South Hams District and West Devon Borough Councils tender for £6m shared services project

By Sooraj Shah
10 Jan 2014 View Comments
People in a contract negotiation

South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council (collectively, SHWD) are seeking IT partners to help underpin a new shared services initiative that could grow to cover a number of councils in the South West.

The councils have been working together since 2007 when they merged their management structures. They followed this with a shared services agreement and the development of integrated strategies.

Further reading

In the Official Journal of the European Union tender notice, SHWD said that it then recognised that with the increasing challenges it was facing it needed a more "transformational" approach, with a sustainable customer-facing model to meet the changing needs of its population.

As part of its ‘T18' transformation agenda SHWD said it is seeking to achieve:

  • Significant cost reductions;
  • Service improvement while maintaining a personalised approach;
  • Support to the local community;
  • Encouragement in localism;
  • A shift to digital by default including consideration of technologies not yet explored by SHWD;
  • System rationalisation and process redesign to support new service delivery models; and,
  • Support for agile and flexible working.

In order to achieve all of its goals, the councils are seeking a new technological solution consisting of:

  • Web content;
  • Customer portal and contact management;
  • Electronic document management;
  • Workflow;
  • Telephony;
  • Mobile solutions; and,
  • Diary management and payments.

SHWD hopes to ensure that all of the information it gathers through the solution will seamlessly link to the back office.

The councils said that the provider must be able to offer a "skilled, knowledgeable and conscientious workforce that has the experience to deliver the entire scope of the authority's requirement".

"Applicants will have the in-house skills and resources to deliver a majority of the development of the solution itself with minimal use of sub-contractors to allow for effective collaboration between the authority and the applicant regarding development of the solution and on-going contract management," it added.

SHWD said that additional partner authorities may join the arrangements over the life of the contract after receiving a large amount of interest from several other councils.

"Those authorities may include current and replacement contracting authorities within the Cornwall, Devon and Somerset regions of the UK and as such this procurement shall be open to those contracting authorities," the tender notice states.

The contract term will be for five years, and could be extended for two additional periods of 12 months each. The contract is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and ranges between £1m and £6m in value.

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