The Strategic Supplier Relations Manager presented the procurement item.
It was noted that the Contract Management Framework was emerging which would consist of:
- A contract classification tool consisting of 26 questions to assess contracts.
- A contract management handbook which outlines the roles and responsibilities and note the process, document in draft.
- A task and activities schedule which lists tasks to be completed in the procurement process.
- A new contract management system currently being developed with council partners which aims to improve the process for procurement officers.
It was noted that the system was currently in a pilot stage within the Housing, ICT and Highways Maintenance services until December 2021. It was expected to reach all other teams by March 2022 with training to follow once sign-off was obtained by Corporate Leadership Board (CLB) in February 2022.
There were concerns round contract extensions and a Member asked if procurement officers would also be exploring opportunities for local contracts. It was advised that currently there was no system that collated data around all contract extensions, but the new contract register could show this information and allow colleagues opportunities to review. It was noted that this was not directly in scope of the original proposal but was very important so would be under review. Also, that the team would try and simplify the process for smaller, local organisations.
A Member asked about the stages for ensuring standards were met and it was advised that the new system would centrally flag if a provider fails to meet the key performance standards within agreed timescales so they can be held to account and it was currently expected to be in place by January 2022.
There was some concern around the resource for the monitoring of contracts and it was advised that the Contract Management Team consisted of 6 people which was a new resource, and that the new system would have a Red, Amber, Green (RAG) rating function to allow easier monitoring of contracts.
It also was noted that the Social Value Portal had been commissioned to support colleagues with contract monitoring in relation to Social Value commitments.
Members said they had concerns around situations where contracts come to an end but end up being extended. It was suggested that opportunities were being missed and the Council may not be getting the best value for money. Members asked what steps were bring taken to ensure this information is captured in future.
It was advised that the new system would give automated prompts when contracts were coming to an end. Also, that the team were currently carrying out a data cleanse exercise. It was noted that when the system goes live, it would have detail on historical contracts as well as new ones and the prompts would be programmed in.
A Member noted that in previous years, they were advised that a new supplier relationship management system would provide automated prompts on contract status, but this was never the case and asked if there was confidence in the new system providing this. The Strategic Supplier Relations Manager advised that the Council’s contract information was currently spread over various systems whereas, the new system would be a single centralised contract register and therefore, is expected to provide automated prompts.
It was suggested that officers report back to Scrutiny in 2022 with an updated report and feedback on the implementation of the new system.
Resolved; That an updated report on the Contract Management Framework be provided in 2022.