Agenda item

Worcestershire Regulatory Services - Strategic Partner Procurement


Following on from the meeting held on 21st November 2013, consideration was given to a report that provided Members with an updated position of the progress made on the Strategic Partner Procurement project and the Scope and Evaluation Criteria to be included within the procurement process.  The report highlighted that Worcestershire Regulatory Services was faced with the prospect of managing a dwindling service over the next two to three years as a result of partners continued financial pressures.


The Head of Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) introduced the report and in doing so expressed his thanks to Members and officers who had attended the Joint Management Board and Joint Committee workshop on 20th January 2014.  The thoughts and feedback from the workshop had been incorporated into the draft Evaluation Criteria, as detailed on Appendix 3 to the report.  The common themes that came out of the workshop, as detailed on page 31 of the report, had also been incorporated into the Evaluation Criteria.  Appendix 2 to the report detailed the scope of the Strategic Partnership procurement process, the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) would detail other functions that a private company may be able to deliver at a later stage.


The Head of WRS drew Members’ attention to the resolved items, as detailed on pages 29 and 30 in the report agreed by the Committee at the meeting held on 21st November 2013.  Agreement had been reached to include South Worcestershire Building Control within the scope, it was agreed that this would be built into the Evaluation Criteria.


Further discussion followed with regard to the inclusion of Customer Services within the scope.  The Head of WRS informed Members that Customer Services had not been fully encapsulated, but agreed that it could be included within the scope and built into the Evaluation Criteria.


Since the Joint Committee meeting held in November 2013, soft market testing had been undertaken involving three commercial companies.  Page 30 of the report detailed the key findings from the soft market testing.


During this part of the meeting, and at the request of the Chairman, the Committee considered whether or not to exclude the public from the meeting to enable the Head of WRS to provide brief information on Agenda Item 6.


RESOLVED that under Section 100 I of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, the public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of this part of the item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, as amended, the relevant paragraph of that part being as set out below, and that it is in the public interest to do so:-




The Head of Worcestershire Regulatory Services provided the Committee with brief information of the three commercial companies involved in the soft market testing.


The Chairman announced at the conclusion of the above item, the exclusion of the public be lifted and the meeting continued in open session.


Governance was seen as a key issue that would need to be worked through as part of any on-going discussions, acknowledging that it was important to strike the right balance between a streamlined process that supported growth yet retained partner’s ability to influence at a strategic level.  Members agreed that the legal framework around statutory functions should be more explicit in the Evaluation Criteria, number 7, as detailed on page 37 of the report.  The Head of WRS further informed Members that the competitive dialogue process would highlight the need to include the legal framework and statutory functions as part of the final solution.


Member engagement was seen as critical to ensure that all partner authorities remained on board. A range of activities would be undertaken to ensure that Members and staff remained fully informed and engaged. The Joint Committee and Management Board were seen as critical to the success of this, particularly when it came to decision making.


The next stage of the project was the Project Management role.  The Head of WRS reminded Members that during the last meeting of the Joint Committee a proviso was agreed that should the costs of £20,000 be exceeded, Joint Committee Members would be informed.  The Head of WRS informed the Committee that an additional £30,000 would be needed to fund the Project Management Costs.


Further discussion followed on the need for Members to be kept fully informed and provided with progress updates. 


Councillor M. Hart suggested two further recommendations be added with regard to progress reports and additional funding for the Project Management Costs as detailed in the pre-amble above.



(a)  that the outcomes of the soft market testing, as detailed at Appendix 1 to the report, be noted;

(b)  that the scope of the Worcestershire Regulatory Services offer, as detailed at Appendix 2 to the report, be approved;

(c)  that the Evaluation Criteria to be used in the procurement process, as detailed at Appendix 3 to the report, be approved;

(d)  that progress updates be provided to all partner authorities before or at the next meeting of the Joint Committee; and

(e)  that an additional amount up to £50,000 be taken from the £87,000 underspend for the year, to fund the Project Management Costs, be approved. 


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