IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES, RICHARD GAWTHORPE EXAMINES HOW LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE WIDER PUBLIC SECTOR CAN RESPOND TO RISING DEMANDS ON THEIR PROPERTY SERVICES WHILE GRAPPLING WITH CAPACITY CHALLENGES WITHIN THEIR ORGANISATIONS.
In April this year Crown Commercial Service (CCS), the UK’s largest public procurement organisation, and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced that they aimed to boost commercial capability across local government through a new contract management training programme.
CCS now envisages that almost 200 local government officers will complete the Contract Management Pioneer Programme over the next 12 months, which is great news for the sector.
Last week I outlined how public sector organisations are currently struggling with severe gaps in capacity, especially when it comes to the built environment.
But today I want to highlight one particular short-term solution for the public sector, the traditional procurement route.
This sees local authorities procure of services from a supply chain – and it can work particularly well within property services in local government.
Indeed, it is an area that we at the Norse Group, a 100% local authority-owned company, are very familiar with, especially via our multi-disciplinary property consultancy Norse Consulting.
In this scenario, and in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the public sector can competitively tender discrete pieces of work that can be packaged up and delivered by the private sector.
Alternatively, these discrete pieces of work can be packaged up and tendered through national frameworks either competitively or by a direct-award arrangement.
One advantage of using a national or regional framework (PCR15 compliant) is that members (the supply chain) of the framework have already been vetted, approved and demonstrated a proven track record.
There are numerous benefits to this approach, including reducing overall procurement costs and internal resources to the buyers, expertise in the chosen field being procured, as well as the building of long-term relationships with the supply chain.
Norse Consulting has secured many commissions and medium-term contracts following its inclusion on a number of frameworks, over the past 30 years, enabling it to develop fruitful and long-lasting relationship with clients.
Among these are the professional property services it provides to Blue Light Services across the country, including Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and Dorset Police.
Norse Consulting’s professional property teams have recently had their contract with Norfolk and Suffolk Constabulary extended; won a new contract with Derbyshire Constabulary and Fire Services and been appointed as an approved consultant on the East of England Ambulance Service Framework.
This article is part of the Rising to the Challenge series. For more information on creating capacity within your own teams contact Richard Gawthorpe via Richard.Gawthorpe@norsegroup.co.uk or call 01603 706140.