Decision Maker: Strategic Director of Environment
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The current contract for provision of the Council's daytime contact centre service expires on 31st October 2019. In August it was apparent that the Council was not in a position to take the service back in-house and various procurement options were investigated. The report details these and gives reasons for a recommended extension of contract to 31st October 2020.
Reasons for urgency:
The Council is not in a position to take this service in-house from 1st November 2019 and therefore a decision is needed on a contract extension beyond this date.
1. Appendix 1 is exempt from disclosure on the grounds that it contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of a particular person (including the authority holding that information) under paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
2. That a waiver to CSOs 10.2 and 11.2 be granted to enable a direct award of contract to Agilisys Ltd to provide contact centre services for 12 months from 1st November 2019 to 31st October 2020.
3. That a contract be directly awarded to Agilisys Ltd to provide contact centre services for 12 months from 1st November 2019 to 31st October 2020 at a total contract sum as set out in exempt Appendix 1.
4. That one-off additional funding as detailed in exempt Appendix 1 is made available from corporate reserves to fund the contract. The financial details are contained within the exempt appendix.
Following a review of the project and progress to date it has been determined that continuing to proceed with insourcing the contact centre with effect from 1st November 2019 poses a number of risks to the Council and the provision of services to our residents. In August it was established that progress to date has meant that there is insufficient time to adequately complete key tasks, in order to ensure that the service can continue to meet the residents’ needs. Specifically:
Insufficient time to conduct ‘meaningful consultation’ as required under TUPE and redundancy legislation when transferring a service in-house.
Migration of ICT systems and setting up relevant telephony systems are estimated to take between 3-6 months.
There is a high likelihood of a general election in the short term and this will mean increased demand for call handling for electoral services. Insourcing the service at this stage would risk service failure at a time of peak demand.
Extending the contract for a further year will enable the new in-house service to be redesigned and enable opportunities for us to work in partnership with Agilisys and service areas to re-engineer the service prior to taking in house. The aim will be to reduce the need for our residents to contact us which will enable us to provide a more efficient service and will ultimately reduce cost as volumes of contacts reduce. This work is essential to enable the in-house service to be delivered at a cost that does not exceed the contract cost and aims to deliver savings.
The incumbent supplier is providing a value for money service that is adequately meeting our residents’ needs.
The following options have been considered:
1. In-source service from 1st November 2019
2. Continue to current timetable but deliver the service from Rochdale with existing staff
3. Award a further 12-month contract to Agilisys and review project approach to deliver a re-engineered service in house after 12 months
This is the recommended option as it allows the opportunity to ensure that we are taking every opportunity to deliver the most effective service to residents which is financially efficient. This approach minimises the risk of poor service delivery and a higher cost service. It is recognised that this contract has already been extended and the insourcing of the service has not been successfully delivered. Ensuring formal governance and approach to the project will reduce any risk of non-delivery in the future. This approach allows the opportunity to work in conjunction with other programmes such as the self-service project and Resident Access Programme to ensure that the new service supports those principles. There is little risk of any challenge from competitors in respect of the direct award as the market has previously been tested and there was little interest in the contract.
4. Do Nothing
Urgent item?: Yes
Publication date: 28/10/2019
Date of decision: 25/10/2019
Effective from: 31/10/2019