57 Proposal to Establish a Shared Central Contracts Team
To seek approval to establish a Centralised Contracts Team (report of the Deputy Leader of the Cabinet and the Executive Manager People and Public Protection enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Deputy Leader of the Cabinet and Executive Manager – People and Public Protection seeking member approval to establish a shared Centralised Contract Team.
Councillors discussed the projected savings as set out in the report and acknowledged that they were based upon current figures as it was impossible to accurately predict what contracts would be required in the future. It was suggested that the report to Council included additional financial information that had been considered in the drafting of the report.
Councillors were supportive of the idea and stressed the importance of monitoring the performance of the Centralised Contract Team to ensure that the predicted savings were being realised. The monitoring would be ongoing and would involve the Performance Monitoring Panel.
RECOMMENDATION TO FULL COUNCIL:
1) That the proposal to establish a Shared Central Contracts Team be approved;
2) That the creation of 3.0 FTE posts and a Modern Apprenticeship, that will be delivered within the existing budget envelope and from savings generated from contract efficiencies, be approved; and
3) That the proposed split of funding between the two councils is 60 percent Breckland, 40 percent South Holland, which reflects the levels of support needed by both councils at the present time. This will be reviewed annually to reflect work levels.
(Other options considered:
Option 1 –Do nothing. If this option was taken, there would continue to be inconsistency in the procurement and management of contracts - those that were dealt with by the Procurement Team and those that were dealt with by the services themselves. The opportunity to realise contract efficiencies, become more consistent, have clearly defined roles and appropriate skills and knowledge to put robust contracts in place and improve transparency, would be lost.
Option 2 – Establish a Central Contracts Team. This option enabled clearly defined roles to be established for the procurement of goods and services and the management of contracts thereafter. It was imperative that a consistent approach was used in procurement, with sufficient knowledge and skills of the regulations and process. Services would be able to play their part by managing the day to day contract delivery and ensuring service quality.
Reasons for Decision:
This report proposed the establishment of a Central Contracts Team in order to improve the operation and transparency of the procurement and contract management function, bringing them into a central function.)