NE Consult were engaged by Lincolnshire County Council in October 2013 as strategic lead on the project to re-tender a property services contract to manage and maintain the Council’s diverse property portfolio. The contract will be worth between £60 and £90 million pounds over the next 10-years and is part of the Future Delivery of Support Services Programme which aims to deliver efficiency savings to balance budgets and to secure good value, flexible services for the future.

The Council’s Corporate Property team ultimately manage the service and were the key point of contact, during the procurement, it was essential to engage with staff from finance, HR, IMT, legal, and procurement to ensure that the new contract was aligned with Council policy and future strategy.

Initially we worked with key stakeholders within the Council to develop a procurement and contract strategy based on the industry recognised best practice NEC3 Term Service Contract. The key objective of the strategy was to ensure that a contractor was selected who could work collaboratively with the Council to ensure that the Council can provide services to the people of Lincolnshire from a safe, efficient and sustainable environment.

The high-level strategy was developed in an initial scoping workshop which was followed-up with a series of workshops, each focussed on a different theme from the strategy including evaluation, incentives & performance management, payment & pricing, service specification, workflow & transition. The outcome from these sessions was a strategy and execution plan that joined up thinking across the service, and enabled the Council to approach the marketplace with a coherent requirement and a sensible allocation of risk.

NE Consult drafted the procurement and contract documentation apply the principle of making the documentation as clear and simple to understand as possible. This lead to high quality tenders being submitted and ensured that those who will eventually manage the contract for the next 5 to 10 years have a solid foundation to work from. We supported the Council in the bidder evaluation and contract award processes and now have an on going role to ensure that the transition and mobilisation period is a success.

The contract strategy uses a target cost model (Option C) which means the Council and contractor share financial risk and reward. This mechanism motivates both parties to work together to drive waste and inefficiency out of the contract. Key performance indicators (X20) and low service damages (X17) were also used to encourage the right behaviours and are linked to the pain / gain share model to ensure savings aren’t delivered at the expense of performance.

In order to manage the contract effectively the Council has restructured it’s team with NE Consult providing training and mentoring to staff.