985)?


3.2.2 Is your organisation:

i) a public limited company?


iii) a sole trader?


ii) a limited company?


iv) a partnership?


3.2.3 Confirmation that an organisation structure chart is enclosed with this completed questionnaire? 3.2.4 Is your company a subsidiary of another company?


Y/N If Yes, please provide the name and registered office address of:

The holding or parent company The ultimate parent company (if applicable) 3.2.5 Executive Directors/ Partners: Name


3.2.6 Brief history (not more than 200 words) of your organisation


3.3. PRIME CONTRACTOR 3.3.1 Please tick the box below which applies a) Your organisation is bidding to provide all of the services required b) Your organisation is bidding in the role of Prime Contractor and intends to use a consortium to provide some services 3.3.2 If your answer to 3.3.1 is (b) please identify intended partners for the bid below (more than one partner can be named in each area, and the same partner can be named in more than one area) : Delivery Aspect

Organisation name

Organisation address and contact details

Pre-start training Growth Coaching (Start-up) Growth Coaching (established) Supply of Non Executive Directors Specific advisory support: Financial Legal Intellectual Property International Marketing Organisational Design Other (please specify)

The Agency will also require signed letters of confirmation from each of the partners acknowledging their participation in the consortium.


3.4. COMPLIANCE WITH EU LEGISLATION/ UK PROCUREMENT LEGISLATION Do any of the circumstances as set out in The Public Services Contracts Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No: 5) Part IV, Regulation 23(4) apply to your company


If yes, please supply details:

The Agency may seek evidence at a later date, in confirmation of your answer. A summary of the circumstances of Regulation 14 is provided below.

SUMMARY OF INELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS PROVIDED BY REGULATION [23(4) OF THE PUBLIC SERVICES CONTRACTS REGULATIONS 2006 (SI 2006 NO 5) This summary is offered only as an indication for the convenience of bidders. Bidders should refer to the Regulations and satisfy themselves that they are not ineligible. Regulation 23(4) sets out the grounds on which a services provider may be deemed ineligible to tender for or be awarded a public contract. Rejection is permissible when a Service Provider: -

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 business or professional conduct;


has committed an act of grave misconduct in the course of business;


has not fulfilled obligations relating to payment of social security contributions;


has not fulfilled obligations relating to payment of taxes;


is guilty of serious misrepresentations in supplying information required by the Agency or other public body under the Regulations


is not in possession of a licence or not a member of the appropriate organisation where the law of that State requires it; or


subject to paragraphs (7) and (8) of Regulation 23, is not registered on the professional or trade register of the relevant State in which established


3.5. QUALITY ASSURANCE 3.5.1 Please provide details of any quality assurance certification that your company holds e.g. IS0 9000 or equivalent standard. Please include a copy of any certificate. If no accreditation is held, please attach an outline of your quality assurance policy.

3.5.2 Please provide details of any quality assurance certification for which you have applied

3.6 PROJECT MANAGEMENT Please provide details of any project management methodologies, e.g. PRINCE2, enclosing any relevant documents.



Please provide details (including examples) of your standard management information reporting capabilities.




Please note that the Agency’s standard payment method is via BACS The following financial information is required to be provided. (a) A copy of the most recent audited accounts for your organisation that cover the last two years of trading or for the period that is available if trading for less than two years. (b) A statement of the organisation’s turnover, Profit & Loss and cash flow position for the most recent full year of trading (or part year if full year not applicable) and an end period balance sheet, where this information is not available in an audited form at (a). (c) Where (b) cannot be provided, a statement of the organisation’s cash flow forecast for the current year and a bank letter outlining the current cash and credit facility position. (d) If the organisation is a subsidiary of a group, (a) to (c) are required for both the subsidiary and the ultimate parent. Where a consortium or association is proposed, the information is requested for each member company. (e) A separate statement of the organisation’s turnover that relates directly to the supply of this service for the past two years, or for the period the organisation has been trading (if less than two years). (f) Parent company and/or other guarantees of performance and financial standing may be required if considered appropriate. Confirmation of the organisation’s willingness to arrange for a guarantee or a performance bond (g) Has your organisation made any application for third party funding – including State Aid assistance – in relation to the services you are intending to provide?


(h) Please give address to which Payment/Remittances should be sent:

(i) Please also advise if your invoice address is different from the above:




Where you are responding as a consortium, please ensure that a copy of this Section is completed on behalf of each partner organisation identified in your submission, and appended to this response. Name of Organisation: 3.9.1 Is your organisation an approved supplier under Catalist?


3.9.2 Is your organisation an approved supplier under any other OGC scheme or is it party to any OGC approved framework agreement?


3.9.3 Details of three major recent private sector contracts where you have delivered similar services to those required by the Agency Customer name and address

Contact name and Telephone number

Date contract awarded

Contract reference and brief description of service undertaken

Names of subcontractors and/ or consortium members and their role

1. 2. 3. 3.9.4 Details of any major recent contracts you have been awarded by organisations in the wider public sector (e.g. government departments, local authorities, NHS trusts, RDAs) for the provision of services similar to those required by the Agency Customer name and address

Contact name and Telephone number

Date contract awarded

Contract reference and brief description of service undertaken

Names of subcontractors and/ or consortium members and their role

1. 2. 3.

Note. The Agency may elect to contact any of the given companies for a reference. Your permission to do so will be assumed unless you explicitly state any objections.


