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Building Cleaning Contract Procurement

Meeting: 01/07/2019 - Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee (Item 38)

38 Building Cleaning Contract Procurement pdf icon PDF 337 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The existing building cleaning contract is due to expire June 2020, the Executive Councillor’s approval was sought to re-procure the service.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

  i.  Asked Officers to develop proposals for the new contract on the feasibility of paying at least £10 / hour to contracted staff; to ensure that the evaluation of the current contract is used to inform the specification for the new contract; and to prepare a stringent contract monitoring plan for Year One of the next contract

  ii.  Approved the re-procurement of the Building Cleaning contract, subject to best value considerations.

  iii.  Delegated to the Head of Environmental Services authority to take decisions to determine the specification, evaluate tenders and award one or more contracts for cleaning in consultation with the Executive Councillor, Chair and Opposition Spokes.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Environmental Services.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Expressed sympathy with the comments made by the unions during the public question slot. Having read the report could not see why the recommendation could not be approved and the Executive Councillor asked to do some further investigation, the main issue seemed to be management. Commented that with a 0.6 FTE (full time equivalent) post and 5 client managers there should be sufficient capacity to manage the contract in house. An in-house bid should be permitted. 

  ii.  Questioned if the capacity pressure changed as the tender had been split into 5 different lots.

  iii.  Expressed concerns regarding a desire to sub-contract to make savings as there was no requirement to require sub-contractors to pay £10/hour to staff.

  iv.  Commented that the previous contract was able to have an in-house bid because people were employed by the council as this service was currently contracted out, an in-house bid could not be submitted.

 

The Strategic Director and Head of Environmental Services’ said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Under the 2015 procurement regulations the council itself could not bid for the contract.

  ii.  Commented that significantly more resource would be required to manage the building cleaning contract if it was undertaken in house than 0.6 FTE. 

  iii.  The different lots had been proposed because the cleaning contract was specialist work and might enable more people to be able to submit a bid. The current contractor sub-contracted parts of the cleaning contract due to the specialist nature of the work.

  iv.  The current procurement policy required the council to pay the real living wage, if they changed the requirement for this contract it could have a dramatic effect on other contracts which would be coming up for re-procurement in the coming years.

  v.  Had the ability to make an assessment if the service was in –house whilst the procurement proceeds but this came with risks. The issue was to do with capacity to do the work and how this would fit into the management structure of the council, 4 years after the service was contracted out. Staff would be on different terms and conditions and it would take time to harmonise these. Performance Management would also require managerial time.

 

The Executive Councillor made the following comments:

  i.  He wanted to make sure that the contract was monitored properly.

  ii.  When the contract was let in 2015, the existing contractor came on good references but did not live up to these immediately. Strict contract management needed to be in place.

 

The Executive Councillor proposed an additional recommendation to become new (i) to:

 

i.  Ask Officers to develop proposals for the new contract on the feasibility of paying at least £10 / hour to contracted staff; to ensure that the evaluation of the current contract is used to inform the specification for the new contract; and to prepare a stringent contract monitoring plan for Year One of the next contract. 

 

On a show of hands the Committee unanimously approved the amendment.

 

The Committee approved the recommendations:

 

-  Unanimously to endorse recommendation i

-  Unanimously to endorse recommendation ii

-  By 3 votes to 2 to endorse recommendation iii.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.