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Cheshire authorities mull business support procurement link-up

Neil Merrett Published 11 August 2016

Two councils consider establishing single supplier framework to address their individual finance and HR needs, with a single procurement also under consideration


Cheshire East Borough Council is working alongside Cheshire West & Chester Council to consider the joint procurement of a single supplier framework to develop and maintain an integrated business support solution for payroll, procurement and HR services.

Both authorities have said any possible agreement could potentially be expanded to include additional organisations including Warrington Borough Council and Wirral Borough Council, although no firm commitment is in place to do this at present.

With the framework agreement given an estimated value of between £16m to £20m, this figure may rise by an additional £18m should additional authorities choose to call-off from the contract.

"The framework agreement, therefore, could potentially reach an estimated value of up to £30m to £38m but will be dependent on the other named councils' decision whether to use the framework agreement. Owing to the size, nature of the services and to help ensure the best service,” said the notice.

According to the contract notice, while the intention for the proposed agreement is for the involved authorities to award separate call-off contracts that last for an initial four year period, the potential for a single joint award to be made through the framework will also be explored.

Call-off contracts from the framework are expected to have a maximum duration of 12 years.

Any call-off contracts from the agreement are expected to be signed on the same day that the framework arrangement is signed.

The core business services provided through the framework will include finance, HR and procurement services, although additional capabilities are also expected to be included moving forward.

“The scope of the service may include the provision and implementation of new modules offering improved functionality and/or solution refreshes as necessary during the contract term,” said the notice.

Last year, Cheshire East unveiled plans to cut its workload by the equivalent of 94 full-time employees as a result of providing its entire customer facing services through digital channels.

In 2013, Wirral Borough Council announced its intention with Cheshire West and Chester Council to work together on trying to realise £69m in back office savings.

Cheshire West has previously played up what it sees as the need for public sector organisations to ensure they are collaborating in “unprecedented ways”, supported by accurate and timely data.

Related articles:

Cheshire East approves digital service overhaul

Merseyside councils consider creation of a 'Combined Authority'

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