3.10 DISPUTES Where you are responding as a consortium, please ensure that a copy of this Section is completed on behalf of each partner organisation identified in your submission, and appended to this response. Name of Organisation: 3.10.1 For the last 3 years, details of contracts where there has been a failure to complete the contract on time or at all, or where there have been claims for damages, or where damages have been deducted or recovered. Also details of any contracts terminated. Customer name and address

Contract reference and brief description of services provided

Date of claim/ contract termination

Reason for claim/ contract termination

3.10.2 Are there any court actions and/ or significant employment tribunal hearings outstanding against your organisation?


If Yes, please provide details:

3.10.3 Has your organisation been involved in any court action and/ or significant employment tribunal over the last 3 years?


If Yes, please provide details:




Where you are responding as a consortium, please ensure that a copy of this Section is completed on behalf of each partner organisation identified in your submission, and appended to this response. Name of Organisation: 3.11.1 The principal areas of business activity of your company

3.11.2 To which professional or trade bodies your organisation belongs

3.11.3 The number of staff currently involved directly in the provision of services similar to those required by the Agency: Permanent staff numbers

Third party staff numbers

3.11.4 Details of staff turnover as a percentage of your workforce (specifically engaged in the provision of services required by the Agency) for the last 3 years 3.11.5 Number and locations of premises from which your organisation provides services similar to those required by the Agency

3.11.6 Is your organisation registered under the Data Protection Act 1998?


If Yes, please provide your registration number:

3.11.7 Details of your organisation’s Health and Safety at Work Policy

3.11.8 Does your organisation have an Environmental Policy?


If No, please give reasons

3.11.9 Does your organisation fully comply with the provisions of the appropriate Acts on Disability, Equal Opportunities, Sex and Race Discrimination?





Please limit your responses to 2,500 words in total (excluding the yes / no answers). Tenderers can decide where to place the most emphasis in response to the questions and must clearly highlight to which question their information relates. Please state your word count. 3.12.1 Please provide evidence that your organisation understands the issues involved in supporting and achieving high growth in businesses.

3.12.2 Have you previously provided programmes of high growth support to clients? If so, please provide details of a recent programme and state if this programme included start-ups and/or established businesses.

3.12.3 Can your organisation or consortium provide business support to each of the areas to be supported in this project? (Yes / No). a. Pre-start training Y/N b. Growth coaching (start-up)


c. Growth coaching (established business)


d. Supply of Non Executive Directors


Where you have answered No, please state how this support would be sourced.

3.12.4 Please outline your organisation or consortium’s experience in providing advice or support to the client groups in the North West targeted in this tender exercise? a. Pre-start training b. Growth coaching (start-up) c. Growth coaching (established business) d. Supply of Non Executive Directors

3.12.5 If successful, is your organisation or consortium able to put the required service in place to go live in March 2008?


3.12.6 Can you outline how your organisation or consortium will ensure that the high growth business support provision within this contract fits effectively with the Business Link service – for instance use of the IDB model, brand, communication with Business Link, referrals process.


3.12.7 Do you have experience in working closely with other business support providers in the North West?


If yes please provide details and also advise how this experience(s)/network has benefited delivery of high growth support to your clients. If your answer is no, please explain how you plan to establish this network of support in the North West.

3.12.8 This service will be required to deliver a flexible and accessible service to target client groups across the North West region. How will you structure your delivery organisation to achieve this requirement (e.g. accessibility, location, opening times and availability of advisors)?

3.12.9 Do you possess experience in providing high growth support or training across all 6 key RES sectors as identified by RES Action 8? If yes, please provide details. If no, please indicate which sectors you have experience in innovation support or training? In both cases, identify the aspects which were delivered inhouse or through 3rd party arrangements.

3.12.10 What additionality or innovation would your organisation/ consortium offer in support of potential high growth North West business as part of the service offering?

3.12.11 How could your organisation/consortium align the services in this contract to the wider business support/ start up services available in the North West market place to deliver enhanced partnership working and customer satisfaction?


3.13. CONFLICT OF INTEREST Where there is any indication that a conflict of interest exists or may arise, then it shall be the responsibility of the applicant to inform the Agency, detailing the conflict in writing as an attachment to this document. The Agency will be the final arbiter in cases of potential conflicts of interest. Failure to notify the Agency of any potential conflict of interest will invalidate any verbal or written agreement. Are you aware of any conflict of interest in regard to the execution of this contract?


*A Conflict of interest is where a person who is involved in the procurement has or may be perceived to have a personal interest in ensuring that a particular tenderer is successful. Actual and potential conflicts of interest must be declared by a person involved in a tender process

3.14 TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT Y/N Your Company agrees to carry out all contracts and/or other awards of business in accordance with the Agency’s standard Terms and Conditions of Contract for Services.




Telephone number

E-mail address

Mandatory Attachments Checklist •

Organisation chart (Q3.2.2)

Quality Certificate (Q3.5.1)

QA Policy (Q3.5.1) if not accredited

Project management methodologies (Q3.6)

Management information reporting (Q3.7)

Financial information for organisation and group requested in (Q3.8)

The information contained in this questionnaire will be used for the purpose of determining an applicant’s suitability for meeting the Agency’s general requirements for the provision of the Services. Further assessment and selection may be required before any indication can be given as to the success of an application for inclusion on the Agency’s tender list.


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