Lincolnshire to tender for range of back office services to replace Mouchel contract
Council signals end to partnership approach and plans series of smaller contracts to provide more flexibility
Lincolnshire County Council has said it will shortly be tendering for a range of back office services including IT alongside HR, finance, property and catering.
It follows the ending of a contract with Mouchel due in 2015 which Lincolnshire says provides it with the opportunity to consider how its needs have changed and how suppliers can offer the best deals.
According to the council, it intends to offer a single high-value contract for the majority of IT, HR and finance services in order to "take full advantage of the efficiencies that come with an integrated approach."
It plans to use a competitive dialogue process for the contract and will then offer individual contracts for different aspects of property services, catering and some specialist aspects of finance and HR through separate procurements.
Councillor Kelly Smith, executive member for Finance and HR, said: "Our partnership approach has proved very successful over the years. However, the world has changed considerably during the past decade, and we need to change with the times to make sure taxpayers are still getting the best value for money.
"For that reason, we've decided to offer a number of smaller contracts instead of a single all-encompassing one. This more tailored approach will not only give us more flexibility, which is vital in the current financial climate, but will also create more opportunities for smaller suppliers.
"One of the council's main goals is to support our local economy. So we'll be holding workshops later this year to make sure that all our businesses are aware of the opportunities this will bring. It will be the ideal chance to find out what we're looking for and how best to bid for our business."
Pete Moore, Lincolnshire's Executive Director for Resources, added: "The council has already carried out extensive market testing, which included initial conversations with potential suppliers. There was significant market support for our approach, particularly the bundling of services within the competitive dialogue. Consequently, we're confident we can achieve the necessary savings as well as offer opportunities for SMEs that will help strengthen the local economy."
The council intends to issue a contract notice for the competitive dialogue and other procurements expected to follow this spring. It expects the contracts to be awarded in 2014.