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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 14th March 2012

 

Report of the Leader

 

Mobile Phone Tender

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To obtain approval for delegated powers to award a contract for the supply of mobile phones and related services.

Recommendations

1.             That delegated authority is granted to the Director of Finance, ICT & Property in consultation with the Leader to award the tender to the winning supplier of the e-auction being run by the Government Procurement Service (GPS).

2.             That if the e-auction does not proceed for any reason the Council continues with its own tender process and that the delegated authority is granted to award the tender to the winning supplier of that tender.

3.             That a new contract is awarded.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To have an appropriate contract in place for the supply of mobile phones and associated services.

2.             To provide a procurement route should the e-auction not proceed.

3.             To allow the award of the contract and to ensure a seamless transition between suppliers.

Background

2.             The existing contract with British Telecom has been in place since 2005 and although largely trouble free, hasn’t allowed us to take advantage of possible savings from newer tariffs.

3.             The new contract specification has embraced advances in technology while matching the needs of the end users and driving efficiencies and cost savings. The new contract will generate savings for the Council through lower tariffs, reduced monthly charges and tighter management of the billing when compared with the existing contract.

4.             The current contract expired in 2008 and has been rolled forward since then and a new contract now needs to be let to take advantage of the better tariffs now available.

5.             A project board has been established following the Corporate Project Management Methodology and the tender documentation is now ready to be published. The project sponsor is the Head of Strategic ICT, the project Manager is the ICT Procurement Officer and the project board consists of representatives from finance, Procurement and relevant departmental coordinators.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             Mobile working has become more prevalent in recent years and the need for more cost effective and improved technology has increased. This contract should increase the ability of staff to take advantage of the Smarter Working policy and thereby support the Space Project by freeing up office accommodation, although this may require new handsets to be acquired.

7.             The Council has two options. Option 1. To conduct its own mini competition through the Government Procurement Services (GPS - formerly known as OGC) framework agreement RM526/L1 – Mobile Solutions – Voice and Data Services. Option 2. To take advantage of an opportunity to take part in an e-auction being run by GPS at the end of March.

8.             Officers were in the process of preparing the documentation to allow the Council to conduct its own procurement exercise through GPS when it was made aware of the e-auction. As part of the preparation for that tender the following issues have been taken into account.

9.             A survey of managers has been undertaken to assess the extent of the Council’s need and a range of 4 different handsets has been identified along with a range of suitable tariffs. The e-auction would make available a wide range of tariffs, but does not include any handsets, although these are available to purchase at competitive prices through the GPS framework agreement.

10.        It is proposed to publish the tender as soon as possible and award the contract in time to allow for implementation no later than the start of the new financial year.

11.        The new supplier will be responsible for coordinating the transition between contracts, the distribution of new equipment and any training needs of the end users and departmental coordinators.

12.        All sim cards and tariffs procured under the new contract will have a coterminous expiry date irrespective of when they were procured during the term of the contract. Any handsets purchased will remain in the ownership of the Council until they need to be replaced.

13.        The e-auction contract will be for three years with the option to extend further if necessary. If the Council were to let its own contract it would be for two years with an option to extend for a further 12 months if deemed appropriate.

14.        The Council has been made aware of an e-auction that Government Procurement Services (GPS) intend to carry out at the end of March 2012 and having taken advice from procurement and legal it is proposed to take part in this e-auction where it is anticipated that additional savings would be made.

15.        Discussions were held with officers from GPS to ensure that the Council’s aims and objectives would be met by using the e-auction and assurance was given that it would. The coverage of all the major suppliers in the Vale of Glamorgan has been checked and found to be satisfactory for the majority of the borough.

16.        The terms and conditions of the e-auction cover all of our major requirements, but by entering into the e-auction the Council would not be involved in evaluating the responses from suppliers but would follow the selection process of GPS. Legal advice has been obtained that even if we enter into the e-auction we would not be contractually bound to enter into a contract with the winning supplier and would still have the option to undertake our own tender.

17.        There is a risk that the e-auction will not proceed due to lack of interest and if that occurred the Council would then proceed to let its own tender as described above.

18.        As the e-auction will not take place until the end of March the process will be delayed by 2 months over that anticipated if the Council had run its own tender.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

19.        All existing handsets and SIMS will be incorporated into the new contract and only replaced as and when necessary. Handsets are available to purchase through the GPS framework at competitive prices and in most instances the basic phone is offered free of charge or the winning supplier will provide a credit allowing the Council to purchase phones for free or at reduced prices.

20.        Cost savings in revenue budgets will start as soon as the new contract is in place.

21.        It is anticipated that the newer tariffs available should allow calls to mobile phones within the contract to be free of charge and in some cases to have no line rental. Some staff may therefore find that their use of the mobile phones under the new arrangements could be free of charge. However we will need to await the results of the e-auction to see exactly what benefits are available to the Council.

22.        All Directorates will require a nominated Departmental Co-ordinator to enable effective monitoring and control and who will be able produce reports on all usage within their departments.

23.        All users will have to sign the relevant Code of Conduct and their line managers will have to produce a business case before receiving a new handset.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

24.        The Council will need to enter into a contract for the provision of a mobile solution. A representative from legal will be consulted as part of the contract award.

Crime and Disorder Implications

25.        There are no Crime and Disorder implications for this report

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

26.        There are no Equal Opportunities implications for this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

27.        To exercise robust financial management and explore all opportunities to improve efficiency and service quality including collaborative working.

28.        To deliver cost-effective support and service desk function to monitor performance, meet customer needs and communicate effectively.

29.        To deliver OneVale, the Council’s transformational change programme and to put information and communications technology (ICT) to its most effective use in order to support service delivery.

Policy Framework and Budget

30.        This is a matter for decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

31.        Extensive staff consultation has taken place as part of the survey.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

32.        Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee.

Background Papers

Draft specification and invitation to tender.

 

Contact Officer

David Vining - Head of Strategic ICT

 

Officers Consulted

Neil Thomas – Procurement

Mike Bumford – Finance

Stuart Lyon – Legal Services

Luke Collard / Mike Powell – ICT

Bob Waldron / Joan Davies – Audit

Lorraine Horton / Pat Francis / Janet Atkins / Jane Werret / Eryl Underdown / Rob Thompson – Representatives of key users

 

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies – Director of Finance, ICT & Property

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