[Report of the Director for Customers, Transformation and Resources. To
be introduced by the Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources and Insourcing.]
The Shared Digital Joint Committee approved a strategy to consolidate the council’s wide area networks in October 2018. This would provide the councils with a single high performing network provided by a single supplier. This report seeks authority to delegate the award of the contract for this service to the Executive officer.
The Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Insourcing introduced the report, which sought approval to delegate an award of contract for provision of a singlewide area network service.
The Cabinet Member explained that the Council relied on a wide area network to connect computers and other electronic devices across Council sites to allow the Council to perform its daily duties. The network also allowed the Council to establish connections with other third parties to carry out the daily requirements of the organisation. A third party provider was required to provide the service.
Following the Cabinet decision in July, the Shared digital model with Camden and Islington had reduced in scale and scope and so there would be some IT and digital functions that that the Council would take forward directly and under its own control. The shared digital model still allowed the three boroughs, the financial advantage, in a procurement process, of being in a better negotiating position and driving a better deal.
With this in mind, the report was seeking authority for Camden to negotiate and purchase a Wide Area Network system from a single provider but with the Council still able to subsequently manage its own network, depending on the degree of control required. This decision was connected to achieving efficiency and value for money and allowing Council to do its job well.
To delegate to the Executive of the London Borough of Camden, authority to award a contract for the provision of network services to a single supplier on behalf of all three Councils.
Reasons for decision
The delivery of this procurement exercise was delayed whilst decisions were made over the future shape and focus of ICT services across the three Councils.
At the Cabinet meeting on 17July, the Council approved the new model for delivery of local and Shared Digital services and the SDJC has been disbanded. Under the previous terms of reference for the SDJC, the decision to award the contract for the Wide Area Network service would have been taken by the SDJC. This decision-making authority has been reserved for Cabinet until the new services agreement and TUPE transfer process completes in October 2018.
This report seeks permission to delegate the award of contract to the Executive of the London Borough of Camden ensuring that the contract can be awarded as soon as practical.
This decision will not affect the future delivery of networks services at a local level as the services can be delivered and managed as a sovereign service for each Council, but continuing the procurement jointly will generate savings and enable future transformation work to be completed.
For Haringey any further delay in undertaking the procurement could place delivery of the programme at risk as the refresh and move to a new service will take a significant time, perhaps as long as 18 months.
Alternative options considered
There are two options available currently: delegate the decision or retain individual Council approvals:
i) Delegate award of contract to the Executive of the London Borough of
Camden – recommended
In the same way that other services have been contracted with a single supplier, there is an opportunity for the three Councils to enter into a strategic relationship with the successful bidder, which would have the advantage of aggregating the Councils’ influence on the supplier to deliver a high quality service and drive competitive pricing through economies of scale. By delegating the contract award decision to the Executive of the London Borough of Camden, this would increase the pace at which the procurement activity can be completed, enabling transition to the service more quickly.
The Councils can choose at a later stage to either enter into a single contract with the successful bidder or call off individual contracts.
ii) Retain individual approval of contract award – not recommended
It is recognised that each Council will want to be able to influence the decision on what technology is used to delivery network services and also who the successful supplier would be. All three Councils approved the procurement strategy for the services; and, by having an evaluation panel made up of representatives across all three Councils this requirement can be met. The project, which is running against a deadline to refresh the existing services, has already been significantly delayed. Further delays whilst the three Councils complete contract award governance would place effective delivery of the programme at risk.